Hume, on May 1885, had secured the then Viceroy’s approval to create an ‘Indian National Union’ which would be an affiliate with the government and act as a platform to voice Indian public opinion. Under this umbrella, Hume and a group of educated Indians came together and published an appeal from the people of India to the Electors of Great Britain and Ireland to vote for candidates that were sympathetic to the positions of Indians. This included the opposition of taxation in India to finance the British campaigns in Afghanistan. It was however a failure which struck Indians as a realization that they had to fight their battles alone.
After this failed attempt, on 28th December 1885, 72 social reformers, journalists and lawyers participated in the first session of the Indian National Union at Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Bombay, now Mumbai. Hume presided as the General Secretary along with two other members as the founding group and Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee was elected as the first President of the now called ‘Indian National Congress’.
From the time of its foundation, to the time Indian gained Independence, the INC was considered to be the largest and the most prominent Indian public organization to influence the remaining time of the Indian Independence Movement.
During 1885 to 1933, the Presidency had only 1 year term only and the post would be rotated between the prominent members of the party. Indira Gandhi however, institutionalized the practice of having the same person as the Congress President and the Prime Minister of India after she formed Congress (I) in 1978. Her son Rajiv Gandhi continued that practice.
In 2004, when INC was voted back into power, Manmohan Singh was the first Prime Minister in history, who was not President of the party, ever since Indira Gandhi established this practice of holding both positions. The then party President was Sonia Gandhi (Indira Gandhi’s daughter in law), who also remains the longest serving President holding office for 19 years. Her son Rahul Gandhi was the last serving President, who resigned from his post after having a landslide defeat against BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
In 2007, the Gardian wrote – The Nehru brand has no peer in the World. A member of this family has been in charge of India for 40 of 73 years. The allure of India’s first family blends the right to rule of the British Monarchy with the tragic glamour of America’s Kennedy Clan.
Rahul had once mentioned that he never plans to get married. And has so far kept true to his word thus making his sister Priyanka Vadra’s children the next generation to prove their worth in case they wish to inherit dominant positions within this party.
As we still await Congress to announce its next President, we have to wait even longer to see that if it will always remain Nehru – Gandhi or will it ever be Nehru – Gandhi – Vadra in the INC.