The Simon Commission was a group of seven British parliamentarians, which was formed on 8 November 1927 to study constitutional reforms in India and its main task was to investigate the Montague Chelmsford reforms. On 3 February 1928, the Simon Commission came to India. Indian agitators raised slogans of Simon Commission go back and protested fiercely. Along with the Congress, the Muslim League also participated in this movement against the Simon Commission. The Simon Commission was named after its chairman, Sir John Simon. Read this blog completely to know in detail about Simon Commission.
About Simon Commission
This is from the year 1928, before India’s independence, when a group of 7 MPs came to India from Britain. His main objective and purpose of visiting India was to conduct a comprehensive study on constitutional reform, to make recommendations to the immediate governing government. It was originally called the Constitutional Commission of India, the Constitutional Commission of India. The Simon commision was named after its president, Sir John Simon. It was led by Sir John Simon, an English based group touring India. These representatives of the Simon Commission created a ripple effect on the ground, seeing strong reactions from well-known politicians such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi, Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress.
Why was the Simon Commission brought?
The important points of why Simon Commission was brought are given below:
- The Liberal government of Britain wanted to send a commission to India at that time, when the communal riots were in full swing in the country and the unity of India was destroyed. The government wanted the commission to return with a bad idea about the social and political life of Indians.
- General elections in England were to be held in 1929. The Liberal Party was afraid of being defeated, they did not want the Labor Party to be given an opportunity to solve the Indian problem because they did not consider the interests of the Empire safe in their hands.
- The Swaraj Dal strongly demanded reform, the British government considered the deal too cheap as it was likely to make the party unattractive and gradually cease to exist.
- According to Keith, due to the emergence of the youth movement in India under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose, the British government thought it appropriate to appoint a state commission as soon as possible.
Major Salient Features of Simon Commission
Now that you have a clear understanding of the Simon commission, let us have a look at the main highlights which are basically extensions of it.
- It was under the Government of India Act 1919 that Diarchy was introduced. After 10 years the dual administration was created to appoint a working commission which could review the progress made and work out the prescribed measures.
- There were strong reactions against the diarchy based government. Political leaders and the Indian public were up in arms against the reform.
- Indian leaders were kept out while doing this reform. This was seen as sheer injustice and a form of humiliation.
- It was Lord Birkenhead who was responsible for the preparation of the Simon Commission.
- Clement Attlee, who was one of the main members in the Simon Commission, was the key figure at the time of India’s involvement in 1947 as the British Prime Minister. There was no Indian control, all significant power was in the hands of the British. India took this commission as a major insult and blot on the Indian people.
- The Simon Commission took place when the Indian national movement was at a standstill and directionless. He boycotted the commission in Madras in the year 1927. Jinnah’s Muslim League followed suit.
- Some factions and the Justice Party of the South supported the commission.
- Finally in the year 1928, amidst massive demonstrations and uproar, the Simon Commission landed in India. People resorted to slogans of “Go Simon Go” and “Go back Simon”.
- Lahore – Now in Pakistan, Lala Lajpat Rai protested strongly against the commission. He was also not spared, he was mercilessly beaten up.
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Simon commission recommendations
The report of the Simon Commission suggested that-
- Responsible government should be constituted in all areas including law and order in the provincial area.
- The time has not yet come for the formation of a responsible government at the Centre.
- The Central Legislature should be reorganized in which the federal spirit should be followed leaving the spirit of a unit. Also, its members should be indirectly elected by the provincial legislatures.
simon go back
- The famous slogan Simon Go Back was first uttered by ‘Lala Lajpat Rai’. In February 1928 there were several protests over the Simon commission. Lala Lajpat Rai moved a resolution against the commission in the Legislative Assembly of Punjab that month.
- Gandhiji was not in support of the commission as he believed that no one outside India can judge the condition of India.
- The Congress Party and the Muslim League boycotted the commission. However, the Justice Party in the South supported the government.
