Early in his career, Mahatma Gandhi praised one of his Indian political mentors, Dadabhai Naoroji, as both the “father of the nation” and a “mahatma” (great soul)—titles that are today in India both reserved for Gandhi himself. Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism, examines the extraordinary life of a foundational figure in India’s modern political history. Dadabhai Naoroji (1825-1917) pioneered devastating critiques of British colonialism (such as the “drain of wealth” theory), served in the British Parliament as the first-ever Indian MP, helped found and lead the Indian National Congress, forged broad ties with anti-colonialists around the world, and established self-government or swaraj as India’s ultimate objective. Naoroji is the first comprehensive study of the most significant Indian nationalist leader before Gandhi.

Under Naoroji’s leadership, Indian nationalism developed with a conscious commitment towards broader emancipatory politics worldwide. Indians made common cause with disenfranchised British women, European labor activists and socialists, colonial subjects in countries such as Ireland, American anti-imperialists, and African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans. Naoroji served as the principal node for these global connections. These links, importantly, sustained the Indian nationalist movement long after Naoroji’s retirement from political life: they were utilized by Gandhi, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Jawaharlal Nehru, and others.

This book reestablishes Naoroji’s centrality in the history of modern India, the British Empire, and the global movement against imperialism.

Reviews:

Tunku Varadarajan, “Portrait of an Independent Mind,” Wall Street Journal, 8 May 2020

Soni Wadhwa, “Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism,” Asian Review of Books, 19 May 2020

Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, “Dadabhai Naoroji: A new life for the grand old man of India,” Mint, 13 June 2020

Simon McGrath, “Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism,” Liberal Democratic Voice, 23 June 2020

Rudrangshu Mukherjee, “Dinyar Patel’s book, Naoroji, fills a gap in major historical scholarship,” Business Standard, 26 June 2020

Abhimanyu Arni, “From Bombay to the green benches,” Literary Review (UK), July 2020

Siddharth Singh, “A nationalist before nationalism,” Open Magazine, 3 July 2020

A.R. Venkatachalapathy, “At last, a biography of India’s Grand Old Man,” TheWire.in, 21 August 2020

Sandeep Phukan, “Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism review: The Grand Old Man who fought against colonial exploitation,” Hindu, 12 September 2020

Ashok V. Desai, “The first Indian nationalist,” India Today, 14 September 2020

Kumar Chellappan, “The untold story of a great life,” Pioneer, 27 December 2020

Peter Gruner, “The Grand Old Man of India,” Islington Tribune, 14 January 2021

Anil Nauriya, “The Promise of India: Recalling Dadabhai Naoroji,” The India Forum, 5 February 2021

Ramnik Shah, “Book review: Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism by Dinyar Patel,” LSE Review of Books, 8 February 2021

Features:

Fiona Fernandez, “All you wanted to know about Dadabhai Naoroji,” Mid-Day, 28 June 2020

Navneet Vyasan, “The Grand Old Man of India and his unwavering legacy,” Hindustan Times, 5 August 2020

Inderjeet Parmar, “To Commemorate Dadabhai Naoroji Is To Write an Inclusive, More Complex Colonial History,” TheWire.in, 30 August 2020

Gopalkrishna Gandhi, “The legacy of ‘Indiawalas’,” Tribune, 6 February 2021

Excerpts:

Dadabhai Naoroji believed the Indian civil service was the reason for India’s poverty,” ThePrint.in, 3 June 2020

Swaraj, agitation and an intrepid spirit: Dadabhai Naoroji’s final days,” TheWire.in, 20 June 2020

How Dadabhai Naoroji’s support for women’s rights helped him get elected to the British Parliament,” Scroll.in, 17 September 2020

Dadabhai Naoroji travels to England,” Live History India, 31 December 2020

Naoroji’s ‘drain of wealth’ approach: Guiding Indian nationalism,” Live History India, 9 February 2021

Op-Eds:

The Grand Old Man of India who became Britain’s first Asian MP,” BBC News, 5 July 2020

Dadabhai Naoroji strove to be inclusive. Today’s majoritarian nationalism represents a betrayal of principles he bequeathed to India,” Indian Express, 27 July 2020

Video Interviews, Podcasts, and Presentations:

Available at:

Harvard University Press

Amazon.com

Amazon.in

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