The Simon Commission – Facts And History

 

The Simon Commission was a British parliamentary commission that was set up in 1927 to review and recommend constitutional reforms in India. The commission was named after Sir John Simon, the chairman of the commission. The Simon Commission was the result of mounting pressure from Indian nationalists who had been demanding greater political representation and a larger role in the governance of their country.

The commission was made up of seven members, all of whom were British. The commission was supposed to review the progress of constitutional reforms in India since the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms of 1919 and to make recommendations for further reforms. However, the commission did not include any Indian representatives, which led to widespread protests and boycotts in India.

The Indian National Congress and other nationalist groups in India saw the Simon Commission as an attempt by the British to perpetuate their rule in India by excluding Indians from the process of constitutional reform. The nationalist leaders also saw the commission as an attempt to divide the Indian people along religious and communal lines.

Upon its arrival in India in February 1928, the Simon Commission was greeted with extensive protests and demonstrations.  The boycott was successful, and the commission was forced to conduct its proceedings without the participation of Indian representatives.

The Simon Commission submitted its report in May 1930, and its recommendations included the establishment of provincial autonomy and the extension of the franchise to a larger section of the Indian population. However, the report was widely criticized in India for not going far enough in terms of granting greater political representation to Indians.

The Simon Commission’s report was followed by the Round Table Conferences, which were a series of conferences held in London between 1930 and 1932 to discuss further constitutional reforms in India. The conferences were attended by representatives from the Indian National Congress, the Muslim League, and other political groups in India.

The Round Table Conferences failed to reach a consensus on the future political structure of India, and the British government was forced to take unilateral action to implement constitutional reforms. The Government of India Act of 1935, which was based on the recommendations of the Simon Commission and the Round Table Conferences, established a federal system of government in India and provided for a limited form of self-government.

The Simon Commission had far-reaching implications for the Indian independence movement. It helped to galvanize the nationalist movement in India and brought the issue of Indian self-government to the forefront of British politics. The commission also highlighted the need for greater political representation and participation for Indians in the governance of their country.

In conclusion, the Simon Commission was a British parliamentary commission that was set up in 1927 to review and recommend constitutional reforms in India. The commission was criticized for not including any Indian representatives and was boycotted by Indian nationalist groups. The commission’s report led to the Round Table Conferences and eventually the Government of India Act of 1935, which established a federal system of government in India. The Simon Commission helped to galvanize the Indian independence movement and highlighted the need for greater political representation and participation for Indians in the governance of their country.

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