Alhough the All India National Congress was established
in 1885, prior to it several proyincial and regional political organisations
had already become functional in the political field.
Chief amongst them were the Land Holders Society (1837),
British India Society (1843) and British Indian Association (1851) in Bengal.
Native Association (1852) in Madras and Bombay Association (1852) in Bombay.
The credit for establishing such an association abroad goes
to Dadabhai Naoroji. In 1866, he set up the East India Association in London. He
came to be known as the ‘Grand Old Man of India’. He was made President of the
Indian National Congress twice.
The Pune Public Conference was established on 2 April, 1870.
Its most prominent members were Ganesha Vasudeva Joshi, S.H. Sathe. S.H.
Chiplunkar and Mahadev Govind Ranade.
Similarly, in Calcutta the Indian League was established on
25 September, 1875. Its main members were the editors of Amrit Bazar Patrika
Sister Kumar Ghosh, Shambhuchand Mukherjee, Kali Mohan Das and Jogesh Chandra
On 26 July 1876, another organisation called the Indian
Association was established in Bengal. Its prominent leaders were Anand Mohan
Bose and Surendranath Banerjee. In this association the majority consisted of
the English educated middle class Indians.
The Mahajan Sabha was established in Madras on 16 May, 1884.
Its leaders were P. Rangayya Naidu, V. Raghavachari and Anandacharlu.
In December 1883, 200 representatives attended the National
Conference of the Indian Association held in Calcutta. Its second Conference was
held in Calcutta on 25 December, 1885. These were important steps in the
direction of founding an all India political organisation.