Various repressive measures undertaken by the British authority in India led to the growth of suspicion and hatred towards the British. During the time of Lord Lytton, the Viceroy, certain repressive laws like Vernacular Press Act and Arms Act of 1878 were passed to suppress the Indian mass.

By the Vernacular Press Act of 1878 the editors of the Vernacular newspaper were directed to execute a bond not to publish anything in their paper which would excite feelings of dissatisfaction against the Government. But this Act was not to be applicable to the English news papers. It was, of course abolished by Lord Ripon, another Viceroy in 1882.

By the Indian Arms Act of 1878, the Indians were prohibited to possess any arms without license. Possession of arms by any Indian without license was treated as criminal offence. But this law was not applicable to the British in India.

Lytton made another provision regarding the fixation of age limit for candidates who liked to appear at the Indian Civil Service Examination. He deliberately reduced the age limit for the above purpose from 21 to 19 years in order to debar the Indian youth from competing for the Indian Civil Service.


The Grand Delhi Durbar was held in 1877 to proclaim Queen Victoria from England, the Empress of India when a great famine took toll of more than 60 lakhs of people in one part of the country. This apathetic attitude of Lord Lytton infuriated many cautious people of the country.

All these Acts of British authority created a great storm of opposition in the country and led to the formation of various organizations to carry on anti-British propaganda in the country by fanning the fire of nationalism.