On This Day 6 July

By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-07-06
In 1553 Mary I acceded and became the first queen to rule in her own right; Louis Pasteur successfully treated rabies in 1885 and in 1924 the first photo was sent from US to UK. In 1942 Anne Frank went into hiding and in 1945 Nicaragua were the first to sign the UN Charter. Learn about Dadabhai Naoroji who in 1892 was the first BAME MP.

Meet Sir Dadabhai Naoroji - who in 1892 was the first BAME MP for the seat of Central Finsbury

Born on the 4th of September 1825 in Navsari (Bombay Province, India) he was a Parsi (migrated from Persia to India approx 626-651CE) and became a Minister to the Maharaja in 1874. He was a priest (Ahtornan) of the Zoroastrian religion and founded the Rast Goftar publication which aimed to clarify the religion and promot social reforms for the Parsi people.

He became Professor of Mathematics & Natural Philosophy at the Elphinstone College in Bombay and eventually travelled to the UK in 1855. He opened the first Indian company to be established in Britain (Cama & Co.), going on to establish his own company (Dadabhai Naoroji & Co.) in 1859 which was a cotton trading company.

In 1867 he aided in the establishment of the East India Association which put the Indian point of view in front of the British public; they were a key element in refuting the propaganda from the Ethnological Society of London who in 1866 tried to prove inferiority between races.

After a period back in India, he returned to Britain and ran for parliament. He was elected in 1892 for the Liberal Party in the seat of Central Finsbury. Not only the first BAME to be elected, he also refused to take the oath on the Bible but rather on his copy of the Khordeh Avesta (Zoroastrian religious texts).

Dadabhai_Naoroji,_1892

During his time in parliament he brought light to the issues faced by those subjected to colonial rule - not only in India but also weighed in on the Irish Home Rule. His first speech explained that Indians were either British subjects or slaves, dependent on the willingness of Britain to give India the same institutions that were already in operation in the UK. He brought to light the Drain Theory (drain of wealth from India to UK) and that the implementation of institutions would benefit both India and the UK.

In India he is regarded as one of the most important people during the independence movement. You will find memorials to him in India, Pakistan and the UK - Dadabhai Naoroji Road in Mumbai, Dadabhai Naoroji Road in Karachi, Naoroji Street in Finsbury. The Dadabhai Naoroji Awards for services to UK-India relations was started in 2014 and he has been on several stamps in India.

Dadabhai_Naoroji_2017_stamp_of_India

Brief video from Doordarshan (DD) on Sir Dadabhai

Other events on this day

  • 1553: Mary I acceded and became the first queen to rule in her own right
  • 1885: successful treatment of rabies by Louis Pasteur
  • 1892: Dadabhai Naoroji, first BAME MP won the Central Finsbury seat
  • 1924: first photo sent by radio from the US to England
  • 1942: Anne Frank went into hiding in a friend's attic
  • 1945: first country (Nicaragua) ratified the Charter of the United Nations
  • 1960: Aneurin Bevan who established the NHS died
  • 1964: Nyasaland broke from British rule and became Malawi
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