Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bangladesh, Morley-Minto reform(1909)

Morley-Minto reforms (1909) was an important landmark in the history of constitutional developmenttowards self Govt. for India and ultimately freedom (transfer of Power) from British rule. In response nto Indian demand for constitutional reforms, British Parliament passed in 1892 the Indian Councils Act which strengthened the Legislative Council of the of the governor general as well as of the provincial governors by increasing the number of additional non-official members . But the Indian public opinion was in favour of rapid progress towards self govt. for India. the secretary of state for India, John Morley, was vehemently against the idea of self-govt. of India. But Lord Minto, Governor General of India, proposed to accomodate competent Indians by expanding the size and functions of the central and provincial councils .
The Muslim leadership became worried when it was clear that the govt. was contemplating to introduce representative Govt. in India. They apprehended that under any electoral system, the Muslim interests were likely to remain unrepresented because of their social and political backwardness compared to the Hindus. A large delegation of Muslim elites headed by Aga Khan met lord Minto in oct. 1906 in Simla and submitted a memorandom pleading that the Muslims made "a nation within a nation " in india and thatn their special interests must be maintained in case of any constitutional reforms in the future. They specially demanded for election of Muslims to the central and provincial Councils through separate Muslim electorates , and in numbers not in proportion to their population, but in accordance with their political importancver. Lord Minto assured the delegation of his supportto a constitutional arrangement of separate representation for the Muslim community.
The reform ideas of Morley and Minto were embodied in the India Act 1909 which generally goes by the names of its authors. the leading features of the Act are the introduction of separate electorate for the Muslims, inclusion of an India on the central and provincial councils and also mon the council of the Secretary of State for india. The reform did not at all intend to create any representative govt. its only object was to make a start towards representative govt. the nfar reaching significance of the reform qas the grant of separate electorate to the Muslim community.this provision of the reform, whicjh directly led to the growth of separatist muslim politics.