The Indian National Congress (Hindi: भारतीय राष्ट्रीय कांग्रेस) (also known as the Congress, and abbreviated INC) is a major political party in India. It is the largest and oldest democratic political party in the world. Founded in 1885 by Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, Dinshaw Wacha, Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee, Surendranath Banerjee, Monomohun Ghose, Mahadev Govind Ranade and William Wedderburn, the Indian National Congress became the leader of the Indian Independence Movement, with over 15 million members and over 70 million participants in its struggle against British rule in India. After independence in 1947, it became the nation's dominant political party, led by the Nehru-Gandhi family for the most part; major challenges for party leadership have only recently formed. In the 2009 general elections, the Congress emerged as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha, with 206 of its candidates getting elected to the 543-member house. Consequently, it along with a coalition of allies called the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), was able to gain a majority and form the government. Contents [hide] * 1 History * 2 The pre-independence era * 3 The post-independence era * 3.1 Jawaharlal Nehru * 4 Indira Gandhi * 5 The post-Indira era * 6 Indian Prime Ministers from the Congress Party * 7 Controversies and criticisms * 7.1 1947 - anti-Godse riots * 7.2 1975-1977 - State of Emergency * 7.3 1984 anti-Sikh riots * 7.3.1 Rajiv Gandhi's remarks * 7.3.2 Allegations of conspiracy and cover-ups * 7.4 Charges for bidding for seats * 8 Formation of present Government of India * 9 Policies and programmes * 9.1 Social policy * 9.2 Economic policy * 9.3 Foreign policy * 10 Internal organization * 11 Congress in various states * 12 List of current Congress Chief Ministers * 13 List of presidents of the party * 14 2009 general elections * 15 See also * 16 References * 16.1 Bibliography * 17 Further reading * 18 External links| -------------------------------------------------
The history of the Indian National Congress falls into two distinct eras: * The pre-independence era, when the party was at the forefront of the struggle for independence and was instrumental in the whole of India; * The post-independence era, when the party has enjoyed a prominent place in Indian politics, ruling the country for 48 of the 60 years since independence in 1947. In the pre-independence era, the congress was divided in two groups, moderate and activist. The moderates were more educated and wanted to win people's faith to lead the nation to independence without bloodshed.the activists however wanted to follow a revolutionary path and make it a militant organization. -------------------------------------------------
The pre-independence era
First session of Indian National Congress, Bombay, 28-31, December, 1885. Main article: Indian National Congress - Freedom Era
Founded in 1885 with the objective of obtaining a greater share in government for educated Indians, the Indian National Congress was initially not opposed to British rule. The Congress met once a year during December. Indeed, it was a Scotsman, Allan Octavian Hume, who brought about its first meeting in Bombay, with the approval of Lord Dufferin, the then-Viceroy. Womesh Chandra Bannerjee was the first President of the INC. The first meeting was scheduled to be held in Pune, but due to a plagueoutbreak there, the meeting was later shifted to Bombay. The first session of the INC was held from 28–31 December 1885, and was attended by 72 delegates. A few years down the line, the demands of INC became more radical in the face of constant opposition from the government, and the party became very active in the independence movement. By 1907 the party was split into two halves: the Garam Dal (literally "hot faction") of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, or Extremists , and the Naram...