Minto Morley Reforms
Minto Morley reforms also known as Indian council act was formed in 1909. The
act was passed by the Parliament of United Kingdom to increase the number of
Indians in the governance and the legislative council. The reforms were made by the then Secretary
of state John Morley and Viceroy Lord Minto. Hence this act is popularly known
as Minto Morley reforms act. Some important salient features of the act were:
- The act increased the number of seats in legislative council
both in central and state.
- The number of elected members in the central legislative council
was raised from 16 to 60.
- The number of elected members in provincial legislative
council in Bombay, Madras and Bengal was fixed to 50 and Assam, Burma and
Punjab was fixed at 30.
- The members of both central and provinces legislative council
was divided into four categories they were ex officio member, nominated
official members, nominated non official members and elected members.
- The act also empowered the members to discuss the budget
before it was finally approved. The members were also given the right to
discuss the matters of public interest. However no member was given the
permission to discuss the matter which affected the relation between government
of India and other foreign nations.
- The demand of Muslims to have a separate electorate was
given. This had a huge impact on the relation between Hindus and Muslims in
India. The idea of breaking the unity of Hindus and Muslims was successfully
implemented by British.
- Two Indian members were nominated for the council of state
for Indian affairs.
- The governor general was executed with the power to nominate
an Indian member for the executive council.
- Separate Muslim constituencies were set up from which only
Muslims had the right to vote and to be elected. This made Muslims to elect
exclusively the Muslim candidates in the constituencies.
- However there was some severe impact from this reform
- British were able to break the unity of Hindus and Muslims
- Indians were not given any power, they were mere spectators
However this act was an important act in terms of
constitutional development in the history of India. It gave India the electoral
procedure to vote.
After Minto Morley reforms many revolutionary activities
turned around in India. Some Indians were convinced that the use of violence
alone could drive British from India. They started meeting in groups and
started manufacturing weapons to fight against British. Due to this many
nationalist were imprisoned and were executed without doing any trial. The
Andaman Nicobar Jail was especially built to keep these prisoners. Further some
important developments happened were that the division of Bengal was annulled.
The new provinces of Bihar, comprising present Bihar, Jharkhand and parts of
The world war one
which started in the year 1914 had a huge impact on India. The moderates
thought that it was their duty to help and support British during the war. This
would in turn help India in gaining freedom from British. The war caused severe
scarcity in war supplies, but however the steel industries and other industries
made huge profit. But however after the war the Indians were thoroughly
depressed by the behaviour of the British. They did nothing to improve the
economy of the India. Indians were not given any importance or more power in
the governance. This further led to the Lucknow act of 1916.
Lucknow Pact of 1916
Lucknow pact was signed
in the year 1916. After the split of moderates and the extremists in Surat, Lucknow
pact can be termed as an important act which brought both moderates and
extremists together. The congress leaders and the Muslim league leader led by
Mohd Ali Jinnah signed the Lucknow pact for self governance of India. When
Muslim league started it had no clear directions other than wanting to support
Muslims and support British, but however the Lucknow pact gave clear directions
to the Muslim league. The main objectives of the pact were:
- To have a self government for India although based on
- Muslims demanded 1/3 representation in the central
- The demand to separate executive form judiciary
- Term of appointment of each legislative council should be
fixed to five years.
- Legislative council should consist of 4/5th
elected members and 1/5th nominated members. The members should
directly be elected by the people.
- The strength of major provinces should be 125 and minor
provinces to be 25.
- No bill or amendment could be introduced by any non official
member if it affected any particular community.
- Salaries to all employees to be paid by the British government
and not from Indian account.
- Between the two under secretaries one should be Indian.
- The head of the provincial legislative council should be Governor.
In every province an executive council with Governor should be present.
- The strength of the imperial legislative council should be
150, in which 4/5th members should be elected. Half of the members
should be Indians.
- Members of the legislative council should directly elect the
The Lucknow pact had a huge impact on Hindus and Muslim. It brought
unity among the both. But however the separate electorate for Muslims was a blunder. In a way it agreed to
consider Muslims as a separate nation. This pact also made it clear that India
is a group of different communities and each community has its own interests. But
whatever may be this pact brought Hindus and Muslims together again atleast for
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