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TN Textbook Class XIl History SIVA PRASAD
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 The proposal of appointing a Resident in Kabul was dropped Moreover, he repealed the Vernacular Press Act and earned much popularity among Indians.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.
lIbert Bill Agitation (1884) Lord Ripon wanted to remove two kinds of law that had been prevalent in India. According to the system of law, a European could be tried only by a European Judge or a European Magistrate. . The disqualification was unjust and it was sought to cast a needless discredit and dishonour upon the Indian-born members of the judiciary. C.P. lbert, Law Member, introduced a bill in 1883 to abolish this discrimination in judiciary. But Europeans opposed this Bill strongly. They even raised a fund of one lakh fifty thousand rupees and established an organisation called the Defence Association. The press in England joined the issue. Hence, Ripon amended the bill to satisfy the English in India and England.
Lord Curzon (1899-1905)
Educational Reforms . Curzon took a serious view of the fall in the standard of education and discipline in the educational institutions. . In his view the universities had degenerated into factories for producing political revolutionaries. To set the educational system in order, he instituted in 1902, a Universities Commission to go into the entire question of university education in the country. .On the basis of the findings and recommendations of the Commission, Curzon brought in the Indian Universities Act of 1904, which brought all the universities in India under the control of the government.
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.
Calcutta Corporation Act (1899) The Viceroy brought in a new legislative measure namely the Calcutta Corporation Act in 1899 by which the strength of the elected members was reduced and that of the official members increased. . Curzon gave more representations to the English people as against the Indians in the Calcutta Corporation . There was strong resentment by the Indian members against Curzon's anti-people measures.