At the end of the First World War, British rule in India was dominant compared with Indian rule. The British is controlling a population of about 300,000,000 people and more than two-thirds of India in the early nineteen hundreds. The rest is ruled under Maharajah’s which are Indian Princes. Out of the various colonies the British had, India was named the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ because of its vast amounts of resources, labour and land. To working class Indians, the British arrival made them angry and unhappy.
This is because many of them became slaves for the British people. Only the wealthy and educated Indians benefited from their arrival as British rule improved the infrastructure of India. They brought technology into the country and therefore made India into a more developed and advanced country. Although for some provinces, India has direct control (under maharajahs) but on the whole, they are indirectly controlled by the British government. This means that the British government has sovereign power and influence over these provinces from the Viceroy. The Viceroy made Indians have less control over its own country.
The Viceroy’s power was above the Legislative Council, and he was appointed by the British Parliament. Another words, he is the representative of Britain in India. He had to report to the Secretary of State of India who is in charge of India. He was also a direct representative of the King in India. Never, had the Indians been allowed to be part of the Legislative Council. This was until the Morley-Minto Reform. The Morley-Minto Reform was introduced because Indians started pressuring the government; the congress started to demand for home rule in 1906 and there was boycotts of British goods and violent outbreaks started in Bengal.
... The closeness of the British and the Indians so apparent in the early days of the British presence started to fade and by 1857 ... threatened Great Britians control over India Since the beginning of the 16th century Britain used to have the colonies in India, a land ... could provide any serious focus of resistance to British rule. From Meerut and Simla two British columns set out for the capital. Hampered ...
The riot in Bengal began from Lord Curzon, who was the Viceroy at the time. Bengal was too large to administer and therefore, Curzon proposed to the Secretary of State for India St. John Brodrich to divide Bengal. This was known as the Partition of Bengal. This suggestion, however, favoured Muslims because in Eastern Bengal, Muslims outnumbered Hindu’s and it helped Bengali Muslims politically. Also, the Hindu’s accused the British to deliberately separate the Hindu’s and Muslims and therefore resulted in a riot.
The reform was rather superficial and the position of the Indians in the government had not been changed much. Very few Indians could vote, and it did not give Indians a voice in the administration. This showed that Indians did not make much progress in Independence after the Morley-Minto Reform and British still had strong control of India even after the Morley-Minto reform. Through time, the British rule in India diminished, but by quite a minor amount after the First World War. Before the war, British had strong powers in the government.
The First World War sped up the process for home rule in India as many Indians fought bravely in the War and Mohandas Gandhi, and many other Indians, thought that supporting the war would lead to Home Rule. Many Indians sacrificed their lives during the war and this gave a reason for the Indians to demand for home rule. Also, the demand of raw materials from India increased and many Indians prospered. Because Indians were now more important (because of their war effort in the War and the demand for their resources), British had to get more control over them.
... social reform in India was achieved as a result of the European political principles brought to India by the British.Indians were ... throes of World War One, the British were committing more acts to instigate resentment amongst Indians. India had a large ... war (Cowie, 39, 1994). With this in mind, the Montagu Declaration was issued in 1917, promising gradual and progressive self-government for India ...
As a response to this, during the war in 1915, the Defence of India Act was introduced. This allowed suspension of civil liberties. This meant that the government of India has ‘emergency’ powers for example, the government could make an Indian join the army. This shows that the government fears the Indians as the government passes a law which gives more power to themselves. In the mid 1918, the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms were suggested. This was to settle the unrest that was caused by the rejection of the demands after the First World War.
There were outbreaks of violence in Punjab in 1917 as the British government made no statements about Home Rule. The Montagu-Chelmsford act was to introduce a new system called Dyrachy. This was to split the powers between the British and Indians. The British people would control finance, police and justice whilst Indians would control Education, Agriculture and Health and Public Work. This however, also didn’t give Indians real power as many of the sectors which the Indians rule were not influential. As we can see, the British actually fears the Indians as they are slowly iving power back to the Indians. From the Morley-Minto Reforms to the Montagu-Chelmsford Reform, British show they are concern with the growing resistance of the Indians, such as the violence outbreaks after the First World War. Many of the reforms were superficial and up to the end of the First World War, Indians have more participation in the government of India but no real influence. Although the Montagu-Chelmsford Reform was put into practice in 1919, it already suggests that the British people fear the Indians and are slowly shifting the power back to Indian people.