A Blue Plaque has been installed on the house at 72 Anerley Park, Penge where Dadabhai Naoroji lived. Naoroji was the first Indian elected as an MP ( by 5 votes!), one of the founders of the Indian National Congress and a leading member of the Zoroastrian community. A recent biography was reviewed by me on LDV here.
The unveiling included a Zoroastrian prayer and a number of speeches about his life. Representing the Lib Dems at the unveiling were myself, Cllr Julie Ireland Leader of the Lib Dems on Bromley Council , Amna Ahmad the Party’s Vice President responsible for working with ethnic minority communities and local Lib Dem and former Director of Policy at LD HQ , Neil Stockley.
Cllr Julie Ireland said:
I frequently drive past this house and had no idea that it had been the home of such a distinguished Liberal. Dadabhai Naoroji was an extraordinary man – he wasn’t just interested in India, he was outspoken in his support for women’s rights and their right to education and a supporter of Home Rule for Ireland. We are proud that he was a former resident of Bromley
Amna Ahmad said :
It was an honour to be at this unveiling. Naoroji’s achievement of being elected to the House of Commons – with a majority of 5 – was extraordinary. We have much to do when it comes to engaging with ethnic minorities voters, and getting more MPs and councillors elected, but always vital to remember our history as a party.
The Party recognises ‘The Grand Old Man of India” with an annual award ” Presented annually to the local Party that has done most to promote ethnic minority participants to elected office as Councillors, Assembly Members, or Members of Parliament” and his picture is one of those people can choose to have on their membership card.
* Simon McGrath is a Councillor in Wimbledon and a directly elected member of the Federal Board.