President: 1859 - 1924
A leading lawyer and an ardent nationalist, Bhupendra Nath Basu was born in Radhanagar, West Bengal in 1859. He graduated from Presidency College in 1880 and finished his masters and law degree after that. During the national movement, he emerged as an assertive spokesmen of the Indian National Congress and continuously approached the administration with a regular flow of representations advocating the nationalist cause.
From 1904-1910, Basu was a part of the Bengal legislature. In 1905, he presided over the Bengal Provincial Conference. Throughout this period, he was involved in the national movement and joined the anti partition protests. He campaigned against British goods and vehemently opposed the Press Act.
Basu refused to accept the knighthood that the British wanted to bestow on him. He believed in the power of words and dialogue and shunned extreme measures and actions against the colonial government. He also established the Indian Liberal Federation which functioned as a pressure group within the Congress. He was elected as the president of the Indian National Congress in 1914.
Basu was a member and under-secretary in the Council of the Secretary of State for India from 1917 to 1923. In 1923 he was made a member of the Executive Council of the Governor of Bengal. He then became the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta before his death in 1924.