DMPQ-. How did different political groups respond to the Simon commission report ?

. The Indian response to the Simon 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. This notion was seen as a violation of the principle of self-determination, and as a deliberate insult to the self-respect of Indians.

Congress Response

The Congress session in Madras (December 1927) meeting under the presidency of M.A. Ansari decided to boycott the commission “at every stage and in every form”. Meanwhile Nehru succeeded in getting a snap resolution passed at the session, declaring complete independence as the goal of the Congress.

Other Groups

Those who decided to support the Congress call of boycott of the Simon Commission included the liberals of the Hindu Mahasabha and the majority faction of the Muslim League under Jinnah. The Muslim league had two sessions in 1927 – one under Jinnah at Calcutta where it was decided to oppose the Simon Commission, and another at Lahore under Muhammad Shafi, who supported the government. Some others, such as the Unionists in Punjab and the Justice Party in the south, decided not to boycott the commission.

The commission landed in Bombay on February 3, 1928. On that day, a countrywide hartal was organised and mass rallies held. Wherever the commission went, there were black flag demonstrations, hartals and slogans of ‘Simon Go Back’. A significant feature of this upsurge was that a new generation of youth got their first taste of political action.

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