“In the Montagu-Chelmsford Report communal representation and reservations were not only retained but considerably extended.” Comment.(250 words)

Minto-Morely reforms 1909

One of the most important and unfortunate features of Minto-Morely reforms 1909 was the introduction of separate and discriminatory communal electorate.

  • The electorate for returning the representatives to the councils was divided on the basis of
  • Class
  • Community
  • Interests
  • For the provincial councils the electorate provided for three categories
  • General
  • Special
  • Class (such as land owners and chambers of commerce).
  • For the Central Council one more category viz. Muslim was added to it.
  • The elected members were to be indirectly elected. The local bodies were to elect an electoral college which in turn would elect members of provincial legislatures who in turn would elect members of central legislatures.
  • The qualification of the electorate was based on income, property and education.

Retention and Extension in Montagu Chelmsford Act

These policy measures were made graver at every revision of electoral systems. For example, by the act of 1919 the Communal electorates were introduced for Sikhs, Christians, and also for Harijans.

The base of reservation was thus widened.

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