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MorleyMintoReforms1909BestCurrentAffairs

MorleyMintoReforms1909
January 18, 2016

In1906,MorleyannouncedintheBritishparliamentthathisgovernmentwantedtointroducenew
reformsforIndia,inwhichthelocalsweretobegivenmorepowersinlegislativeaffairs.Withthis,a
seriesofcorrespondencesstartedbetweenhimandLordMinto,thethenGovernorGeneralofIndia.
AcommitteewasappointedbytheGovernmentofIndiatoproposeaschemeofreforms.The
committeesubmitteditsreport,andaftertheapprovalofLordMintoandLordMorley,theActof
1909waspassedbytheBritishparliament.TheActof1909iscommonlyknownastheMorleyMinto
Reforms.
TheIndianCouncilsAct1909,commonlyknownastheMorleyMintoReforms,wasanActofthe
ParliamentoftheUnitedKingdomthatbroughtaboutalimitedincreaseintheinvolvementof
IndiansinthegovernanceofBritishIndia.
TheActamendedtheIndianCouncilsActsof1861and1892.
TheMorleyMintoReforms,sonamedafterMorley,thesecretaryofstate,andMinto,theviceroyat
thattime,wereprecededbytwoimportantevents.
InOctober1906,agroupofMuslimelitescalledtheShimlaDeputation,ledbytheAghaKhan,met
LordMintoanddemandedseparateelectoratesfortheMuslimsandrepresentationinexcessoftheir
numericalstrengthinviewofthevalueofthecontributionMuslimsweremakingtothedefenceof
theempire.
ThesamegroupquicklytookovertheMuslimLeague,initiallyfloatedbyNawabSalimullahofDacca
alongwithNawabsMohsinulMulkandWaqarulMulkinDecember1906.TheMuslimLeague
intendedtopreachloyaltytotheempireandtokeeptheMuslimintelligentsiaawayfromthe
Congress.
JohnMorley,theLiberalSecretaryofStateforIndia,andtheConservativeViceroyofIndia,The
Minto,believedthatcrackingdownonuprisinginBengalwasnecessarybutnotsufficientfor
restoringstabilitytotheBritishRajafterLordCurzonspartitioningofBengal.Theybelievedthata
dramaticstepwasrequiredtoputheartintoloyalelementsoftheIndianupperclassesandthe
growingWesternizedsectionofthepopulation.
MAINPROVISIONS:
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ThememberoftheLegislativeCouncils,bothattheCenterandintheprovinces,weretobeoffour
categoriesi.e.exofficiomembers(GovernorGeneralandthemembersoftheirExecutiveCouncils),
nominatedofficialmembers(thosenominatedbytheGovernorGeneralandweregovernment
officials),nominatednonofficialmembers(nominatedbytheGovernorGeneralbutwerenot
governmentofficials)andelectedmembers(electedbydifferentcategoriesofIndianpeople).
TheGovernorGeneral,withtheapprovaloftheSecretaryofStateforIndia,maderegulationsforhow
membersoflegislativecouncilswerenominatedorelectednominated,andtheirqualifications.
RegulationsmadeinaccordancewiththeActcouldnotbeexerciseduntillaidbeforebothHousesof
Parliament,sothateitherhousemightobject.
ThenumberofelectedmembersintheImperialLegislativeCouncilandtheProvincialLegislative
Councilswasincreased.
IntheProvincialCouncils,nonofficialmajoritywasintroduced,butsincesomeofthesenonofficials
werenominatedandnotelected,theoverallnonelectedmajorityremained.
IntheImperialLegislativeCouncil,ofthetotal68members,36weretobetheofficialsandofthe32
nonofficials,27tobeelectedand5weretobenominated.Ofthe27electednonofficials,8seats
werereservedfortheMuslimsunderseparateelectorates(onlyMuslimscouldvotehereforthe
Muslimcandidates),while6seatswerereservedfortheBritishcapitalists,2forthelandlordsand13
seatscameundergeneralelectorate.
Theelectedmembersweretobeindirectlyelected.Thelocalbodiesweretoelectanelectoralcollege,
whichinturnwouldelectmembersofprovinciallegislatures,whointurnwouldelectmembersofthe
centrallegislature.
BesidesseparateelectoratesfortheMuslims,representationinexcessofthestrengthoftheir
populationwasaccordedtotheMuslims.Also,theincomequalificationforMuslimvoterswaskept
lowerthanthatforHindus.
Muslimshadexpressedseriousconcernthatafirstpastthepostelectoralsystem,likethatof
Britain,wouldleavethempermanentlysubjecttoHindumajorityrule.TheActof1909stipulated,as
demandedbytheMuslimleadership:

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thatIndianMuslimsbeallottedreservedseatsintheMunicipalandDistrictBoards,intheProvincial
CouncilsandintheImperialLegislature
thatthenumberofreservedseatsbeinexcessoftheirrelativepopulation(25percentoftheIndian
population)and,
thatonlyMuslimsshouldvoteforcandidatesfortheMuslimseats(separateelectorates).

Powersoflegislatures(bothatthecentreandprovinces)wereenlargedandthelegislaturescouldnow
passresolutions(whichmaynotbeaccepted),askquestionsandsupplementaries,discussthe
budgets,suggesttheamendments,andeventovoteonthemexcludingthoseitemsthatwere
includedasnonvoteitems.Alsotheycouldvoteseparateitemsinthebudgetbutthebudgetasa
wholecouldnotbevotedupon.
OneIndianwastobeappointedtotheViceroysExecutiveCouncil(SatyendraSinhawasthefirstto
beappointedin1909).
TwoIndianswerenominatedtotheCounciloftheSecretaryofStateforIndianAffairs.
TheIndianCouncilsActservedasthegovernancestructureofIndiaforadecade.Itwasmodifiedby
theGovernmentofIndiaAct1912:
toclarifytheauthorityoftheGovernorofBengal,
tocreatealegislativecouncilforthenewprovinceofBiharandOrissa,
todispensewithParliamentaryreviewofthecreationofnewlegislativecouncilsforprovincesundera
lieutenantgovernorand
topermitthecreationoflegislativecouncilsinprovincesunderchiefcommissioners.

Thereformsof1909affordednoanswerandcouldaffordnoanswertotheIndianpoliticalproblem.
LordMorleymadeitclearthatcolonialselfgovernment(asdemandedbytheCongress)wasnot
suitableforIndia,andhewasagainstintroductionofparliamentaryorresponsiblegovernmentin
India.

DON'TMISSTHEFOLLOWING

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