The need for the formation of an all-India political organization had become an objective necessity. The pre-congress organizations were limited in scope and objectives. This led to development of some basic needs and objectives before the leaders. It was said that the Indians need to be welded together for their political advancements.
It was Allan Octavian Hume, who embarked on an endeavor to start an organization of select alumni of the University of Calcutta in 1883.
By May 1885, he was able to secure the Viceroy’s approval to create an “Indian National Union”, which would be affiliated with the government and act as a platform to voice Indian public opinion.
At the time of General Elections in Britain in 1885, A O Hume published an “Appeal from the People of India” to the electors of Great Britain and Ireland. This appeal asked the British Voters to support the candidates who were sympathetic to the Indian public opinions.
However, there was no substantial result of this appeal. The major issued raised by these people were: —
Spending Indian taxpayer’s money on British Indian campaigns in Afghanistan
Legislative reforms on India for greater participation of the Indian people.
Increased pressure on India by annexation of Burma.
On 28 December 1885, the Indian National Congress was founded at Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Bombay, with 72 delegates in attendance.
The first meeting was originally scheduled for Pune but due to plague outbreak, the venue was shifted to Mumbai. The first Session of INC was held from 28-31 December 1885, and was attended by 72 delegates. A O Hume assumed office as the General Secretary.
Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee of Calcutta was elected President. The additional British Members were William Wedderburn and Justice John Jardine. All others were the Hindus from Calcutta and Madras Presidency.