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Minto-Morley Reforms 1909

The Indian Councils Act of 1909 or the 1909 Morley-Minto Reforms were reforms that the British Parliament enacted. The reforms introduced.....

The Indian Councils Act of 1909 or the 1909 Morley-Minto Reforms were reforms that the British Parliament enacted. The reforms introduced Indian participation in the Secretary of State’s council, Bombay and Madras’ executive councils, the viceroy’s executive council, and the legislature. 

  • At the Surat Session in 1907, the Congress split into moderates and extremists.
  • The revolutionaries, on the other hand, were resorting to terrorist activities to achieve the end of the alien rule.
  • To pacify the discontent, the Indian Councils Act of 1909 was enacted.

Salient features of the Act

  • Legislative councils at both levels were expanded.
  • The majority of official members in the Central Legislative Council was maintained. 
  • It provided for non-official majority in the Provincial Legislatures. But then, the combined strength of official and nominated non-official members out-numbered the elected non-official members.
  • The Act enlarged the functions of the Legislative Councils

Importance of Morley-Minto Reforms: 

  • Indian representatives to the councils were allowed to introduce legislative proposals 
  • The reforms empowered Indian members of the councils to question aspects of the annual budget
  • The act played a significant role in creating a responsible rapport between the elected Indian officials and the British administration

Analysis of Minto Morley Reforms

The Minto Morley Reforms, also known as the Indian Council Act of 1909, were instituted to increase the representation of Indians in the legislative councils. The reforms can be assessed through the following points:

  • The reforms were a response to the growing need for better representation of Indians in the governance of India.
  • The reforms provided separate electorates for Muslims, which sparked a new wave of Indian nationalism but also added to the Hindu-Muslim divide in the country.
  • They increased the number of elected members in the legislative councils, but the councils remained largely powerless.
  • The British government still maintained control over the administration of India and there was no real transfer of power.

Defects of Morley Minto Reforms

  • Although the Morley Minto reforms were seen as a milestone for the Indian independence movement, they weren’t completely successful.
  • This is because despite the reforms, the legislative councils remained powerless and there was no significant transfer of power from the British to the Indians.
  • Furthermore, the powers of the legislative council did not include the right to make any laws.

Hence, ultimately, it was the British government that still controlled the Indian administration. So, we can conclude that the Indian Council Act 1909 was only a limited step that did not generate any great impact on Indian politics, which was the biggest defect of the Morley Minto reforms 1909.

Minto-Morley Reforms 1909-UPSC,Minto-Morley Reforms 1909-UPSC

Read also:- Indian Councils Act Of 1861 And 1892

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