A3: Nationalism and Independence in India, c. 1900-49

The Morley-Minto Reforms 1909

The reforms were brought about by the Secretary of State for India, John Morley, and the Viceroy Lord Minto. They were intended to give greater representation to Indian interests

• The Morley-Minto Reforms were the popular name for the Indian Councils Act of 1909.

Why were the reforms introduced?

• In 1905 there had been an outbreak of violence in India after the province of Bengal had been divided into two by the Viceroy Lord Curzon There was a massive petition and boycotts of British goods.

• In 1906 Congress demanded Home Rule for the first time.

• John Morley was a member of the Liberal governments from 1906 to 1914. The Liberals were ready to make changes in India while the Conservatives had not been.

• Lord Minto wanted to stamp out the extremism that had erupted after the division of Bengal and had been the subject of an assassination attempt in early 1909.

How did the Morley-Minto reforms change the government of India?

• The number of members of the Imperial Legislative Council was increased to 60 and 27 were to be elected.

• Indians were allowed to sit on the Imperial Legislative Council for the first time.

• Direct elections for seats on provincial legislative councils were introduced. Some now had a majority of elected .members. This gave Indians a much greater voice in Provincial governments.

• Muslim organisations campaigned for special representation of Muslim interests, which led to separate representation for Muslims and other minority groups.

• There were six Muslim representatives on the Imperial Legislative Council, as well as others on some provincial councils. This was the first time that specific representation was given to 'communal' or religious groups.

Why were the Morley-Minto reforms criticised?

• They did not give Indians real influence in administration.

• They tended to divide Hindus and...