PAKISTAN AFFAIRS XVI

INDIAN COUNCIL ACT 1919 MONTAGU CHEMFORD REFORMS
INTRODUCTION:

Khilafat movement had been started by the Muslim and the hindu muslim unity was gaining more and more strength side by side and organization namely home role league had emerged with the demand of complete independence of the sub-continent. Under these developments the british government was obliged to bring about some radical changes in the
Indian constitution. In july, 1918 Montague, the secretary of state for India and lord Chelmsford. The viceroy of India published a joint report known as montage Chelmsford report which was enacted in December 1919.

FACTORY WHICH LED TO INTRODUTION OF ACT:

The demand for responsible government was rejected in 1909 act. Only minor changes were introduced in the powers of legislative councils.Under importance was given to land lords and chamber of commerce in 1909 act.Less than 1909 act, the franchise was restricted and voters could easily by purchased.Woman were denied the political status in 1909 act.The indirect method of election was introduced in 1909 act which was undemocratic.In 1909 act, elected majority was not created as these representatives did not granted powers.Racial discrimination continued even after 1909 acct and no higher jobs were given to indianDissatisfaction of muslims further grew because of the annulment of partition of Bengal. The Indian helped English during First World War. In return for their services they wanted self government.Home rule league was established to demand self government. Owning to these circumstances the british government decided to introduce new reforms to pacify the Indians.

FEATURES:

The salary of the secretary of the state for india was to given be the british government and some of his powers were churned down and were given to Indian high commissioner.Bi-cameral legislature was introduced. The upper house of legislation was council of state and lower house was central legislative assembly.The life of council of state was 5 years and of could be extended by the governor general.System of direct election for both the houses.Voters for council of state were those who paid tax of Rs 10,000 to 20,000 and for central legislative assembly those who paid 15to 20 rupees per annum.The governor general was given the powers to summon, dissolve and address the chambers.Members of both the house were given the right of freedom of speech. They could ask questions and move resolutions.The members of the executive council of the governor general were nominated and were not responsible to the assembly vote of no confidence could not be moved against them. DYARCHY system was introduced in the provinces under this act according to this
act the subjects were divided into reserved subjects, administered by executive council and transferred subjects, administered by governor ministries.The system of communal elections/electorates was not only retained for the muslims it was also extended to the SIKHS but refused to other communities.Finally, at the end of 10 year, a communities should be appointed to examine the working of the system and to advise as to whether the time had come for compel to responsible government.

CONGRESS REACTION:

In the elections held in 1920 under the new constitutional congress did; though they were not completely satisfied but the initial response was favorable. However they did not participated in election because of the understanding with congress. Thus, some benefits which the act could yield were reaped by hindus alone, it was muslims who suffered. Muslim league did not meet as a separate body between 1919 to 1924, it identified itself with the congress.

CRITICISM:

The act had merits and demerits.

MERITS:

Secretary of state to be paid by british.

Creation of the office of high commissioner.

Bicameral legislative.

Powers of legislative enhanced.

Extended franchise.

Separate electorate further extended.

DEMERITS:

Central legislature helpless before central executive.

DYCARCHY was defective due to the water tight division of subjected.

Unscientific division of subjects’ eq: irrigation was reserved subject and agriculture was transferred subjects.

Lack of co-operation between executive councilors and ministers.

Precarious position of ministers. Secretary of concerned department had a direct access to the governor.

As finance was reserved subject, ministers could not put their scheme into practice.

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