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Under One Flag
The Light Has Gone Out
India Wins Freedom
Apostle of Peace
The Last War of Independence
Quit India
Leave India to God… or to Anarchy
Gandhi and Ambedkar
A Pinch of Salt!
Saga of Indian Revolutionaries
Bardoli
Gandhiji Withdraws from Political Activities
The Himalayan Blunder
A People Reject Their Rulers
Jallianwala — The Aftermath
Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh
The Gentle Satyagrahi
Gandhi in Champaran
Carrot and Stick
Revolutionaries Outside India
Heroes and Martyrs
Gandhi in South Africa
From Swadeshi to Swaraj
Swadeshi Enterprise
The New Spirit of India
The Great Divide
Partition of Bengal
The Battle is Taken to the Legislature!
The Monk Who Shook The Nation
Father of Indian Unrest
An Old Man's Dream
Women : Crossing the Threshold
The Battle Lines are Drawn
The Battle For A Free Press
Pressing On !
Europeans Take To The Street!
The British Raj in Black and White
Mamool Raj
The One-Man Army
Hunger Deaths
The Delhi Durbar
Return to Swadeshi
Barbarous Britannia
‘Rani Ka Hookum’
Perishing in Peace
The Blue Mutiny
English Education
The Trial of the Last Emperor
Roll of Honour
The Empire Strikes Back
British Authority Collapses
Sepoys on the Move
Tribal Uprisings
The Empire Builders
For God and Country

It was at the glittering durbar which was attended by Viceroy Lytton, maharajas and nawabs and intellectuals, that a man in 'homespun spotless white khadi' rose to read a citation on behalf of the Pune Sarvajanik Sabha. Ganesh Vasudev Joshi put forth a demand couched in very polite language: "We beg of Her Majesty to grant to India the same political and social status as is enjoyed by her British subjects." With this demand, it can be said that the campaign for a free India was formally launched at the very durbar where the Queen of England was proclaimed the Empress of India.

Her Majesty's Government

Though a series of acts passed by the British Parliament made the East India Company accountable to Parliament for its administration of its Indian territories, Parliament shied away from direct involvement in Indian affairs for "the company had legally no such 'possessions' being technically a mere zamindar for the Mughal Emperor." With the removal of the Mughal Emperor from the scene in 1857, the Crown assumed direct control of India.
The British Parliament did not generally take any interest in Indian affairs. It took note of what was happening only when British interests were involved. The man who wielded enormous power over Indian affairs was the Secretary of State for India in London.
The Governor-General of India was the chief executive officer. He was also called the personal representative of the Crown in India.
As provided by the Indian Council Act of 1801, the Governor-General was assisted by an Executive Council consisting of five members, all British, none Indian.
For legislative purposes there was a Central Legislative Council with members not exceeding twenty-four, including the members of the Executive Council. Six to twelve members were nominated by the Governor-General; none were elected.
The Provinces were under the rule of a Governor, Lieutenant-Governor or Chief Commissioner. Bombay, Madras, Bengal, North Western Provinces and the Punjab were provided with Legislative Councils with some members being Indians.
The Legislative Councils established under the Act of 1861, were merely "committees for the purpose of making laws", and these laws were in reality the orders of the government. The nomination of Indian members no doubt met the long standing demands of Indians, like Sir Syed Ahmed, that 'the people should have a voice in the Council'. However, with a few exceptions, the Indian members of this period were magnificent non-entities.
A raja of the North West provinces who could not speak a word of English was appointed a member of the Legislative Council. When asked how he managed to function he was reported to have said, "At first I found it very difficult but then there was the Governor-General who elected me. When he raised his hand I raised mine and when he put his hand down, I put down mine."
Describing members of legislative councils of those days Sir Henry Cotton wrote, "the present members of the Council are little more than puppets."
The English-educated young Indians were impatient with these 'puppets' who represented them and they demanded representative councils to which councillors would be elected and not nominated by the Governor or Governor-General.

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