Evaluation: The reforms of 1909 afforded no answer and could afford no answer to the Indian political problem. It introduced changes in the size and functions of the Councils at the Central as well as Provincial levels. In 1912, Muslim League passed a resolution by which it decided to co-operate with other Indian communities for getting self-government. All these measures were highly resented by the people of India. But he had already confessed in a letter to Minto in June 1906 that while it was inconceivable to adapt English political institutions to the 'nations who inhabit India. Only some members like Gokhale put to constructive use the opportunity to debate in the councils by demanding universal primary education, attacking repressive policies and drawing attention to the plight of indentured labour and Indian workers in South Africa. It retained official majority in the Central Legislative Council but allowed the provincial legislative councils to have non-official majority.
A sort of element of responsibility was introduced in Indian provinces. Towards new system in India Mesopotamian Muddle also played its own part. The Secretary of the State was authorized for increasing the number of the Executive Councils of Bombay and Madras from 2 to 4. There was a rise of extremism in the congress. In fact in constitutional development in India this declaration occupies a very significant place and position. Besides, system of election was too indirect and it gave the impression of infiltration of legislators through a number of sieves.
The idea was to establish that the political, economic and cultural interests of the Hindus and Muslims were distinct. The position of the Governor- General remained unchanged and his veto power remained undiluted and the Act was successfully maintained relentless constitutional autocracy. The aim of the Government in giving preferential treatment to the Muslims was not to correct imbalances in Indian society but to bind some Muslim leaders to the Government with the silken chains of gratitude. The Muslim League performed in a commendable manner by achieving major demands of the Muslims after only two years of its inception. The members were given more liberties. They were also given the right to compete on equal terms with the other communities in the general electorates. Then during the course of war services of Indian soldiers were much appreciated.
The Morley-Minto Reforms, so named after Morley, the secretary of state, and Minto, the viceroy at that time, were preceded by two important events. They were never given any responsible position of trust in the war. For executive purpose 27 members direct election i. India extended the maximum co-operation and even Gandhiji gave a call to Indians to support Britain in war efforts. In fact, the people of India were getting impatient to get more constitutional reforms at the earliest. It acceded the Muslims, their much cherished demand, the separate electorate in the provinces where legislative councils existed. Regulations made in accordance with the Act could not be exercised until laid before both Houses of Parliament, so that either house might object.
By the provisions of the Act provincial activities were divided into two parts. The introduction of the electoral from Indians was though against the intent of Morley, but could effectively establish the groundwork for a parliamentary system. The hold of the Home Government was relaxed to some extent on the one hand and that of the central government over the provinces on the other. The massacre had shocked the whole civilised world from its very foundations and the people of India completely lost faith both in words and sincerity of British people towards India. Elaborate rules were made for the discussion of the Budget in the Imperial Legislative Council.
For legislative purpose 33 members indirect election i. It was also a time when a change came in the attitude of Indian Muslims. It gave some further avenues to Indians to ventilate their grievances. Later he was made a governor of a province, the only Indian to occupy such a high office during the entire period of British rule. Under such circumstances narrow franchises, indirect elections, limited powers of the Legislative Councils ushered a complete irresponsible government. In 1910, Congress League Pact was signed which was of great significance.
The power, therefore, slipped in the hands of the extremists in Indian National Congress and revolutionaries outside it. He was appointed as the law member. The number of members in the Central Legislative Council was raised from 16 to 60. To weaken the nationalist movement, the British began to consistently follow a policy of promoting communalism in India. These concessions for Muslim community brought about a constant conflict during the years 1909-47.
The Government made it clear that it was in favour of giving more rights to the Indian people. The voting rights were squeezed which made the electorate too narrow and restricted. These reforms introduced the system of elections for the first time which created a great deal of political awareness among the Indian people. These concessions were a constant source of strife 1909-47. Government of India Act of 1909 is also known as Morley- Minto Reforms. The authority given to the elected members of raising questions and criticizing the policies proved useless as the real legislative authority rested with the Government and its nominated persons.