Sir Dinshaw Edulji Wacha (1844–1936) was a Parsi Indian politician from Bombay. He was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress, and its President in 1901.
Wacha was a member of the Bombay Municipality for 40 years and was quite active. He was the President of the Bombay Presidency for three years from 1915-1918, after being the Secretary for thirty years from 1885-1915. He was active in various different areas, especially education, social reforms and economics and finance. In 1897 he embarrassed the Indian government by making everyone aware of their financial errors and shortcomings. He pointed out that they were foolishly overspending on military and civil expenditures. Wacha was very bright and was knighted in 1917. He was effective in communicating with the public and educating them on the political and economic situation of India. It is said that no economic issue or financial mistake could get past him as he would always recognize the error and bring it to the attention of the people.
He was associated with the cotton industry and was the President of the Indian Merchants' Chamber in 1915. He was knighted in 1917.
Sir Dinshaw was a member of the Bombay Legislative Council, the Imperial Legislative Council and the Council of State. He headed the Western India Liberal Association from 1919 to 1927.
Relationship with Indian National Congress
Wacha played a significant role in the early days of the Indian National Congress, helping to shape its structure and the way in which it conducted its activities. Wacha was instrumental in steering the Congress away from actively soliciting the support of India's princes. Though Dadabhai Naoroji believed that "the Princes seem the only quarter where we can expect to get it [funds] to any large extent," Wacha was more skeptical of any of significant support from the princes. Although the princes may share a personal sympathy with the Congress's goals, the Residents (British members of the courts) would quickly work to discipline them if they took too active of a role. Wacha doubted whether...
In the late 1900, Wacha was critical of the unity of the Indian National Congress. He believed that part of the reason for this lack of unity was the structure of the organization. While attendees show renewed interest and enthusiasm at annual meetings this enthusiasm quickly fades in the periods in between. "It breaks out sporadically at a Congress, but soon, the occasion being over."