Some of the provisions of the Montford Reforms. How did Indians criticize it?

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a. Montford Reforms:

The most important feature of the Montague- Chelmsford Reforms was ‘Dyarchy’ or a kind of double government in the Provinces Provincial subjects were divided into two parts.

‘Transferred’ and ‘Reserved’. The subjects like finance, law and order, etc., were called ‘Reserved’ subjects. These remained under the direct control of the Governor.

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‘Transferred’ subjects such as education, public health and local self-government were to be controlled by the ministers.

Other important provisions of the Reforms were: Central Legislature was to be bicameral; the Provincial legislature was to have one chamber only. These are some of the provisions of the Montford Reforms.

b. Indian Reaction:

A close examination of the Act of 1919 reveals that its provisions belied the great expectations of the Indian people.

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First, the Act of 1919 completely ignored the nationalistic hopes and aspirations of the Indians Second, under the new Act though the British government pretended to give political power in the Indian hands, the real power of administration still remained in the, hands of the foreign rulers, as before.

Third, the Act of 1919 did not in any way help the establishment of Swaraj or self-government in India Fourth, the Act of 1919 could not changes the essentially autocratic nature of the British government.

This is evident from one of the provisions of the Act which further increased the powers of the Viceroy. Under the circumstances the resentment of the Indians against the British rulers reached its highest peak on the issue of the Act of 1919.

Both the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League condemned it as ‘disappointing and unsatisfactory’ sensing the resentment of the Indians the British government sharpened a new weapon for the suppression of the agitators. This weapon was the ill-famed ‘Rowlatt Act’.

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