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What were the basic features of Morley Minto Reforms ?

What were the basic features of Morley Minto Reforms ?

RUN UP TO THE REFORMS

  • With the passage of time and with the rising wave of nationalism, other communities like muslims and Sikhs were becoming politically active.
  • In October 1906, a group of muslim elites known as Shimla deputation, led by Agha Khan, met Lord minto and demanded separate electorates for the muslims and representation in excess of their numerical strength in view of the value of contribution to British Empire’.
  • The same group sought to dominate the Muslim league which was initially floated by Nawab Salimmullah of Dacca. The muslim league intended to preach loyalty to the empire and to keep the muslim intelligentsia away from joining Congress.
  • In this background, came the morley minto reforms named after Morley — the Secretary of State and Minto — the Viceroy of India at that time.

BASIC FEATURES OF MORLEY MINTO REFORMS —

  1. The distribution of seats in Imperial Legislative council was altered by these reforms. The number of elected members in Provincial Legislative Council and Imperial Legislative Council were increased.
  1. The election of members was indirect in nature. The local bodies would elect an electoral college who would in turn elect the members of Provincial Legislature and members of Provincial Legislature would elect the members of Imperial Legislature.
  2. Muslims were given representation in excess to the proportion of their population as demanded by the Shimla Deputation.
  3. Viceroy’s executive council was to have one Indian appointed. Satyendra Sinha was the first lndied in 1909.

EVALUATION

  • The major highlight of the reforms was that Lord Morley made it clear that colonial self government was not suitable for India.
  • This was due to resistance in British government to introduce parliamentary and responsible government in India as per the demand raised by the Indian National Congress.
  • The obnoxious instrument of separate electorates was aimed at confusing moderates, dividing national ranks and checking the growth of unity among Indians.
  • The system was election was too indirectand this led to ineffective representation. Also the multiple stages acted like sieves which infiltrated the legislature of British loyalists.

CONCLUSION

  • These reforms were mere illusion instead of something substantial. The people were given ‘benevolent despotism’ instead of self government.

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