Surendranath Banerjee was one of the earliest Indian political leaders during the British Raj. He founded the Indian National Association and later he founded organisation named Indian National Liberation Federation in 1919. ⁣

He was born in Calcutta on 10 November 1848. After graduating from the University of Calcutta, he travelled to England in 1868 to compete in the Indian Civil service examinations. He cleared the competitive examination in 1869, but was barred owing to a claim that he had misrepresented his age. He cleared the exam again in 1871.⁣

He was soon dismissed for making a minor judicial error. He went to England to appeal his discharge, but was unsuccessful, he felt the reason was racial discrimination. ⁣

During his stay in England (1874–1875), he studied the works of Edmund Burke (Irish Philosopher) and other liberal philosophers. These works guided him in his protests against the British. He was known as the Indian Burke.⁣

Upon his return to India in June 1875, he founded the Indian National Association with Anandamohan Bose, one of the earliest Indian political organizations of its kind, on 26 July 1876.⁣

In 1879, he founded the newspaper, The Bengalee. In 1883, when Banerjee was arrested for publishing remarks in his paper, in contempt of court, protests and hartals erupted across Bengal and other cities. He became the first Indian journalist to be imprisoned. ⁣

He was one of the founding members of the Indian National Congress. ⁣

After the founding of the Indian National Congress in 1885 in Bombay, Banerjee merged his organization National Association with it owing to their common objectives and memberships in 1886.⁣

Surendranath welcomed Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms, unlike Congress, and with many liberal leaders he left Congress and founded a new organisation named Indian National Liberation Federation in 1919. They were termed as Liberals and they lost their relevance in Indian National Movement thereafter.⁣