ANTI SIMON COMMISSION UPSURGE
ANTI SIMON COMMISSION UPSURGE
- A seven member commission was instituted by the Conservative Government in 1927, popularly known as Simon Commission.
- The objective stated of the commission was to decide whether India was ready for further constitutional reforms.
- An additional motive of instituting the commission in 1927 was the backdrop of elections back in Britain in which conservatives were set to lose to Labour Party and the conservatives did not want to let the irresponsible Labour Party to decide on the future of its most priced colony.
- The conservative Secretary of State: Lord Birkenhead had imposed the cause of Simon Commission on Indians only with the reason that Indian leaders were unable to formulate the constitutional reforms which were acceptable to wide sections of Indian political opinion.
- The Indian reaction to an all white commission was immediate and against it completely that too unanimously.
- This was due to the reason that this was against the principle of self determination and also Indians had no say in their own future and were also not given a chance to prove whether they are capable to rule themselves.
REACTION TO THE SIMON COMMISSION
- Congress decided to oppose the commission in its 1927 session in Madras under the leadership M.A. Ansari at every stage and every form.
- Nehru even succeeded to get a snap resolution passed from the session that congress’ goal was to have complete independence.
- The liberals of Hindu Mahasabha and factions of Muslim League under Jinnah decided to join congress but others like: Unionists in Punjab and Justice party in south decided not to oppose the commission till it formulated its understanding.
- Countrywide hartals were announced. Wherever the commission it faced black banners and slogans “Simon Go Back”. This upsurge proved to be an important event to put the youth of the country at the forefront of freedom struggle.
- The protests with the energy of the youth took a militant flavor. Nehru and Subhash emerged as new league of leaders of this new wave of youth and students. Both travelled extensively and presided over conferences mobilizing millions of people.
- This event provided for the installation of the new radical ideas of socialism which reflected in the upsurge of the groups such as Punjab Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Workers’ & Peasants’ Parties and Hindustani Sewa Dal (Karnataka).
- The police came down heavily on the protests and did not even spared the leaders. GB Pant and Nehru were beaten in Lucknow. Lala Lajpat Rai received severe blows which proved to be fatal and he died on Nov 17, 1928. ANTI SIMON COMMISSION UPSURGE
EFFECTS OF SIMON COMMISSION: Two fold impact:
- It provided for the emergence of the radical thoughts which demanded not only complete independence but major socio-economic reforms on socialist lines
- The challenge from Lord Birkenhead was accepted by the political leaders to produce an agreed constitution and thus prospects of Indian unity seemed bright at this point.