What restrictions were imposed by the Vernacular Press Act on the Indian Press? Explain.
After the revolt of 1857, the attitude to freedom of the press was changed in British India. Vernacular papers became assertively nationalist. To control the vernacular papers, the ‘Vernacular Press Act’ was passed in 1878 under the Governor-Generalship and Viceroyalty of Lord Lytton.The act empowered the government to impose restrictions on the press in the following ways
(i) Modelled on the Irish Press Laws, this act
provided the government with extensive rights to censor reports and editorials in the vernacular press.
(ii) The purpose of the act was to control the printing and circulation of seditious material, specifically which were against the British Government in India.
(iii) From now on the government kept regular track of the vernacular newspaper.
(iv) When a report published in the newspaper was judged as seditious, the newspaper was warned.
(v) If the newspaper ignored the warning of the government, the government could seize the press and confiscate the printing machinery.