Main Clauses of the Pact, Evaluation and Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms

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Main Clauses of the Pact

  • There shall be self-government in India.
  • Muslims should be given one-third representation in the central government.
  • There should be separate electorates for all the communities until a community demanded joint electorates.
  • A system of weightage should be adopted.
  • The number of the members of Central Legislative Council should be increased to 150.
  • At the provincial level, four-fifth of the members of the Legislative Councils should be elected and one-fifth should be nominated.
  • The size of provincial legislatures should not be less than 125 in the major provinces and from 50 to 75 in the minor provinces.
  • All members, except those nominated, should be elected directly on the basis of adult franchise.
  • No bill concerning a community should be passed if the bill is opposed by three-fourth of the members of that community in the Legislative Council.
  • The term of the Legislative Council should be five years.
  • Members of Legislative Council should themselves elect their president.
  • Half of the members of Imperial Legislative Council should be Indians.
  • The Indian Council must be abolished.
  • The salaries of the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs should be paid by the British government and not from Indian funds.
  • Of the two Under Secretaries, one should be Indian.
  • The Executive should be separated from the Judiciary.


  • As an immediate effect, the unity between the two factions of the congress and between INC and ML aroused great political enthusiasm in the country
  • However, it did not involve Hindu and Muslim masses and was based on the notion of bringing together the educated Hindus and Muslims as separate political entities without secularization of their political outlook
  • The pact therefore left the way open to the future resurgence of communalism in Indian politics.

Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms

Provincial LC enlarged. More elected members


  • Some subjects were reserved and remained under the direct control of the Governor; others such as education, public health and local self-government were called transferred subjects and were to be controlled by the ministers responsible to the legislature.
  • At the center, there were two houses of legislature.

Response of Nationalists

  • INC condemned the reforms as disappointing and unsatisfactory
  • Some others , led by Surendranath Banerjee, were in favour of accepting the government proposals. They left the Congress at this time and founded the Indian Liberal Federation


  • The governor could overrule the ministers on any grounds that he considered special
  • The legislature had virtually no control over the Governor-General and his Executive Council.
  • The central government had unrestricted control over the provincial governments

Rowlatt Act

  • March 1919
  • It authorized the Government to imprison any person without trial and conviction in a court of law.

Chapter 14: Gandhi՚S Early Career and Activism

  • Gandhi was the first Indian barrister to have come to South Africa.
  • He was faced with various racial discriminations within days of his arrival in SA.
  • He led the Indian struggle in SA.
  • The first phase of Gandhi՚s political activities from 1894 - 1906 may be classified as the ‘moderate’ phase.
  • He set up the Natal Indian Congress and started a paper called Indian Opinion.
  • By 1906, Gandhiji, having fully tried the ‘Moderate’ methods of struggle, was becoming convinced that these would not lead anywhere.
  • The second phase, begun in 1906, was characterized by the use of passive resistance, Satyagraha. There was no fear of jails.
  • South Africa Prepared Gandhiji for leadership of the Indian national struggle:
    • He had the invaluable experience of leading poor Indian labourers.
    • SA built up his faith in the capacity of the Indian masses to participate in and sacrifice for a cause that moved them.
    • Gandhiji also had the opportunity of leading Indians belonging to different religions.
  • South Africa provided Gandhiji with an opportunity for evolving his own style of politics and leadership.
  • Gandhi returned to India on January 9,1915
  • He founded the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad in 1916
  • Initially he was politically idle. He spent his time studying the situation of the country.
  • He was deeply convinced that the only viable method of political struggle was satyagraha.
  • During the course of 1917 and early 1918, he was involved in three significant struggles – in Champaran in Bihar, in Ahmedabad and in Kheda in Gujarat. The common feature of these struggles was that they related to specific local issues and that they were fought for the economic demands of the masses.

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