Cambridge Majlis

Date began: 
01 Jan 1891
Precise date began unknown: 

The Cambridge Majlis was founded around 1891 for Indian students at the university. In its early days it met at the home of Dr Upendra Krishna Dutt. The society became a debating organization where Indian students at Cambridge could reason and practise debates, as well as socialize and discuss political matters. It was named after the Persian word for assembly. A number of Indian nationalist politicians came to Cambridge to address the Majlis. The Cambridge Majlis had close links with its Oxford counterpart, founded in 1896, with various joint dinners and debates.

Key individuals: 

Members included: Subhas Chandra Bose, K. L. Gauba, Aurobindo Ghose, Fazl-i-Husain, Mirza Abol Hassan Ispahani, Mohan Kumaramangalam, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajni Patel, Shankar Dayal Sharma.

Notable speakers included: C. F. Andrews, E. M. Forster, M. K. Gandhi, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Sarojini Naidu, Lala Lajpat Rai.

Secondary works: 

Deshmukh, C. D., The Course of My Life (Bombay: Orient Longman, 1974)

Khosla, G. D., Memory’s Gay Chariot: An Autobiographical Narrative (New Delhi: Allied Publishers, 1985)

Kiernan, V. G., ‘Mohan Kumaramangalam in England’, Socialist India, (23 February 1974), pp. 5-7, 36; (2 March 1974), pp. 13-17, 24

Lahiri, Shompa, Indians in Britain: Anglo-Indian Encounters, Race and Identity, 1880-1930 (London: Frank Cass, 2000)

Mukherjee, Sumita, Nationalism, Education and Migrant Identities: The England-Returned (London: Routledge, 2009)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto Press, 2002)

Archive source: 

Cambridge Majlis Minute Book, 1932-7, Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge

Programme cards and menus, Saroj Kumar Chatterjee Collection, King’s College, Cambridge

L/PJ/12/4, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras