Simon Commission (1927)

The Act of 1919 included a provision for its review after a lapse of ten years. However, the review commission was appointed by the British Government two years earlier of its schedule in 1927.

It came to be known as Simon Commission after the name of its

chairman, Sir John Simon.

All its seven members were Englishmen.

As there was no Indian member in it, the Commission faced a lot of

criticism even before its landing in India. Almost all the political parties including the Congress decided to oppose the Commission.

On the fateful day of 3 February 1928 when the Commission

reached Bombay, a general hartal was observed all over the country.

Everywhere it was greeted with black flags and the cries of ‘Simon

go back’.

At Lahore, the students took out a large anti-Simon Commission demonstration on 30 October 1928 under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai. In this demonstration, Lala Lajpat Rai was seriously injured in the police lathi charge and he passed away after one month.

The report of the Simon Commission was published in May 1930. It was stated that the constitutional experiment with Dyarchy was unsuccessful and in its place the report recommended the establishment of autonomous government.

There is no doubt that the Simon Commission’s Report became the basis for enacting the Government of India Act of 1935.