Lord Minto served as Governor General and Viceroy of India from 1905 to 1910. He witnessed the outburst of Indian National Movement.
When John Morley as Secretary of State for India wrote to Minto arguing that “Reforms may not save the Raj, but if they don’t, nothing else will”, Minto replied:
when you say that “if reforms do not save the Raj nothing else will” I am afraid I must utterly disagree. The Raj will not disappear in India as long as the British race remains what it is, because we shall fight for the Raj as hard as we have ever fought, if it comes to fighting, and we shall win as we have always won.
The reforms were called usually by the name “Morley-Minto Reforms” because of both John Morley and Lord Minto worked together to draw these reforms. The infamous Morley-Minto reforms introuduced a system of communal representation for Muslims based on the concept of ‘separate electorate’ in India. The reforms were based on old British policy of Divide and Rule.
Major events that happened during his term are:
- Indian Home Rule Society (1905) in England by Shyamji Verma,
- Deportation of Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh,
- Trial of Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1908),
- Foundation of the Indian Muslim League (1906),
- Calcutta session 1906 and Swaraj Resolution
- Surat Split 1907
- Newspapers (Incitement to offences) Act, 1908,
- Explosive Substances Act 1908,
- Alipore Bomb Case 1908,
- Alipore Conspiracy Trial 1908-1909,
- Indian Councils Act 1909 (Morley Minto reforms) & Communal Representation.