Essay on the British Attitude Towards the Extremists in India

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The Government adopted three-fold policy in order to face the movement. They followed the policy of repression, division and reform. By a series of repressive laws such as Prevention of seditious Meetings Act of 1907, the Explosive substances Act of 1908 and the News papers Act of 1908 and the Criminal Law of Amendment Act, the Press Act, Government wanted to crush totally the movement and subdue its leaders. In 1908 the Government arrested Tilak and sentenced him for 6 years imprisonment in the Mandalay jail.

In order to counteract the activities of the congress and the nationalists, the Government adopted a policy of divide and rule. Muslim leaders were encouraged to have a separate All India Muslim Organisation, Muslim communalism took its birth from Aligarh College which was headed by an English man named ‘Baki’ as it’s principal. With the support of a Muslim educationist and social reformer Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan, Baki founded the ‘Mohamedan Anglo-Oriental Defence Association’.

A deputation of Muslim leaders led by Sir Sultan Mahammad Shah, Popularly known as Sir Aga Khan, waited on the Viceroy Lord Minto at Simla on 1st october 1906. The leaders presented a memorandum demanding separate electorate for the Muslims. The memorandum was drafted by Mr. Archibald, the English principal of Aligarh College. Lord Minto accepted most of the demands of the Muslims.

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The success of the Simal Deputation encouraged the communalist Muslims to go further in the communal politics. The famous ‘All India Muslim League’ took its birth on 30th December 1906. A constitution of the League was prepared at its annual session at Karachi. It expressed a feeling of loyalty among the Indian Muslims towards the British Government. The Government in return announced that they would protect the ‘Special Interests’of the Muslims. Thus the birth of the Muslim League was really a victory of the British.

Morley-Minto Reform Act 1909:

In order to satisfy the leaders of the Indian National Congress and to keep the public away from the influence of revolutionaries the British Government wanted to introduce some reforms in the political field. It was worked out in the Morley- Minto Reform which was paused in joint collaboration of Lord Minto, then the Viceroy of India and Lord Morley, the Secretary of State for India.

These reforms gave some political concessions like the increase of the size of the legislative councils in the provinces and at the centre. The representatives were given scope for taking part in the deliberations and in expressing their opinions. But the worst part of the provisions of the Act was the introduction of separate electorate for the Muslims which created as rift between the two communities in India.

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The Swadeshi Movement still continued. The Morley- Minto Reforms could not satisfy the leaders of the Congress, as desired. Lord Minto was succeeded by Lord Hardinge as the Viceroy, who suggested for the revocation of the partition of Bengal to establish peace in India. The British Government agreed to his proposal and at last in the grand Durbar of Delhi the revocation of the partition was announced by Emperor George Very himself in 1911.

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