The Early Years:
Dadabhai Naoroji was born in Bombay on 4th September 1825, the son of Maneckbai and Naoroji Palanji Dordi, a poor Athornan (priestly) Parsi family. At the age of 4, Dadabhai's father died and his mother was left the difficult task of bringing up the family, and she managed admirably. According to prevailing customs, she arranged the marriage of Dadabhai to Gulbai at the early age of 11. For the rest of her life, Maneckbai remained a close companion and mentor to Dadabhai. "She made me what I am" noted Dadabhai in 1901 when he gave an account of his early life in "The Days of my Youth."
Dadabhai became a scholar at the Elphinstone Institution (now Elphinstone College, ...view middle of the document...
● He lost his father, Naoroji Dordi, when he was four years old.
● His mother Maneckbai took responsibility to educate him, sending him to the Native Education Society school.
● After finishing school he was selected to go to the Elphinstone Institute where his professors were all Englishmen.
● At the Institute he read literature of the world, but Firdausi's Shahnameh was his favorite, and duties of a Zarathushti.
● At age 15, he received Clare's scholarship and was considered a scholar. Professor Orlebar called him "Promise of India"
● At age 20, he became the first Indian professor (of Mathematics & Philosophy) at Elphinstone Institute.
● He was Treasurer of the Student Literary & Scientific society and editor of its proceedings published for the public.
1849, August 4
● He along with other society members laid the foundation of female education in Bombay, by going door to door urging parents to send their girls to school (at that time girls were not allowed to go to school)
● He volunteered to teach free at the first girl's school opened by the Society in a cottage loaned by Jagannath Shankar Sheth, a member of the Board of Education, and with improvements funded by Mr. K.N.Cama
● He started two religious magazines - Dharma Marg Darshak and Rast Goftar to educate Parsis about their religion
1851, August 3
● At age 26, he started a society Rahnumae Mazdayasnane Sabha in cooperation with educationist Naoroji Furdunji, which still exists and has regular meetings.
1855, June 27
● He sailed to London with K.R.Cama and M.H.Cama to join the first Indian business started in England by the Cama family.
● He left the Cama family business and became a Professor of Gujarati, in the University college, London, and worked there for 10 years.
● He founded the London Zoroastrian Association and remained its president until 1907
● He was the first to work systematically for the intellectual uplift of the Indian public. He used every opportunity in England to voice the grievances of the Indian people under colonial rule.
● He started his campaign of agitation about injustice in the system of recruiting for the Indian Civil Service. Sudden change of age limit had debarred the first Indian student, Rustamji Hirjibhai Wadia from appearing for entrance exam.
● He was active in the newly founded "East India Association" to promote the welfare and interest of Indians. He devoted full time to the education of the masses of India on their rights and people of England toward Indians.
● A public meeting was called by Maharaja Bhagwat Singhji of Gondal and the Sheriff of Bombay, at the Framji Cowasji Institute, to honor Dadabhai and a purse of Rs.25,000 was presented, most of which he donated to the East India Association Fund.
● He helped the Maharaja, Malharrao Gaekwad, of Baroda in his problems with the British Agent, and pleaded his case in London. In return the Maharaja offered...