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Which laws were taken as models for the Vernacular Press Act, 1878?
1. Irish Press Laws
2. English Press Laws
3. Indian Press Laws
4. American Press Laws

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Correct Answer - Option 1 : Irish Press Laws

The correct answer is Irish Press Laws.

  • Modeled on the Irish press act, this act provided the government with extensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the Vernacular press. Hence option 1 is correct.
  • The government kept regular track of Vernacular newspapers.

  • Lord Lytton passed the Vernacular Press Act 1878 that authorized the government to confiscate newspapers that printed ‘seditious material’. He also passed the Arms Act 1878 that prohibited Indians from carrying weapons of any kind without licenses. Englishmen were excluded from this act.

  • The Vernacular Press Act, 1878: It came to be known as the Gagging Act as it discriminated between the English and the Vernacular Press. It was enacted to curb the highly critical nature of the vernacular press. It provided the government with extensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the vernacular press. When a report was judged as seditious, the newspaper was warned, and if the warning was ignored, the press was liable to be seized and the printing machinery confiscated. 

  • About Lord Lytton:
    • Lord Lytton was the Viceroy of India from 1876 to 1880.
    • In the year 1876, there was a famine in south Indian where about 10 million deaths took place.
    • His trading policies were criticized for having infuriated the famine.
    • He conducted the grand Delhi Durbar in 1877 spending a huge amount of money at a time when people were dying of hunger.

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