East Indian Association, 1866
East India Association was an organization established by some Indian students in London on 1 October 1866 on initiative of Dadabhai Naoroji. It was one of the predecessor organizations of the Indian National Congress.
London Indian Society
In 19th century, many Indian students needed to go to England to qualify for the bar or the Covenanted Civil Service. Four such students viz. Pherozeshah Mehta, Badruddin Tyabji, W. C. Bonnerjee and Manmohan Ghose had established the London Indian Society in 1865. The inspiration to form this society had come from Dadabhai Naoroji. The key activities of the London Indian Society were to (1) ventilate the Indian political, social and literary subjects (2) formulate the Indian grievances (3) to counter the misrepresentations from India in English press. The London Indian Society was thus the first Indian organization to cross the border and to be formed abroad.
East India Association
On October 1, 1866, the London Indian Society was superseded by East India Association. The several objectives and activities of East India Association were as follows:
- Its stated objective was to advocate for and promote public interests and welfare of Indians.
- It worked towards presenting the correct information about India to the British Public and voice Indian grievances in British press.
In 1869, this organization opened branches in Bombay, Kolkata and Madras. It became defunct in 1880s but for whatever years it was an active body, it had largest number of Indian members from all over sub-continent. The four students who established the London Indian Society and East India Association later became presidents of Indian National Congress.