Morley Minto Reforms 1909
Background of Morley Minto Reforms:
- Partition of Bengal irked the Indian nationalist. Britishers wanted to suppress the extremist but on the other hand wanted to pacify the moderates.
- Gopal Krishna Gokhale met with Morley, Secretary of State for want of some reforms.
- John Morley member of Liberal Government wanted to make some changes in India’s governance.
- Shimla Deputation led by Agha Khan met Lord Minto demanded Separate Electorates for the Muslims.
Features of the Morley Minto Reforms 1909
- It got royal assent on 25th May 1909.
- Morley Minto reforms also known as The Indian Councils Act 1909.
Seats in the Imperial Legislative Council:
- There were a total 69 members out of which 37 were officials and 32 were non officials(5 were nominated).
- Of the 27 elected non official 8 seats were reserved for Muslims under Separate Electorates, 4 seats were reserved for British Capitalists, 2 for Landlords and 13 seats came under general electorate.
- However , there was no provision for direct elections. Members were indirectly elected by the local through an electoral college which in turn would elect provincial legislatures who in turn would elect members of the Imperial Legislature.
Provision of Separate electorates:
The community to which the electorate belongs would choose their own leaders via an election in which the candidates of only their community would be allowed to contest and only their community members would vote.
- Muslims were accorded the provision of Separate Electorates in excess of the strength of their population.
- Income qualification for Muslim voters was kept lower than that for the Hindus.
Power of the legislatures
- Powers of the legislatures both at the centre and the provinces were enlarged.
- They were given to pass resolutions, ask questions and could vote on separate items in the budget.
- Indian were given to the Imperial Legislative Council for the first time.
Satyendra Sinha was appointed as a member of the Viceroy Executive Council.
Evaluation of Morley Minto Reforms 1909
- Indians were asking for a colonial self government but Britishers were against the introduction of responsible government in India.
- These reforms were introduced to check the growth of Indian nationalist.
- Separate Electorates sown the seeds of Communalism in India.