The Indian Statutory Commission, commonly known as the Simon Commission, was a group of seven Members of Parliament under the chairmanship of Sir John Simon. It arrived in British India in 1928.
Clement Attlee was one of the members of this Commission. He was from the Labour Party. He became committed to Indian independence by 1934 but achieved that goal as Prime Minister in 1947. He granted the independence of India and the creation of Pakistan.
Why was Simon Commission sent to India in 1928?
The Government of India Act 1919 had introduced the system of diarchy to administer the provinces of British India. This Act stated that a commission would be appointed after ten years to review the progress of the government scheme and to propose new steps for reform.
To fulfill the promise, the British government appointed it in November 1927.
Why it was boycotted by Indians?
The whole of India was against Simon Commission and there was the slogan of “Simon Go Back” everywhere.
- This Commission was going to determine the future of India doesn’t have a single Indian member. There was a question that how could people of Britain understand the problems of Indians.
- In the Madras meeting of Indian National Congress, decided to boycott the Commission. They also asked Lord Birkenhead, the Secretary of State of India, to draft a constitution acceptable by the Indian people.
- Indian leaders were noticing that the member of commission showed no inclination toward accepting the demand of Swaraj.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Jinnah, and many other leaders opposed the Simon Commission.
However, some leaders supported it, such as B. R. Ambedkar, Periyar E. V. Ramasamy.
During the protest, famous Indian leader Lala Lajpat Rai was injured and a fortnight later.
What was the impact of the Simon Commission?
The report of the Simon Commission was published in 1930.
- It advised the abolition of diarchy and the setting-up of elected governments in the provinces.
- It advised the holding of separate communal electorates till the communal tensions had died down.
- It led to the Government of India Act 1935 which served as the foundation for many parts of the current Indian Constitution.
- The first provincial elections were held in 1937 and it marked Congress governments being set up in nearly all the provinces.
- The meeting of the Commission gave an incentive to the Indian independence movement by galvanizing leaders and masses.
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