Morley-Minto reforms were more progressive than previous reforms but also laid the foundation for communal division in India. Examine. (150 words)
- Introduce with mentioning background of Morley-Minto reform.
- Mention some of its progressive points.
- Mention about separate electorate reform.
- Analyse how this reform caused communal division
- Conclude accordingly.
The Swadeshi movement fizzle out during 1908 because of heavy repression and Surat split (1907). Further the Muslim elites formed Shimla Deputation and asked for separate electorate in view of their loyalty and support to British empire. Hence in 1909 Morley-Minto reform was presented.
It have various progressive clauses:
- Number of seats in councils were increased.
- Non-official majority in provincial councils was introduced.
- Indirect elections were introduced for the Elected members.
- Legislature was allowed to pass resolutions, ask questions and vote on budget.
It also introduced communal provisions:
- Separate electorate for Muslims
- Reservations of seats for Muslims in all elections
These reforms laid the foundation of Hindu Muslim divide by legal means. It further intensified communal interests, religion based political ideology and social insecurity. The political front like Muslim league have misused these legal means and demanded irrational distinctions between Hindu and Muslim. This further lead to more communal acts in 1919 (Montford reform), communal violence of 1940s and finally partition of India.
Hence we can say that the Marley-Minto reform was the first act(legal framework) which laid theframework of communal division of India.
Subjects : History and Culture