Among the earliest of Indian politicians in the pre-independence era, Surendranath Banerjee, at a very young age, cleared the British instituted ICs examination, but was later dismissed, due to racial discrimination. He whipped up a strong protest against it. He was intensely swayed by liberal and progressive thinking. After graduating from the University of Calcutta, Surendranath travelled to England. During his stay in England, Banerjee acquainted himself with the works of Edmund Burke and other liberal philosophers. Upon returning to India, he started working as a professor of English at the Metropolitan Institution, the Free Church Institution and Ripon College. In the time to come, Banerjee went on to launch `The Bengali` newspaper and the Indian National Association. He employed these forums to address political and social issues. He rebuked the recial discrimination through speeches, which made him very popular. After the Congress was set up, Banerjee merged Indian National Association with it. He served as Congress President also.