Committee of Indian Congressmen


Formed by Amiya Nath Bose and Pulin Behari Seal in 1942, the Committee of Indian Congressmen had two primary objectives: ‘the protection of the Indians in the United Kingdom (i.e., their protection from conscription), and…the placing before the British public of “solely the Congress case”’ (L/PJ/12/646, p. 21). Despite its claims of allegiance to the Indian National Congress, counter-allegations on the part of British government officials suggest that the organization declared this allegiance in order to conceal its true support for the pro-Axis Subhas Chandra Bose who advocated that Indian independence could only be attained if Japan were to take over India. The fact that Subhas Chandra Bose’s nephew headed the organization led to similar suspicions on the part of its original members and caused the early departure of several Communists and activists including Surat Alley, Sasadhar Sinha, Dr J. C. Ghosh and D. J. Vaidya, some of whom went on to form the rival organization Swaraj House.

In spite of this, the CIC did enjoy some success, holding several meetings in central and east London, as well as in Birmingham and Glasgow. It organized demonstrations to celebrate Indian Independence Day and, through its Tagore Society, cultural events including an Indian art exhibition whose patrons included Augustus John and William Rothenstein. In 1942, there were plans to issue a bulletin publishing speeches by Gandhi and Jinnah – again suggesting an alignment with Congress – and it had a sub-committee, the Council for the International Recognition of Indian Independence, which was run largely by Britons. An evident rival of Krishna Menon’s India League, the CIC had more in common with the working-class Indian Workers’ Association some of whose leaders were affiliated to it. Said Amir Shah helped to attract many of the working-class Indians who inhabited the East End, including several Muslims.

The CIC had become relatively inactive by autumn 1944, partly due to the self-imposed evacuation of Bose and Seal from London at the height of the bombings and the subsequent departure of Bose for India, and partly due to a lack of funds.

Date began: 
01 Aug 1942
Precise date began unknown: 
Key Individuals' Details: 

Amiya Nath Bose (founder and General Secretary), Dev Kumar Mozumdar (Assistant Secretary in 1942), Akbar Mullick (Assistant Secretary in 1942), Pulin Behari Seal (founder), Said Amir Shah, Diwan Singh.


Surat Alley, Thakur Singh Basra (IWA), Mrs Haidri Bhattacharya, Fenner Brockway (attended meetings), George Caitlin, W. G. Cove (spoke at meetings), J. C. Ghosh, Kalundar Amirullah Kahan, Akbar Ali Khan (IWA), Harry Pollitt (spoke at meetings), Sehri Saklatvala, Julius Silverman (attended meetings), Sasadhar Sinha.

Date ended: 
01 Jan 1945
Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/646, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras


Precise date ended unknown: 
Involved in events details: 

Numerous meetings in east London, Birmingham and Glasgow.

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