In the later stages of colonial rule a commission was sent to India by the British Government to define the constitution and impose better government in British India.
Simon commission was a statutory group of seven members of Parliament sent to India by British government to impose constitutional reforms of the colony. The commission was named after the chairman of the commission Sir John Simon. Clement Attlee, who later on became the prime minister of Britain was also a part of the commission, and was later granted the independence to India by 1947.
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The commission was sent following the reforms mentioned on Government of India Act 1920 which had proposed to sent in a committee to analyze the progress of the new governance system and make reforms according to the needs. The act had mentioned that the committee will be appointed after a 10 year time span for the above said reasons. The Government of India Act 1919 had created a system of dyarchy, to govern the provinces of British India.
Following the Government of India Act 1919, the Indian public clamoured over the change of dyarchy system which involved two heads of the country to maintain the law and constitution.
In 1920, the conservative government in Britain feared a eventual defeat and was afraid to handover the power to control British India to the ‘inexperienced’ labour party members. Hence they appointed the committee following the 1919 act, with the members of Parliament as the members of the committee.
There were many protests over the commission coming on to India, the fact that the committee designed to formulate reforms of governing India did not consist of a single Indian member had been highlighted. Indian National Congress, in 1927 had resolved to oppose the commission in their meeting held at Madras. The INC proposed to boycott the commission and challenge Lord Birkenhead, the Secretary of State of India, to draft a constitution that will be acceptable to the Indian Population. A faction Muslim League led by Mohd. Ali Jinnah also opposed the commission and was boycotting the committee.
Following the protests a all India committee was formed for cooperation with the Simon commission and the members of this committee was selected by Lord Irwin, the members were :