Government of India Act 1919 introduced the Dyarchy system to operate the provinces of British India. The Act provided that a commission would be appointed after 10 years to examine the progress of the governance plan and new steps would be taken for improvement. The government of England was a conservative government which was not in favor of giving control to Indians. In March 1927, the Government of His Majesty announced the decision to appoint “Legal Commission” before the scheduled date. (The Commission was to be established in 1929).
What was Simon’s commission?
1. To delay the process of transfer of power to the British people.
2. To expand the communal feelings widely, which could totally oppose the interests of both the communities.
3. To show people that the British were honest in their efforts to give self-rule, but it was an Indian who could not decide on the consent of power sharing.
4. To make a print of the federal constitution so that week center and a strong province can be made. It will create a feeling of regionalism, which was the rival of nationalism.
5. To give political autonomy without economic autonomy
1. There should be a constitutional reconstruction.
2. It will be a federal constitution.
3. Provinces should be given full autonomy including law.
4. To protect the different communities, the governor should have discretionary power related to internal security and administrative powers.
5. The number of members of the Provincial Legislative Council should be increased.
6. The governor general must have full power to appoint members of the cabinet.
7. Government of India should have full control over the High Court.
Limitations or shortcomings.
1. There was no Indian member in the commission.
2.No universal franchise was proposed.
3.The governor-general’s situation was unaffected.
4.Not to the provision of termination of separate voters, but also to other communities.
5.No financial transfer was proposed.
Response in India.
The announcement came in the form of a surprise as Indians were in desperation situation earlier. The Congress agenda was low and there was no active program except Khadi. Swarajwadi were in the Legislative Council and they lost solidarity with the Congress.Therefore, the Simon Commission for Congress, with less agenda came out as a blessing and found an issue to get them effectively.
The references to the commission’s personnel and their terms were announced in November 1927. There were 7 members in which three political parties of the British Parliament were formed, which was headed by Sir John Simon. None of the Indians were appointed in the commission, and the promise to please the Indians was a bubble when no Indian was included in the commission, so it would be deprived of its right to participate in the determination of the constitution of their country. Was like that.
In the December 1, 1927 session of the Congress in Madras, a resolution was passed which advocated the boycott of the Simon Commission, “in every step and in every form”. Other factions of politicians also joined the suit. However, in the Muslim League, ideas were split. Jinnah was fired from the commission; But Muhammad Shafi supported the government.
Thus, there were two parts of the Muslim League in 1927- one headed under Jinnah in Calcutta, where he opposed the commission, another was held in Lahore under the leadership of Muhammad Shafi, where he was the government Therefore, all the parties except the Muslim Party Shafi Group and Madras in Madras were against the Simon Commission.