What are the causes which lead to the appointment of Simon Commission? Why it was opposed? What were the reactions of different sections of resistance movement?

What are the causes which lead to the appointment of Simon Commission? Why it was opposed? What were the reactions of different sections of resistance movement?


  • Provide brief Introduction Simon commission
  • Causes for the appointment of Simon Commission and Reasons for its opposition
  • Explain how different section reacted
  • Conclude appropriately
Model Answer :

The Indian Statutory Commission, commonly referred to as the Simon Commission after its chairman Sir John Allsebrook Simon, was sent to India in 1928 to study potential constitutional reform. In 1930, it published a two-volume report known as the Simon Report.

Causes for the appointment:

  • The Commission was set up in response to the nationalist movement, to look into the functioning of the constitutional system in India.
  • Government of India Act 1919 had introduced the system of dyarchy to govern the provinces of British India, and promised to investigate the progress of the new governance scheme by 1929 and suggest new steps for reform.
  • The 1919 reforms fell short of the aspirations of the Indian people.
  • Moreover, the Government of Britain led by Conservatives  feared a defeat in the elections scheduled to be held shortly and wanted to oversee reform before that. In March 1927, it announced its decision to appoint the “Statutory Commission” in advance of the prescribed date.

Reason for opposition:

  • As no Indian was included in the Commission, it was considered to be a direct insult to the Indians, thus opposed by all shades of the Indian public opinion and provided a common meeting ground for the different political parties.


  • The Indian response against the commission was immediate and nearly unanimous. What angered the Indians most was the exclusion of Indians from the commission and the basic notion behind the exclusion that foreigners would discuss and decide upon India’s fitness for self-government. It was seen as a violation of the principle of self- determination, and a deliberate insult to the self-respect of Indians.
  • The Congress decided to boycott the commission “at every stage and in every form”. The Liberals of the Hindu Mahasabha and the majority faction of the Muslim League also supported the boycott. On the other hand, the Unionists in Punjab and the Justice Party in the south decided not to boycott the commission.
  • All-India hartal was observed on the day of Commission’s landing in India. Protest demonstrations were held everywhere with  black flags and slogans of ‘Simon Go Back’.

The Simon boycott movement provided the first taste of political action to a new generation of youth. It provided a fertile ground for the germination and spread of new radical ideas of socialism. Under these circumstances, the INC in its Madras session (1927) adopted resolutions to draft a Constitution for India.

Subjects : History Modern

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