This chapter considers Gokhale’s proposal for separate electorates. This approach coincided with that of the sub-committee of the viceroy’s Executive Council (the Arundel Committee) on the advice of which the Government of India framed its (Simla) proposals in 1907. The scheme announced by Morley on 17 December 1908, however, made a radical departure in favour of ‘electoral colleges’ to which a fixed number of Muslims and Hindus were to be returned ‘in the ratio of population’; these ‘colleges’ were later to elect members of the provincial councils in like proportions. The combination of joint electorates and proportional representation was intended to serve the twofold purpose of securing equitable Muslim representation and preserving harmonious relations between the two communities. However, the bulk of the Muslim educated class was in no mood to accept joint electorates.
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