best, and soonest, fit them  for self-government’.
        was, largely independent of the Government of India and responsible,
        if partly, to popular representatives.
Provincial Legislatives
Enlargement and Democratisation of Councils On the legislative side, the
councils were considerably enlarged. The proportion of elected members was
not less than 70%, and of officials not less than 20%.
    • In 1926, the composition of the legislatures of all the provinces taken
        together was: 14.5% officials; 8.6% non-officials nominated to
        represent aborigines, backward tracts, depressed classes, Anglo-
        Indians, labour; 9.9% elected members representing special interests –
        landholders, universities, commerce and industry; and 67% elected
        members, returned through territorial constituencies.
    • The last category, members elected through territorial constituencies,
        comprised ‘general’, Muslims, Sikhs (in the Punjab), Indian
        Christians (in Madras), Anglo-Indians (in Madras and Bengal) and
        Europeans (in all the provinces except the Punjab, the Central
        Provinces and Berar and Assam).
    • The ‘general’ constituency included such voters as did not find a
        place in any of the communal or special constituencies. In the
        distribution of seats, the minority communities were given weightage
        —viz. representation in excess of their population ratio.
    • As for franchise, property qualifications were considerably lowered
        and women given the right to vote in all the provinces. In 1926, the
        proportion of those enfranchised to the total population stood at 2.8%.
    • Since uniform territorial constituencies were deemed unsuited to
        Indian conditions, constituencies were designed to represent particular
        communities (e.g. Muslims) or special interests (e.g. landholders or
        chambers of commerce).
    • Franchise was restricted. It revolved around:
        • residence in the constituency for a minimum period of time;
        • ownership or occupation of a house which had a minimum rental
            value; and
        • payment of a minimum municipal tax or income tax or some other