LORD LYTTON, 1876-1880


The principal event of his tenure was the Afghan war.

In 1877, Lord Lytton convened a durbar (imperial assembly) in Delhi which was attended by around 84,000 people including princes and title holders.

In 1878, he promulgated the Vernacular Press Act, which empowered him to confiscate the press and paper of a local language newspaper publishing ‘seditious material’.

The act resulted in public outcry in Calcutta led by the Indian Association and Surendranath Banerjee.

Lord Lytton arrived as Viceroy of India in 1876. In the same year, a famine broke out in south India which claimed between 6.1 million and 10.3 million people.

His implementation of Britain’s trading policy has been blamed for increasing the severity of the famine.

Lord Lytton appointed a Famine Commission which proposed certain principles to be followed for the help of the famine-stricken.

On the basis of these principles the later Famine Code was drawn.

He changed the existing policy of duties of cotton and seaborne goods to some extent.

Lord Lytton made the duty on salt uniform all over the country.

During the administration of Lytton the Anglo-Russian rela­tions became very bitter.

Vernacular Act passed in 1878, Arms Act 1878 repealed and Factory Act was finalized.

It was he who for the first time proposed the formation of the north-western frontier province.

He also had suggested the introduction of gold standard in India.