Thursday, May 17, 2012

Meeting of the National Congress CMG 1 13 1886

Civil & Military Gazette
January 13, 1886

Meeting of the National Congress in Bombay in December 28-31, 1885.
This was really in fact the first meeting of the Indian National Congress: link

The CMG authors are supposedly reporting on the reports from the Indian (native) press, but the language of the column is weird, and at times it appears they are editorializing rather than reporting.

We think this was the first time in the history of India, that the accepted leaders of  Native Opinion met on a common platform to discuss political questions affecting this country. We think Bombay is regaining her good name in connection with political advancement. The proceedings of the congress distinctly make certain demands which of course cannot be and will not be complied with at once at first, but by time we shall see that the advantages to the country from the united action of the representatives will be lasting and substantial. Some writers attempt to cast ridicule on the proceedings of the Congress, but they may as well try to stop the flow a stream for what is inevitable must happen. To exactly know what the native population thinks and feels on a certain question is advantageous to both the ruler and the ruled. --Bombay Samachar

The Indian Spectator says that the proceedings of the congress constitute a record of the most brilliant achievement of British rule in the East, the dawn of a New India, from the point of view of the politicians the harbinger of indirect, if not direct representation. This glorious result was possibly only under British auspices. Whether it becomes a consummation in the practical sense, whether its operations are confined to politics and to politics alone, whether it sensibly affects the progress of the masses, whether, in brief, this national movement is to lead to a popular upheaval generally, is a question on which there may be room for difference of opinions. But one thing is certain -- and on that we heartily congratulate the leaders of Native public opinion and those truly enlightened sons of England who have contributed so largely to moulding the indigenous public opinion -- namely that representative government in India has now become one of the possibilities of the near future. 

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