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Simon Commission 1927

The Indian Statutory Commission, commonly referred to as the Simon Commission, was a group of seven British Members of Parliament....

The Indian Statutory Commission, commonly referred to as the Simon Commission, was a group of seven British Members of Parliament under the chairmanship of Sir John Allsebrook Simon. The commission arrived in British India in 1928 to study constitutional reform.

  • As the government of the India Act 1919 had a provision for a review committee after ten years to study the progress of the Act and for new suggestions.
  • The British government appointed the seven members’ statutory commission two years before the schedule.
  • The Simon Commission was set up under British Prime Minister Stanley Balwin on November 8, 1927, to report on the condition of India under its new constitution.

Reason to Appoint the Commission Two Years Ago by the British Government Appoint:

  • Anticipation of Defeat by Conservative Government: Although constitutional revisions were due only in 1929, the Conservative administration, then in control in Britain, anticipated defeat by the Labour Party and hence did not want to leave the matter of the future of Britain’s most expensive colony in “irresponsible Labour hands”. 
  • Failure of the 1919 Act: Furthermore, by the mid-1920s, the failure of the 1919 Act to establish a stable imperial power had resulted in several parliamentary investigations and probes. 
  • Main Commission And Reports: The Lee Commission investigated Raj’s failure to recruit enough British officers, the Muddiman Commission investigated the impasse within the diarchy regime, and the Linlithgow Commission investigated the Indian agricultural problem. As a result, the British government appointed the Simon Commission in 1927.

Simon Commission Recommendations

The main recommendations of this commission were; 

  • The Diarchy system of administration was replaced by representative governments in provinces.
  • The separate electorates remain until communal violence and tension die down. 
  • Governor held discretionary powers to maintain communal hatred, rift and internet security. 
  • It was recommended that the number of members of the Legislative Council should be increased. 
  • The reforms equally suggested that the Commission were incorporated into the Government of India Act 1935
  • In order to have complete control over the high court, the Government of India should have complete control. 
  • In the year 1937, the first provincialbased elections were held which saw a wave of Congress making inroads in every province, for instance.

What was the main problem with the Simon Commission?

The Simon Commission was majorly criticized because of the lack of Indian representation on the board of members. There was not a single Indian member included in it. This was taken as an insult by the Indian masses

Why was the Simon Commission Sent to India?

The Simon Commission was sent to India to assess the impact of the changes made under the Government of India Act of 1919. It was mainly sent back to determine the future of the political level of the country.

India’s Reaction to Simon Commission

  • Congress: The Congress session in Madras (December 1927), presided by M.A. Ansari resolved to boycott the commission “at every step and in every shape.”
  • Muslim League: A branch of the Muslim League– Under Jinnah’s leadership, a faction of the Muslim League boycotted the Commission. 
  • Tej Bahadur Sapru: He leads the Liberal Federation in boycotting the Simon Commission.

Read Also: Government Of India Act, 1858

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