The Indian Statutory Commission, commonly referred to as the Simon Commission was a group of seven British Members of Parliament of United Kingdom under the chairmanship of Sir John Allsebrook Simon assisted by Clement Attlee. The commission arrived in British India in 1928 to study constitutional reform in Britain's most important colonial dependency. One of its members was Clement Attlee, who became committed to Indian independence by 1934 and achieved that goal as Prime Minister in 1947 in the granting of independence to India and Pakistan.
Simon CommissionThe Indian Statutory Commission, commonly referred to as the Simon Commission after its chairman Sir John Allsebrook Simon, was sent to India in 1928 (February - March and October 1928 - April 1929) to study potential constitutional reform. In 1930, the Commission published its two-volume report, also known as the Simon Report.
Simon Commission ReportThere were following recommendations on Commissions report:
- The Diarchy system in the provinces should be abolished and all the portfolios should be handed over to the provincial ministers.
- The power of the central government and the provincial governors should be reduced.
- Federal system of government should be introduced in India.
- The right to vote should be extended to more people.
- An expert committee should be constituted regarding the separation of Sindh from Bombay. The separation of Sindh was not granted in principal. First there would have to be a close and detailed enquiry into the financial consequences which would follow such a step.
- The demand of the frontier for equal status was also neglected.“The inherent right of a man to smoke a cigarette”, said the report“must necessarily be curtailed if he lived in a powered magazine.”
Main Features of ReportThe Commission within its restrained circumstances , still managed to produce a two-volume report in 1930. Its main features were following :
DiarchyFirst is the abolition of diarchy. Diarchy is a government by two independent authorities . The Commission wants to end diarchy.
Maximum Indian AutonomyA right of self Government termed as Autonomy . Commission was together with the recommendation that a fedral system should be established with maximumIndian autonomy.
Separate ElectoratesThe Simon Report agreed that separate electorates should stay .
Muslims seats in Central LegislatureIt was felt that Muslims should not have one-third of the seats in the Central Legislature .
Sindh PresidencyIt was also felt by the Commission that Sindh should stay a part of Bombay presidency.
North West FrontierThe special status of the North West Frontier should remain the same until further political negotiations decided the issue .
Muslim LeagueThe other conclusions of the report were also bad news for the Muslim League .The Muslim League stayed aloof from this campaign , declaring in the 1930 League meeting that the Congress struggle was not just for independence but also for Dominance over the Muslims
Congress PartyThe Congress Party Decided to hold a Civil disobedience campaign against the findings of the Simon Commission and in the ensuing campaign , Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru , who was to be the first prime minister of independent India , were both arrested.
Viceroy Lord IrwinThe Viceroy , Lord Irwin , announced that a series of conferences would be held in London in which all segment of Indian political opinion would be given a chance to discuss the future path of constitutional reform.
BackgroundIn Government of India act, 1919 there was a provision, that to examine the constitutional reforms and to know the reaction of Montage-Chelmsford reforms after ten years a government will appoint a commission who will make recommendations for adequate amendment. According to government Montage-Chelmsford reforms were infavor of Indian natives but on the opposite side the Indian natives were not satisfied of these reformers it was against their expectation So, however some things was better than nothing but it was reality that government was failed to get the favor of Indian people. In, 1927 Lord Irwin was Viceroy of India. Who appoint a commission under instruction of British government which was consist of seven members under Sir John Simon. Sir John Simon was its chairman. The instruction were given to the chairman that they had to investigate the Indian constitution problems then they had to present a detailed report in which they mentioned the adequate reforms .All the members of commission were British, even they did not included a single Indian member. Indian leaders make them to realize that to examine the problems and felling of Indian nation they should appoint Indian member in commission so, they can solve the problems of Indian people because without this they cannot take any decision for the future of Indian.
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