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TN Textbook Class XIl History SIVA PRASAD
BRITISH INDIA AFTER 1858: LORD LYTTON (1876-1880), LORD RIPON (1880-1884) AND LORD CURZON (1899-1905)
Lord Lytton (1876-1880) During his term there was a terrible famine that resulted from failure of two monsoons. . The worst affected areas were Madras, Mysore, Hyderabad, Bombay, Central India and the Punjab. It took a toll of five million lives in a single year. The outbreak of cholera and fever added to the misery of the suffering population. Lytton's Government failed miserably to tackle the situation. The government's relief measures seemed to be inadequate.
Lord Lytton (1876-1880) In 1878, the Vernacular Press Act was passed. This Act empowered a Magistrate to secure an undertaking from the editor, publisher and printer of a vernacular newspaper that nothing would be published against the English Government. The equipment of the press could be seized if the offence was committed. This Act crushed the freedom of the Indian press. This created adverse public opinion against the British Government. . In the same year, the Arms Act was passed. This Act prevented the Indians to keep arms without appropriate license. Its violation would be a criminal offence. The Europeans and the Anglo- Indians were exempted from the operation of these legislations
Lord Lytton (1876-1880) Lord Lytton introduced uniform salt tax throughout British India. . He also abolished many import duties and supported the Free Trade Policy. This had seriously affected the Indian economic interest. . The system of decentralisation of finance that had begun in the time of Lord Mayo was continued during the time of Lord Lytton. The provincial governments were empowered with some control over the expenditure of all provincial matters like land- revenue, excise, stamps, law and justice. Lytton wanted to encourage the provinces in collecting the revenue and thereby strengthen the financial power and position of the provinces. . In 1878, the Statutory Civil Service was established exclusively for Indians but this was abolished later.
Lytton and the Second Afghan War (1878-80) . The Afghan policy of the British was based on the assumed threat of Russian invasion of India . The first Afghan War (1838-42) proved to be a disastrous one for the British in India. . When Lord Lytton was appointed the Viceroy of India, he was instructed by the home government to follow a forward policy. . The Russian attempt to send a mission to Afghanistan was the main cause of the Second Afghan War.
Lytton and the Second Afghan War (1878-80) . Soon after the outbreak of the war in 1878, the British troops captured the territory between Kabul and Kandahar The ruler of Afghanistan, Sher Ali fled from his country and died in 1879. His sorn Yakub Khan became the ruler and the British concluded the Treaty of Gandamak with him. A British Resident was sent to Kabul but soon he was murdered along with other British officers by the Afghan rebels. Although the British troops were able to recapture Kabul, the difficulties in holding it increased due to the activities of the rebels. Suddenly in 1780, Lytton was forced to resign by the new government in England.
Lord Ripon (1880-84) . Lord Ripon was a staunch Liberal democrat with faith in self- government. He was appointed as the Viceroy of India . Ripon was instructed to reverse the Afghan policy of Lytton. Therefore, as soon as he came to India, peace was made with Afghanistan without affecting the British prestige. The proposal of appointing a Resident in Kabul was dropped Moreover, he repealed the Vernacular Press Act and earned much popularity among Indians. Then, he devoted himself to task of liberalising the Indian administration.
Introduction of Local Self-Government (1882) Ripon helped the growth of local bodies like the Municipal Committees in towns and the local boards in taluks and villages. The powers of municipalities were increased. Their chairmen were to be non-officials. They were entrusted the care of local amenities, sanitation, drainage and water-supply and also primary education. . District and taluk boards were created. It was insisted that the majority of the members of these boards should be elected non-officials. The local bodies were given executive powers with financial resources of their own. It was perhaps the desire of Ripon that power in India should be gradually transferred to the educated Indians. He also insisted on the election of local bodies as against selection by the government. . In all these measures, Ripon's concern was not so much for efficiency in administration. Instead, Ripon diffused the administration and brought the government closer to the people.
First Factory Act (1881) . Lord Ripon introduced the Factory Act of 1881 to improve the service condition of the factory workers in India. . The Act banned the appointment of children below the age of seven in factories. It reduced the working hours for children. It made compulsory for all dangerous machines in the factories to be properly fenced to ensure security to the workers.
Lord Curzon (1899-1905)
Police and Military Reforms . He instituted a Police Commission in 1902 under the chairmanship of Sir Andrew Frazer. Curzon accepted all the recommendations and implemented them. . He set up training schools for both the officers and the constables and introduced provincial police service . As for the remodeling of the army, it was by and large done by Lord Kitchener, the Commander-in-Chief in India in Curzon's time.