Allan Octavian Hume

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Allan Octavian Hume

Allan Octavian Hume was a political reformer in British India. He founded ‘The Indian National Congress’ along with others. It was the Indian National Congress which ultimately destroyed the British rule in India.

Allan Octavian Hume was born on June 6, 1829. His father was Joseph Hume, a man of Scotland. Allan Hume came to India at the age of 20 and joined the Bengal Civil Service as a district officer. Gradually he rose in position and became a Secretary to the Government of India. As a man of independent nature he quarreled with the Government and finally resigned from service in 1882. While a government officer, Hume had the moral courage to remind the Government that its supremacy should not be asserted at the point of bayonet, but that ‘a free and civilized Government must look for its stability and permanence to the enlightenment of the people and their moral and intellectual capacities to appreciate its blessings”.

Like his father, Hume was a radical. He felt terribly distressed at the poverty of the people.

Hume saw how the discontent against the British increased day by day. He was unhappy to see how the administration remained indifferent towards the misery of the people. The character of a fore foreign government was not unknown to him. The officers behaved like autocrats. The Gulf between the Government and the governed increased everyday. To Hume, the signs of time appeared cleared. The danger to the British rule was imminent.

With such intentions, Hume met the Governor-General, Lord Dufferin. He explained to him the real condition of India and the need for a political organization. The Viceroy agreed. He saw no harm if the Indian politicians should meet from time to time and advise the Government.

Hume felt encouraged when the Governor-General did not reject his ideas. He immediately proceeded to contact various Indian leaders regarding the proposed organization. The proposal was received with great enthusiasm.

So at last, in 1885, in the month of December, the leaders from various places of India gathered at Bombay (now Mumbai). There they formed an all-India political organization which became famous as the Indian National Congress.

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