|Alfred Webb supported Indian freedom movement, en.wikipedia.org/|
Alfred John Webb (1834–1908), an Irish Quaker, hailing from a family of activist printers, was a no-nonsense politician of independent thinking who globally supported people's freedom and fundamental rights. Having become an Irish Parliamentary Party politician and Member of Parliament (MP), he was an enthusiastic participants in nationalist movements around the world. He was a staunch supporter of Issac Butt’s Home Government Association, a pressure group that called for Home Rule in Ireland (May 1870) and the United Irish League that was launched in Jan, 1898 and their motto was: ''Land for the people''. As Alfred Webb had been watching the struggle going in India and the protests to get freed from the British yoke, he took keen interest in the nationalist movements going on in the subcontinent, Obviously, there was no surprise that he came over to Madras in 1894 and became the third non-Indian (after George Yule and William Wedderburn) to preside over the Indian National Congress that was founded in 1855 - first modern national movement emerged in the British Empire in Asia and Africa.
Alfred Webb, only son of the three children of Richard Davis Webb and Hannah Waring Webb, was a native of Dublin. In those days there existed a group "called ''Quakers" and this group, being humane and just as they were, supported reforms such as suffrage, the abolition of slavery and anti-imperialism. The people in the British colonies world over underwent untold misery and suppression of justice with no solution in sight. Webb's family ran a printing shop in Dublin and printed booklets for many of these causes and, in turn, their regular customers grew to include other similar organizations.
|Hindustan Times front page on August 15, 1947.Hindustan Times|
While taking a keen role in Irish politics, Alfred Webb found time to write a Compendium of Irish Biography. In 1865, he began to take more active interest in Irish politics and was first elected to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom on 24 February 1890, when he won a by-election for the West Waterford constituency. He was again returned for West Waterford in the 1892 general election, this time as an anti-Parnellite MP.
His politically motivated family began to focus on the welfare of British colonies where the natives were subject to oppressive rule. Alfred Webb and his family became and had been an unequivocal opponents of the opium traffic into China which affected the Indian land owners on one hand and on the other the health of the Chinese population. Webb, being a close friend of Dadabhai Naoroji (Indian patriot and MP British Parliament 1892 -1895), a key member of the Indian National Congress, was closely watching the Indian situation. It was Naoroji who invited Webb to preside over the Indian National Congress session in 1894 in Madras (Chennai).
|India freedom struggle fotosearch.com|