UPSC Exams are conducted to recruit efficient administrators and civil servants in the country. It is considered as one of the toughest exams in India which are taken by candidates willing to serve the nation. Modern History is one of the major topics covered in these exams. One of the quintessential concepts in History is the Simon Commission which can help you answer most of the history questions for UPSC & SSC Exams. Through this blog, we are going to list NCERT notes and important points related to the Simon Commission.
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About Simon Commission
It was in the year 1928, before India’s independence when a group of 7 MP’s arrived in India from Britain. Their main purpose and aim of visiting India were to conduct an extensive study on constitutional reforms in order to make recommendations to the, then ruling government. It was originally called as Indian Statutory Commission. After its Chairman’s name Sir John Simon, Simon Commission was named. It was under the leadership of Sir John Simon, an English based group was visiting India. These Simon Commission delegates created ripple effects on the ground, strong reactions were witnessed from noted politicians like Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi, Jinnah, the Muslim League and Indian National Congress. They were not taken into confidence while formulating the report.
Key Highlights of the Simon Commission (Background)
Now that you have a clear understanding of the Simon Commission, let’s take a look at the main highlights which are basically its expansion:
- It was under Government of India act 1919, Diarchy was introduced. The Diarchy was made to appoint working commission after 10 years who could review the overall progress and work from the measures the act prescribed.
- There were strong reactions against the Diarchy based government. Political leaders and Indian masses were up in the arms against the reform.
- Indian leaders were kept out while making this reform. It was seen as sheer injustice and a sort of insult.
- It was Lord Birkenhead, who was responsible for formulating the Simon Commission.
- Clement Atlee who was one of the core members in the Simon Commission was the key person as Briitish Prime Minister at the time of India’s participation in 1947. There was no Indian control, all the important power was in the hands of British. India took this commission as a core insult and blot on Indian masses.
- Simon Commission took place when the Indian National movement was at a standstill and directionless. They boycotted the commission in the year 1927 in Madras. Jinnah’s Muslim league followed the suit.
- Certain factions and the Justice party of the South supported the commission.
- Finally in the year 1928, amid mass demonstrations and uproar, Simon Commission landed in India. People resorted to slogans “Go Simon Go” and “Go Back Simon”
- In Lahore-now in Pakistan, Lala Lajpat Rai took a strong protest against the commission. He was not spared even, he was brutally beaten.
Simon Go Back
- The famous slogan Simon Go Back was first said by ‘Lala Lajpat Rai’. Several protests took place when the Simon Commission entered India in February 1928. Lala Lajpat Rai moved a resolution against the Commission in the Legislative Assembly of Punjab that month.
- Gandhi Ji was not in support of the Commission as he believed that someone outside India could not judge the condition of India.
- The Congress Party and Muslim League boycotted the Commission. However, The Justice Party in the South supported the Government.
- People in protests were chanting the slogan ‘Simon Go Back’. In October 1928, when the Commission arrived in Lahore (now in Pakistan), a protest led by Lala Lajpat Rai waved black flags against the Commission.
- The local police began to beat the protestors and one of the white police officers brutally hit Lala Lajpat Rai on his chest with a Lathi. He was critically injured and soon died.
Simon Commission Recommendations
The main recommendations of this commission were;
- The Diarchy system of administration in the provinces to be abolished and in place of it, representative governments will be established.
- It recommended the separate electorates remain until communal violence and tension die down.
- In order to maintain communal hatred, rift and internet security, Governor was given discretionary powers.
- 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 provincial-based elections were held which has seen a wave of Congress making inroads in every province.
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Impacts and Objectives of the Simon Commission
Now that you have understood the general information related to the Simon Commission, let’s move a step closer to its impacts and objectives:
- Its main impact was directionless of Indian National Congress.
- Its main objective was to widen the communal feelings in order to break the country’s social fabric.
- It wanted to delay the process of providing the powers of governance to Indians.
- They were trying to propagate and endorse the regional movement which could automatically wipe off the national movements in the country
Result of Simon Commission
Other than the many recommendations, they soon realized that the educated sector of India was not accepting of the changes completely so they suggested a few changes for the betterment of Indians as well.
The Commission resulted in the Government of India Act 1935, which called a “responsible” government at the provincial level in India but not at the national level—that is a government responsible to the Indian community rather than London. In 1937, the first provincial elections were held that made Congress Governments in several provinces.
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Important Details around Simon Commission
Simon Commission is an important part of history and courses. Here are some of the important details you should know about it:
Why Was Simon Commission Rejected In India?
The Simon Commission was boycotted because Indians were excluded from the commission and had no representation in the assemblage. It was supposed to give an account of how the Indian Constitution was working and no Indian was involved in the process.
The Simon Commission was a group of seven parliamentarians who had to conduct an extensive study on constitutional reforms in order to make recommendations to the then ruling government.
It was appointed in India on November 1927
The members were:
Sir John Simon, MP for Spen Valley
Clement Attlee, MP for Limehouse
Harry Levy-Lawson, 1st Viscount Burnham
Edward Cadogan, MP for Finchley
Vernon Hartshorn, MP for Ogmore
George Lane-Fox, MP for Barkston Ash
Donald Howard, 3rd Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal
Simon Commission was headed by Sir John Simon, MP for Spen Valley. Hence, the name was Simon Commission
Hope this concept on the Simon Commission is clear to write for the competitive exams like UPSC. For any query related to courses, careers, admissions and universities abroad, reach out to Leverage Edu by booking a free counselling session!