Soon after the War of Independence of 1857, the British government realized that it was not safe to legislate for millions of people with few means of knowing-- except by a rebellion--whether the laws suit them or not. Undoubtedly, Syed Ahmad Khan’s pamphlet Causes of the Indian Revolt contributed to this realization on part of the British. It asserted that the absence of Indians from the councils of the country was mainly responsible for the troubles of 1857.
In 1861, the governor general’s council was enlarged to include 50% non- officials nominated by the governor general. Their appointment indicated a desire on the, part of the government to obtain unofficial cooperation and advice in making laws. On January 15, 1883, when the bill for local self-government was moved, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, a member of the Lord Ripon’s legislative council, argued that in India, a homeland of different peoples believing in different modes of life, western democracy would not work, because the Hindu majority would dominate the minorities. As a result of his constant efforts for the nomination system, the Indian Councils Act of 1892 indirectly introduced the principle of election. The use of the word election was avoided; some unofficial members were still nominated, and others were appointed on the recommendation of important communities and interests represented by such bodies as landlord associations, municipal and district boards, universities, or chambers of commerce. The government of India issued directions to provincial government that representation should be provided for certain classes’ and interests, including Muslims. Thus, the new act introduced a semi-electorate system and the principles of representation and election in India. But this system proved totally futile, as from 1892 to 1906, not even a single Muslim representative could secure a seat in the legislative councils as the local bodies were also dominated by Hindus, who always voted on religious grounds.