The national rise during the Non-cooperation Movement came to a halt during the Chauri Chaura Incident. It was in 1927 again that there was the resumption of national movement centering round the appointment of Simon Commission.
In fact, the British Government in 1927 announced that a commission would go through the question of granting further concessions to the Indians. Accordingly, in 1927 itself the British government constituted a commission headed by Sir John Simon. And it was by his name, that the commission came to be known as the ‘Simon Commission’.
WHY WAS THE COMMISSION FORMED?
- The constitutional concessions granted to Indians by the British government in 1919 failed to satisfy them.
- The Act of 1919 did not satisfy the demands of the Indians. The Indian national leaders had been continuously demanding, since 1919, the introduction of further constitutional reforms.
- But, it was made clear by the government that they will not introduce any further constitutional reforms up to the next 10 years.
- By the time, Simon Commission was formed already 8 years had elapsed out of the time-span of 10 years determined by the British government.
- Defeat in the elections of the ruling Conservatives in the upcoming elections was also an important factor.
- Thus ruling party of Britain appointed the Simon Commission.
INDIAN REJECTION OF THE SIMON COMMISSION
- The Simon Commission was headed by one Sir John Simon and all other members were appointed from amongst the British Parliamentarians.
- No Indian was included in the Commission as a member. This was considered to be a direct insult to the Indians.
- In fact, exclusion of the Indian members in a Commission that concerned Indians alone was viewed as an insult to the self-respect of the Indian people.
- Simon Commission was opposed by all the shades of the Indian Public Opinion and thus it was provided a common meeting ground for different political parties.
- All India Hartals were observed on the day of landing of Commission in India.
- Hostile demonstrations were held in all the major cities and towns. There were also clashes between the demonstrators and the police in several places.
- In one such incident, Lala Lajpat Rai was severely injured when a lathi was blown by Police to break up the gathering at Lahore.
- He died after a few months because of the injury. As a consequence, people’s wrath and angriness were fueled.
- Under the circumstances, the Indian National Congress in the Madras Session (1927) adopted certain important resolutions which included drafting of a constitution for India.