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Old Wednesday, May 06, 2020
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Post Simon Commission

In 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 in favor 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.


Simon commission reached at Bombay on 3rd February, 1928. Before the arrival of this commission all the leaders decided that in any case they all will boycott the commission. One day before the arrival of commission viceroy lord Irwin requested them to cooperate with commission but the non-governmental people took it easy. On February, 1928 when the budget session was going to start in assembly they decided to present the resolution for boycott of Simon commission. Raja Ghazanfar Ali, Nawab Ismaeel Khan Lala Lajpat Rai had already spread a wave against the commission. Firstly, Nawab Ismaeel was not agreeing to boycott the commission because he thought that if we boycott against it than it will promote the congress. On 16th February, 1928, Lala Lajpat Rai who was the member of the assembly presented the movement of boycott of commission. The movement was accepted with 62 votes out of 68 except this it was also decided that the members were not going to be sent who were appointed by the central assembly. If the governments itself appoint them they themselves refused to sit with them. Council of commission selected three members but there were restrictions that they will only help them when the commission will needed them.


Unfortunately, at that time Muslim league was decided into two groups Shafi league and Jinnah league. The confusion amongst them was temporary but during this period Muslim clearly gets to know the intentions of Hindus. Because of this contradiction ideology Sir Shafi supported commission. The reason which he explained to support the commission was that by opposing the commission Hindus will get more chances on government level. According to his idea the congress was Hindu party and every step of Hindus on politics will be against Muslims, If Hindus were opposing the commission it does not mean that they want to cooperate with Muslims. It was just because that they want to press government to fulfill their demands.


When Sir John Simon reached Delhi from Bombay he announced that he will considered the opinion of selective members and will make a committee consist on a few members. The committee will always be with them. But the people of India were not satisfied with this announcement. The Commission started his Indian tour. There were strikes in all over India against commission. But in Lahore there were extreme conditions. On 30th October, 1928 the commission reached Lahore through train. People were gathered at the station; at noon big crowd was raising slogans “Simon Go Back”. Lala Lajpat Rai, Molana Abdul Qadir Qureshi, and Molana Zafar Ali were leading the procession. When they reached near Landa Bazaar there were fence of wires. The procession stopped there and raising slogans against commission. Then suddenly the clash started between police and protesters. The police officer Mr. Scott started beaten the people who were in front line. During this Lala Lajpat was hit near his heart at that time he never feel pain but after few days he died of this. The Commission never stopped his work although people were opposing it. And at last on April, 1929 after the tour of India they went back and finally presented their report.


There were following recommendations on Commissions report:

1. The Diarchy system in the provinces should be abolished and all the portfolios should be handed over to the provincial ministers.

2. The power of the central government and the provincial governors should be reduced.

3. Federal system of government should be introduced in India.

4. The right to vote should be extended to more people.

5. 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.

6. 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.”


The report was not acceptable for Muslims, Hindus and also for the elected members of the Indian legislative assembly.
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