Introduction to Indian Polity and Governance

Historical Perspective of Indian Polity and Governance

The Indian governance has witnessed many major up rides in the past, which have come to alter not only the system of governance in the country but also modified the scene of politics in the nation. Owing to these changes and modifications, India happens to be the typical democratic nation of the modern times. Please take note of the fact that such perspective of the Indian polity and governance has come to thrive over the years, only after a number of events.

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Unravelling the British rule in in India

For about two hundred years, India remained in the clasp of the British rule. This period has come to change everything about the nature of the Indian political system and governance. The rule of the British government started in India through the East India Company, which initially came in India in the year 1858, with the purpose of trading.

The days were not far away when the company started interfering with the Indian governance administration system and began reigning control over the rulers of India. Throughout the span of the two hundred years, the British officials used various policies to gain control and rule India.

At first, while they began making regulations, various Acts began to be slowly infused into the system. These acts are the ultimate perspective of the Indian governance and polity which tell us about the British rule.

The Beginning of the Company Rule

The Regulating Act 1773

Meant to guide the ruling of the East India Company, the act laid down the foundation for administration in India. The act also instated the Governor of Bengal as the governor general.

Pitt’s India Act 1784

Meant to distinguish between the commercial and political functions of the East India Company, this act allowed the British government to take control of the affairs of the East India Company and decide how it would tackle administration in India.

Charter Act 1833

Aimed to impose a final act of centralisation in India, this act declared the Governor of Bengal as the Governor of India and the entry of Lord William as the first governor-general of India.

Charter Act 1853

This act divided the legislative and executive functions. It established the Indian Legislative council. Various officials were appointed in different positions for taking care of administrative posts in various cities.

The Crown Rule from 1858

The year 1858, marked a time period when the British government aimed to bring better governance in India.

The Government of India Act 1858

Abolishing the East Indian Company in totality, the powers of the government shifted to different territories and the revenue went to the British crown. Lord Canning became the first Viceroy of India and the double government system came to an end by the introduction of a new office and a secretary of state.

India Councils Act 1861

Under this act, the viceroy got the power to nominate and appoint non-official members who were Indians, in the councils. Among such appointed officials were Raja of Banaras, Maharaja of Patiala, and Sir Dinkar Rao. Also in line was the introduction of the Portfolio system started by Lord Canning in the year 1859.

Also, various new legislative councils were set up for Bengal, Punjab and the North Western province. The new viceroy got the power to issue various ordinances during a state of emergency.

The Government of India Act 1919

This act provided independence and control to some of the provinces. As per the act, the Indian governance legislative council came to an end. An Upper House and Lower house came into existence. These were the Council of State and legislative Assembly respectively.

Solved Examples for You

Question: Mention the features of the Simon Commission

Indian Governance

Answer: Introduced in the year 1927, and headed by the Chairman, Sir John Simon, the Simon Commission is also commonly referred to as the Indian Statutory Commission. First of all, it consisted of seven British members in all. The commission started under the chairmanship of Sir John Allsebrook Simon.

In the year 1928, the commission got protection in India in order to study the basic constitutional reforms in Britain’s colonial dependency. Clement Attlee, who was a member of this commission, later vouched for the independence of the Indian nation. As per the recommendations of the commission, the need to abolish the diarchy became crucial.

Among the members of the commission were Sir John Simon, Clement Attlee, Harry Levy Lawson (1st Viscount Burnham), Edward Cadogan, Vernon Hartshom, George Lane Fox and also Donald Howard (3rd Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal).

It was in the protest of the Simon Commission that one of the popular freedom fighters, Sri Lala Lajpat Rai died. This happened because he couldn’t survive the force of lathi charge of the police. Therefore, these are all the significant features of the Simon Commission.

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