Lucknow Pact (1916),Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms and Rowlatt Act

Lucknow Pact (1916)

  • Nationalists saw that their disunity was affecting their cause
  • Two important developments at the Lucknow Session of Congress
    • The two wings of the Congress were again united
    • The Congress and the Muslim League sank their old differences and put up common political demands before the government.
  • INC and ML passed the same resolutions at their sessions, put forward a joint scheme of political reforms based on separate electorates, and demanded that the British Government should make a declaration that it would confer self-government on India at an early date.
  • The pact accepted the principle of separate electorates
  • Main clauses of the pact
    • There shall be self-government in India.
    • Muslims should be given one-third representation in the central government.
    • There should be separate electorates for all the communities until a community demanded joint electorates.
    • A system of weightage should be adopted.
    • The number of the members of Central Legislative Council should be increased to 150.
    • At the provincial level, four-fifth of the members of the Legislative Councils should be elected and one-fifth should be nominated.
    • The size of provincial legislatures should not be less than 125 in the major provinces and from 50 to 75 in the minor provinces.
    • All members, except those nominated, should be elected directly on the basis of adult franchise.
    • No bill concerning a community should be passed if the bill is opposed by three-fourth of the members of that community in the Legislative Council.
    • The term of the Legislative Council should be five years.
    • Members of Legislative Council should themselves elect their president.
    • Half of the members of Imperial Legislative Council should be Indians.
    • The Indian Council must be abolished.
    • The salaries of the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs should be paid by the British government and not from Indian funds.
    • Of the two Under Secretaries, one should be Indian.
    • The Executive should be separated from the Judiciary.
  • Evaluation
    • As an immediate effect, the unity between the two factions of the congress and between INC and ML aroused great political enthusiasm in the country
    • However, it did not involve Hindu and Muslim masses and was based on the notion of bringing together the educated Hindus and Muslims as separate political entities without secularization of their political outlook
    • The pact therefore left the way open to the future resurgence of communalism in Indian politics.
  • Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms
    • Provincial LC enlarged. More elected members
    • Dyarchy
      • Some subjects were reserved and remained under the direct control of the Governor; others such as education, public health and local self-government were called transferred subjects and were to be controlled by the ministers responsible to the legislature.
    • At the centre, there were two houses of legislature.
    • Response of nationalists
      • INC condemned the reforms as disappointing and unsatisfactory
      • Some others , led by Surendranath Banerjea, were in favour of accepting the government proposals. They left the Congress at this time and founded the Indian Liberal Federation
    • Evaluation
      • The governor could overrule the ministers on any grounds that he considered special
      • The legislature had virtually no control over the Governor-General and his Executive Council.
      • The central government had unrestricted control over the provincial governments


Rowlatt Act

  • March 1919
  • It authorized the Government to imprison any person without trial and conviction in a court of law.



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