This article covers all important points from various books related to the Simon Commission.
- The Government of India Act 1919 introduced the system of Dyarchy to govern the provinces.>> This act contained a provision that a commission would be set up after 10 years of enactment of this act to review its working.
- Thus in March 1927, the British government appointed an all white seven-member Indian Statutory Commission known as Simon Commission.
- The function of this commission was to recommend to the government whether India is ready for new constitutional reforms and if yes, then on what grounds. Also,
SimonCommission was meant to check the conditions of India under the new constitution.
- People of India were agitated as there was no Indian member in Simon Commission.
- At Madras session (Dec. 1927) Congress party decided to boycott Simon Commission. It was here that Congress declared “Complete Independence” or “Purna Swaraj” as its main goal.
- Muslim League, under the leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah also boycotted the commission.
- The commission landed in Bombay on 3 Feb 1928. On that day almost all the major cities and towns witnessed complete hartal, black flags were demonstrated all over the country and people chanted slogan “Simon go back”.
- The police reacted heavily to suppress the movement.
- In Lahore, Lala Lajpat Rai who was protesting against the commission was brutally lathi-charged by the police. He was critically injured and died later.
Recommendations of the Commission:
1. The commission recommended the abolition of dyarchy and setting up of responsible governments in the provinces.
2. Separate communal electorate must be retained until communal tension had simmered down.
3. Simon Commission led to the formulation of the Government of India Act 1935.
Impact of the appointment of the Simon Commission:
1. The commission attracted the radical forces demanding not only complete independence but major socio-economic changes on the socialist pattern.
2. The challenge of Lord Birkenhead, who thought Indians are not capable of drafting a constitution, was accepted by Indian politicians.