- In the protest, people were shouting ‘Simon go back’. In October 1928, when the commission reached Lahore (now in Pakistan), a protest led by Lala Lajpat Rai raised black flags against the commission.
- The local police started beating the protestors and one of the white police officers brutally beat Lala Lajpat Rai along with Lala. He was seriously injured and soon died.
Simon commission recommendations
The main recommendations of this simon commission were;
- The diarrheal system of administration in the provinces would be abolished and a representative government would be established in its place.
- It recommended that separate electorates remain in place until communal violence and tensions subsided.
- To contain communal hatred, crackdown and maintain internet security, discretionary powers were given to the Governor.
- It was recommended that the number of members of the Legislative Council be increased.
- The reforms equally suggested that the commission was incorporated in the Government of India Act 1935.
- To have complete control over the High Court, the Government of India must have complete control.
- In the year 1937, the first provincial-based elections were held, which saw a wave of Congress encroachment in every province.
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- The diarchy system implemented under the 1919 Government of India Act should be abolished.
- A federal constitution should be made for the country.
- The High Court should be placed under the control of the Government of India.
- Burma (now Myanmar) should be separated from India and Orissa and Sindh should be given the status of separate provinces.
- The number of members in the provincial legislatures should be increased.
- It should be arranged that the Governor and the Governor-General take special care of the interests of the minority castes.
- The system of appointing a constitution commission every 10 years should be abolished.
- Franchise and Expansion of Legislatures
- establishment of union government
- continuation of communal representation
- unresponsive governance in the central sector
- reorganization of the central legislature
- Establishment of Greater India Council
commission member in simon commission
The Simon Commission was appointed by the British Prime Minister under the leadership of Sir John Simon. There were seven members in this commission, all of whom were nominated members of the British Parliament. This was the reason why it was called ‘White Commission’. Simon Commission was announced on November 8, 1927 AD.
- Sir John Simon, MP for Spain Valley (Liberal Party)
- Clement Attlee, MP for Limehouse (Labour Party)
- Harry Levy-Lawson, (Liberal Unionist Party)
- Sir Edward Cecil George Cadogan, MP from Finchley (Conservative Party)
- Vernon Hartsholm, MP for Augmore (Labour Party)
- George Richard Lane – Fox, MP for Barkston Ash (Conservative Party)
- Donald Stirlin Palmer Howard, Parliament of Cumberland North
Effects and Objectives of Simon Commission
Now that you have understood the general information related to Simon Commission, let’s move a step closer to its effects and objectives:
- Its main effect was directionlessness towards the Indian National Congress.
- Its main objective was to widen the communal sentiments to break the social fabric of the country.
- It wanted to delay the process of conferring the powers of governance to the Indians.
- They were trying to promote and support the regional movement which could automatically wipe out the national movements in the country.
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result of simon commission
- Apart from several recommendations, he soon realized that the educated sector of India was not fully accepting the changes, so he suggested some changes for the betterment of Indians.
- The commission resulted in the Government of India Act 1935, which in India referred to as “responsible” government at the provincial level, but not at the national level – this being responsible government to the Indian community rather than London. In 1937, the first provincial elections were held, they formed the Congress government in several provinces.
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The Simon Commission was a group of seven British Parliamentarians, which was formed in 1927 to study the constitutional reforms in India. It is called the Simon Commission after its chairman Sir John Simon.
Establishment of a federation in India consisting of British Indian provinces and princely states. 2. There should be a system of responsible governance at the centre.
In 1927, the Congress session was held in Madras, in which it was unanimously decided to boycott the Simon Commission. The Muslim League also decided to boycott Simon. The commission reached India on 3 February 1928.
Saunders was murdered by Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev on 17 December 1928 to avenge the death of Lalaji.
Lord Irwin was appointed the Viceroy and Governor General of India on 3 April 1926. In 1927, the British Government constituted the Simon Commission under the chairmanship of Sir Stafford Cripps.
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