93 years since Simon Commission took its first step towards India

The criticism that the Simon Commission Report has faced. Leading to boycott of the Commission from the Indian Leaders.

The Simon Commission was a group consisting of seven members of the British parliament, who were sent to India 3 February 1928, to study constitutional changes and to make subsequent recommendations. Originally the Commission was called the Indian Statutory Commission. Later on, it was named as Simon Commission after its chairman Sir John Simon. The members of this commission were appointed under the leadership of Stanley Baldwin

John Simon and his members visited India twice in 1928. His first visit was from February 3 to March 31, 1928, and the second visit was from October 11, 1928, to April 13, 1929. During their first visit, John Simon and his team examined the relevant data that the government was able to provide them. During their second visit, they explored and visited different parts of the country. On April 13, 1929, the entire team went back to England.

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Simon Commission
Image Source – yourstory

These Simon Commission delegates have produced unforeseen consequences on the ground, with negative responses from prominent politicians such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi, Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress. As they were not taken into trust while the report was being formulated. To solve the situation, the viceroy Lord Irwin, announced an offer of a ‘Dominion Status’ for India in October 1929 AD and invited Mahatma Gandhi for the round table conference to discuss the future constitution.

Recommendations given by the Simon Commission

  1. Dyarchy in the provinces should be removed and leaders should be considered accountable to the legislative bodies in all divisions, including the rule of law.

  2. The Governor was to preserve extra powers for the security and tranquilly of the provincial area and for the protection of minorities.

  3. It would also have the complete power of interference in the event of system failure of the constitution.

  4. If the company was to be extended and the legislatures will have to be extended too.

  5. In the centre, the National Government Assembly would be formed based on the representation of the provinces and other areas of the population.

  6. The Council of State would continue working as the Upper House, but its members would not be elected based on direct election, rather they would be elected based on indirect election by the provincial councils.

  7. There are no changes in the executive functions of the central government.

  8. The entire Indian governing body was not regarded as a viable idea for arrest and prosecution.

  9. Burma should be segregated from British India and issued with a constitution all of its own.

Impact of the Simon Commission on British India

  1. The report of the Commission was published in 1930. Before the publication of the report, the government assured that the Indian perspective would be regarded and the natural outcome of political amendments would be the dominant status of India.

  2. It proposed the abolition of the diarchy and the establishment of authoritarian governments in the provinces.

  3. It also suggested the retrieval of separate communal constituencies until the regional violence has faded away.

  4. The Simon Commission led to the Government of India Act 1935, which functioned as the core principle for the existing Indian Constitution.

  5. The first provincial came to power in 1937 and Congress Organisations were established in almost all the provinces.

  6. The arrival of the Commission has provided an impetus to the Indian Freedom Struggle for Independence by inspiring leaders and masses.

Image source: The wire.in

What led to the boycott of the Simon Commission?

  1. The Indians were offended by their separation from the Commission.

  2. The Congress Party decided to boycott the Commission at its Madras Conference in 1927.

  3. It was also boycotted by the Muslim League led by M A Jinnah. A certain segment of Muhammad Shafi-led leaders endorsed the idea.

  4. The Justice Party in the South made an alliance with the government on the boycott of the Simon Commission.

  5. When the Commission landed in February 1928, there were massive protests, hartals and black flag rallies all over the country.

  6. People chanted the slogan, ‘Simon Go Back.’

  7. The police used lathi charges to suppress activism. Even senior officials like Pandit Nehru were also not spared.

  8. Lala Lajpat Rai, who led the protest rally against the Simon Commission, was viciously charged in Lahore. He died later that year, due to injuries prolonged at that time.

  9. Dr B R Ambedkar filed a proposal on the education of the backward class under the Bombay Presidency on behalf of the Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha.

In the protest against the Simon Commission, the Indians yet again demonstrated their unity and commitment to freedom. Now they’ve been preparing themselves for a bigger struggle. In the protest against the Simon Commission, the Indians yet again demonstrated their unity and commitment to freedom. Now they’ve been preparing themselves for a bigger struggle.

The Madras Congress, chaired by Dr M.A.Ansari, adopted a resolution declaring the fulfilment of complete independence as the objective of the Indians. The proposal has been processed by Nehru and supported by S. Satyamurty. In the meantime, an organisation called the Indian Independence League was established demanding complete freedom. The Indian Independence League was led by several powerful leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Srinivas Iyenger, Satyamurty and Sarat Chandra Bose, the elder brother of Subhas Chandra Bose.

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