Repressive Policies of India

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Repressive Colonial Policies

The British had conquered India to promote their own political interest so followed many repressive policies. These policies become major barrier to India’s development. Some of these policies, especially those followed by Lord Lytton gave birth to nationalism. Lord Lytton was Viceroy from 1876-1880. The resentment against the British rule increased because of repressive measures. 1. In 1877 he organised a Grand Delhi Durbar to proclaim Queen Victoria as the Empress of India. Indians were angry because Lakhs were spent for this when South India was suffering from famine. The British Government did not take proper steps to prevent deaths by disease and starvation. The worst feature of these famines was that they were human-made. In fact, famines meant big gains to the Government and the greedy business community. Foodgrains were hoarded and sold at prices which the poor could not afford. During natural calamities, the British rulers in India remained aloof, disinterested and unconcerned. 2. In 1878 Lytton passed the Vernacular Press Act and the Indian Arms Act. The Vernacular Press Act –forbade vernacular newspapers from publishing any article that might incite the people against the British Government. This hurt the Indians as the press was considered their mouth-piece, through which they could air their grievances . This act was also known as the ‘gagging act’.This act did not apply to English newspapers . Lord Ripon repealed it in 1881. The Indian Arms Act /Licence Act 1878 made it a criminal offence for Indians to carry arms without a licence. This act was not applicable to British. 3. The maximum age limit for the I.C.S Exam was reduced from 21 to 19 years, thus making it impossible for Indians to pass the exam. 4. Lord Lytton abolished the import duties on Br. Textiles. This crippled the Indian textile industry. This policy aroused anger and lead to bitterness. People continued to criticize the British

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