SUSPENDED Session SURAT 1907
For the first time in its history, the Congress split in this session. The reason for the split can be traced to the previous session in Calcutta. Then the Moderates had accepted the resolutions on Swaraj, Swadeshi, Boycott and National Education on account of the pressure brought on by the Partition of Bengal. The session was to be held at Nagpur and the Reception Committee wanted Lokmanya Tilak as President. This was not acceptable to the Moderate leaders and the venue was changed to Surat. The Moderate had decided to have Dr. Rash Behari Ghosh as President. About a week before the session, the list of subjects to be discussed was published but it did not include resolutions decided upon in the previous Calcutta session. They also wanted Lala Lajpat Rai to preside but in the prevailing circumstances he declined. Moderates tried to suppress opposition from the Extremists led by Lokmanya Tilak leading to confusion and disturbance. The situation worsened leading to shoes and blows being hurled. The session had to be adjourned and the Extremists and Moderates separated. For a number of years the Congress became a moderate body. The President - Dr. RASH BEHARI GHOSH - (1845-1921) Born December 23, 1845 in a village in the district of Burdwan. Early education in Bankura and then at Presidency College, Calcutta. First Indian student to pass M. A. Examination in English with a First division. Leading lawyer of the Calcutta High Court. Member Bengal Legislative Council in 1889 and Member of the Imperial Legislative Council in 1891 and 1893. President of Law Faculty, Calcutta University from 1893-1895. President Indian National Congress in 1907 and 1908. Also presided over the joint session of Indian Congress Committee and the Councils of the Muslim League at Calcutta in 1917. Member of 1917 Congress delegation to England. Donated generously to Calcutta University.
23rd Session MADRAS 1908
In his presidential address, Rash Behari Ghosh commenting on the Congress split said, ‘The fears which for months haunted the minds of some of us have proved groundless. The genial predictions of our enemies so confidently made have also been falsified. For the Indian National Congress is not dead, nor has Surat been its grave.’
Moderate leaders drew up a constitution of the Congress, which excluded the Extremists. Even before their introduction, the Morley-Minto Reforms were given their full support. The usual resolutions were passed but those on Swadeshi and National Education were considerably watered down. The President - Dr. RASH BEHARI GHOSH - (1845-1921)
HISTORY Congress Sessions-VI congresssandesh.com/february-2002