What is Simon Commission?

The Simon Commission was a British government-appointed commission that was formed in November 1927 to study the possibility of further constitutional reforms in India in the 1920s. The Simon Commission was comprised of seven members, all of whom were British, including Sir John Simon, who was the Chairman of the Commission.

What you will learn here?

Through this article, you will learn about the sequence of events that took place during the Simon Commission, including its formation, arrival in India, boycott by Indian political groups, protests, work, and submission of its report. You will also learn about the key recommendations made in the report and the reaction to these recommendations. By understanding the chronological order of events, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Simon Commission and its significance in India’s political and constitutional history.

Formation of the Simon Commission in November 1927

The Simon Commission was formed in November 1927 by the British government to review the political situation in India and to make recommendations for constitutional reforms. The Commission was headed by Sir John Simon, a British lawyer and politician, and consisted of seven British members.

Arrival of the Commission in India in 1928

The Commission arrived in India in February 1928, where it was met with widespread protests and demonstrations. The Commission was boycotted by the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League, the two main political parties in India, who saw it as a move by the British government to delay the transfer of power to Indian hands.

Goals & Purpose of Commission

The Simon Commission was sent to India in 1928 by the British government with the goal of assessing the current constitutional arrangements in India and recommending reforms. The purpose of the Commission was to address growing demands for greater self-government and political representation among Indians, and to find a solution that would ensure stability and continuity in the administration of India while taking into account the changing political landscape.

The Commission was tasked with examining the functioning of the existing constitutional arrangements, including the government of India Act of 1919, and considering whether any changes were necessary. The Commission was also asked to look at the administration of India’s finances, the distribution of powers between the central and local governments, and the representation of different interests, such as those of Hindus, Muslims, and other minority communities.

In essence, the Simon Commission was an attempt by the British government to address growing political unrest in India and to respond to demands for greater political representation and self-government. The Commission’s findings and recommendations were intended to form the basis for constitutional reforms that would help to maintain stability and ensure the continuity of British rule in India.

Boycott of the Commission by Indian political groups

The Simon Commission was boycotted by Indian political groups, who saw it as an attempt by the British government to further control India and undermine Indian independence. The boycott was led by the Indian National Congress and was supported by other political groups, including the Muslim League. The Commission was met with widespread protests and demonstrations, and its members were often greeted with black flags and shouts of “Simon, go back”.

Protests and Demonstrations Against the Commission in India

Protests and demonstrations against the Simon Commission in India were widespread and intense, reflecting the deep-seated anger and frustration among Indians towards British colonial rule. The main demand of the protesters was for Indian representation on the Commission. The boycott and protests were organized by the Indian National Congress and other political parties, who saw the Commission as a symbol of British domination and a threat to Indian independence.

The protests were largely peaceful, but sometimes turned violent. In some cities, protesters burned effigies of the British members of the Commission and shouted slogans calling for Indian independence. In Lahore, a large demonstration turned violent when police fired on the protesters, killing several people. This event, known as the Lahore massacre, became a rallying point for the independence movement and further galvanized public opinion against British rule.

Work of the Commission

Despite the boycott and protests, the Simon Commission continued its work, visiting various parts of India and gathering information on the political and social situation in the country. The Commission held several public hearings and met with various Indian political leaders and groups to discuss their views on constitutional reforms.

The Submission of the Commission’s Report in 1930

The Simon Commission submitted its report in 1930, recommending the establishment of a federal structure in India and the transfer of more powers to Indian hands. The report also proposed changes to the governance of India, including the appointment of Indian members to the central executive council and the transfer of certain subjects from the British to the Indian government.

Recommendations of Report

The Simon Commission submitted its report in 1930, which recommended the establishment of a federal structure in India and the transfer of more powers to Indian hands. The report also proposed the introduction of dyarchy, a system of government in which some powers would be reserved for the British government and others would be transferred to the Indian government.

The recommendations of the Simon Commission report were met with mixed reactions. While some saw the proposals as a step forward in the transfer of power to Indian hands, others felt that they did not go far enough in addressing the demands of the Indian people. The report and its recommendations would play a significant role in shaping the constitutional debates in India in the years leading up to independence.

Final Words

In conclusion, the Simon Commission was a significant event in India’s political history, marking a turning point in the struggle for independence. The chronological order of events highlights the sequence of events that took place during this period and provides a comprehensive understanding of the context in which the Simon Commission was formed and operated.