From 1905 to 1910, Lord Minto, the fourth Earl of Minto, served as Viceroy of India after Lord Curzon. He was also the governor-general of Canada from 1898-1904.. He introduced the Morley-Minto Reforms with Secretary of State for India John Morley in 1909. He was grandson of Lord Minto who served as Governor-General of India from 1807-1813.
Simla Deputation 1906
On 20-july 1906 Secretary of State for India “Lord Morley” announced the reforms in the Constitution of India 1892. After that secretary of Aligarh College “ Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk” gathered the Muslims leader and met with Governor-General Lord Minto on 1st October 1906. This Simla Deputation 1906 was led by Sir Agha Khan along with 35 Muslim leaders. This Simla Deputation 1906 tell the concerns of Muslims to Lord Minto and also demanded for Separate electorate. Lord Minto gave a positive response for Muslims demand which came in the shape of Minto-Morley Reforms in 1909.
Muslim League 1906
After the Indian National Congress was founded and became the separate representative for the Hindus, it was felt that it was time to reconsider its claims to unbiased representation. Congress has shown a clear interest in safeguarding the rights of Hindus alone since its beginning. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s prediction that “Hindus and Muslims are two different nations with different ideologies” was soon proven correct. The anti-Muslim stance taken by the Congress disappointed India’s Muslims greatly.
- The significant events of the “Partition of Bengal” and the “Urdu-Hindu controversy” were the primary reasons for the Muslim league’s formation.
Formation of Muslim League
In 1886 Sir Syed Ahmad khan founded the Muhammadan Educational Conference . It was purely for education of Muslim. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan himself banned it for politics. But after the Simla deputation Muslim leader decided to make a Political Party. On the 20th session of Muhammad Educational Conferene at Dhaka Muslim league was founded in 1906. This session was presided by Nawab Waqar-ul-Mulk The idea of Muslim league was formally purposed by Nawab Salimullah. Sir Agha Khan ( original name “Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah) was appointed its first President. Constitution of Muslim league was written in 1907 by Mulana Muhamamd Ali which is called “Green Book”.
Objective of Muslim League in 1906
- To encourage Indian Muslims
- To secure the political and social rights of Indian Muslims and aspirations to the government’s attention.
- To help Muslims in reducing their feelings of hostility toward other communities.
Split in Congress in 1907
In 1907, at the session in Surat, Congress divided. The supporters of Congress were then divided into two groups.
Following the 1857 revolution, the British promoted the rationale for the separation of Hindus and Muslims. They realized that if these two communities came together, it would be difficult to rule India.
Indian Council Act 1909
The British government in India passed the Indian Council Act in 1909 to include Indians in government. This act is also called the Minto-Morley reforms. The main aim of Indian Council Act 1909 was to give separate electorate rights to Muslims.
Salient-Features of the Act
- The Legislative Council (Central) expanded from 16 to 60 members. In the provincial legislative councils, the number of members varied.
- It was for the first time that this act allowed all the Indians to participate in the executive councils.
- This act helped the Muslims for a separate Electorate. As a result of the Act, Lord Minto became known as the “Father of the Communal Electorate.“
This act also stipulated that presidency corporations, chambers of commerce, universities, and zamindars be represented separately.
Indian Press Act 1910
- The Indian Press Act of 1910 was enacted in British India, and it imposed strict restrictions on all types of publications.
- The main instrument to control in the Press Act was financial securities that could be confiscated if any of the legislation’s extensive provisions were broken.
- Proprietors were required to deposit between 500 and 5000 rupees, depending on the Magistrate’s discretion.
- The authority to detain and examine the suspected matter was given to customs and postal officers.
- Any newspaper, book, or document could be declared surrender by local governments, or the police could search and seize it.
- Lord Reading later cancelled the Indian Press Act of 1910. He was succeeded by Lord Hardinge.