Chapter 24: SIMON COMMISSION
Government of India Act 1919 made a provision for a review
committee on its working after 10 years. However the
conservative government was staring at defeat and it felt
that this constitutional question couldn’t be left in the
hands of inexperienced labor party. Thus the Indian
statutory commission popularly known as the Simon
commission was appointed in 1927.
as no Indian was on the committee it was met with boycott
unanimously throughout India by all parties. The Muslim
league was split on this but Jinnah carried majority with
him in favor of boycott.
Protests against the
the committee went it was greeted with black flags and
hartals. The police response to was brutal and many places
saw lathi charges even on senior leaders. The youth got a
chance for political demonstrations and many youth leagues
sprang up throughout the country.
Nehru and SC Bose were the leaders who toured the country
and presided over innumerable youth conferences. Both
these leaders were deeply influenced by socialism
[though Nehru’s ideas were more scientific than Bose].
The youth drawn into the national struggle also were
introduced to socialist ideas.
secretary of state had complained that the Indians
couldn’t create a report on constitutional reforms that
would be support by political opinion. In response to
this the congress produced the Nehru report authored by
Motilal Nehru. It demanded dominion status for
demands were reservations for Muslims in Muslim minority
areas not Muslim majority areas; separation of state and
religion; freedom to form unions; equal right for women;
universal adult suffrage, no separate electorates.
Muslim league was opposed to the provision on no
reservations in Muslim majority areas this led Jinnah to
come up with his fourteen point plan.
led by Jawaharlal Nehru and Bose to had objections on
the Nehru report. They wanted Purna Swaraj as the goal
of the congress and not dominion status. But
Gandhiji and others felt that it would be too hasty. At
the Calcutta session, a compromise was made here and it
was decided to give the government a year to accept a
constitution based on dominion status. If that didn’t
happen then congress would accept complete independence as
its goal and launch a civil disobedience to achieve it.
Recommendations of the Simon
were continuation of communal representation, abolition of
diarchy, extension of responsible government in provinces,
creation of Indian federation of British India and
new government of the labor party was in power and the PM
Ramsey McDonald declared that once the Simon committee
submits its report a round table would be convened to
discuss dominion status to India. Following this
declaration a conference of all major leaders met an
issued the Delhi manifesto, it made clear that the purpose
of the round table wouldn’t be too discuss when dominion
status would be given but to make an implementation plan.
Viceroy Irwin told Gandhiji that such a promise can’t be
made. Hence the confrontation was necessary.
Lahore Session and Purna
the Lahore session of the congress the historic
declaration of Purna Swaraj was made in 1929. The flag of
Indian independence was unfurled on the banks of Ravi on
31st December 1929. On Gandhiji’s insistence
Jawaharlal Nehru was appointed the president after his
father Motilal Nehru. Gandhiji insisted this was due to
the sacrifice of the youth and in recognizing their
contribution to the Simon boycott.
26th January 1930 the Purna Swaraj pledge was
taken by Indians. The Lahore session gave the working
committee to chalk out a plan for civil disobedience. Gandhiji
an ultimatum to Viceroy Irwin saying 11 points demanded
have been ignored and so no other option is with the
congress except civil disobedience.
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