The First Meeting of the Indian National Congress

The first meeting of the Indian National Congress is held from 28th to 31st December 1885 in Bombay. It was formed as a voice of Indian opinion to the British government.

Founded upon the authority of British civil servant Allan Octavian Hume, the Congress was created to form a platform for civic and political dialogue of educated Indians with the British Raj and met each December. The first meeting was scheduled to be held in Poona, but due to a cholera outbreak it was shifted to Bombay.

Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee was the first president of the Congress; the first session was attended by 72 delegates. From its foundation on 28th December 1885 until the time of independence of India on 15 August 1947, the Indian National Congress (INC) was considered to be the largest, most prominent Indian public organization, and central defining influence of the Indian Independence Movement.

The Congress, over the years, included a number of prominent political figures like Dadabhai Naoroji, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Mohandas KaramChand Gandhi, Mohitlal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohammed Ali Jinnah and many more.

Later Gandhi became president of Congress after he returned from South Africa in 1915. He used civil disobedience or satyagraha to oppose the British Raj. Under the presidency of Jawaharlal Nehru, complete independence became the party’s goal and 26th January 1930 was declared as “Purna Swaraj Diwas” – Independence Day. Subhas Chandra Bose was the president of the Congress during 1938–39.

Even after Independence, the INC remained a prominent political party in India. Prime Ministers like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi belonged to the Indian National Congress.

Information drawn from


First meeting of the Indian National Congress in Bombay 1885
First meeting of the Indian National Congress in Bombay 1885