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George Yule ( 1829 - 1892 )  Category ( Politicians ) [suggest a correction]

George Yule, born in Scotland in 1829, was the first non-Indian president of the Fourth Congress in 1888. Part of the Indian business community, Yule was the chief of the well-known Andrew Yule and Co. in Calcutta, Sheriff of Calcutta for some time, and president of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce. Although Yule balked at the invitation, he yielded under friendly pressure provided by Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee to accept the invitation of the Congress to preside over the Allahabad session. Bonnerjee was the first Indian to act as a Standing Counsel, in which capacity he officiated four times, and he founded and presided over the first session of the Indian National Congress held at Bombay in 1885.

Yule was widely known in Indian circles for his breadth of outlook, liberal views and marked sympathy for Indian aspirations. Surendranath Banerjea, who knew him intimately, described him as "a hard headed Scotchman who saw straight into the heart of things, and never hesitated to express himself with the bluntness in which a Scotchman never fails, if he wants to show it."

Yule was involved with cotton and jute mills and he maintained residences on the banks of the Hughli and in one of London's suburbs. He has been described as a man with a "cautious disposition" and a quiet and telling speaker. It was initially feared that his moderate political views would make him an unpopular assembly presence, but the alacrity with which he accepted the invitation of the Congress and the ability with which he conducted the Allahabad session made him both a popular and powerful figure in the public life of India and helped to enlarge India's national perspective.

The Congress deputation that went to England in 1889 to press upon the British public the political reforms, which it advocated, received a firm and powerful hand from Yule. The change that he advocated was one of extreme moderation and far within the limits that the circumstances of the country, in his opinion, would justify.

Yule emained a staunch friend of the Congress and, even during his retirement in England he actively espoused its cause as a member of the British Committee. On his early death in 1892, touching tributes were paid to his memory by Congress leaders.

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Title :Yule summary
Description : George Udny Yule (1871-1951)
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