Indian National Movement-Swarajists and Simon Commission

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  • The withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation Movement led to the resentment of many leaders of the Congress.

  • A lot of leaders like: Motilal Nehru, C.R.Das etc., wanted change in the Congress and were called Pro-Changers .

  • There were leaders who did not want change in the Congress like Vallabhbhai Patel, Ansari, Rajendra Prasad, C.Rajgopalachari etc., were called No-Changers.

  • In the 37th Annual Congress Session at Gaya in 1922, the Pro-Changers were defeated by the No-Changers by a vote margin of 890:1740 respectively.

  • As a result of this Motilal Nehru and C.R.Das resigned and on 1st January, 1923 they founded the Congress Khilafat Swaraj Party (according to Sumit Sarkar on March, 1923).

  • C.R.Das became the first President and Motilal Nehru the first General Secretary, of the newly formed party.

  • Elections took place in November, 1923, on the basis of Montague-Chelmsford Constitution of 1919.

  • In this elections 62 lakh people participated.

  • In the elections Moderates defeated: S.N.Banerjee (Bengal) Sheshagiri Aiyar (Madras'. Paranjapey (Bombay) Chintamani (U.P.) H.Kunzroo.

  • National Liberation Federation faired badly in Elections.

  • Swaraj party got 42 seats, out of 101 seats in Central Legislative Council.

  • They had absolute majority in Central Province; in Bengal they had majority; they got some success in Bombay and U.P.

  • In Madras, Castiesm and in Punjab, Communalism affected their prospect in the elections.

  • The C.L.C met for the first time elections on 30th January, 1924.

  • In March, 1925 Vittalbhai Patel become President of the Central Legislative Council (1st Indian Speaker).

  • C.R.Das became Mayor of Calcutta.

  • S.C Bose became the Chief Administrator.

  • Vittalbhai became Head of Ahmadabad Municipalities.

  • Jawahar Lai Nehru became Head of Allahabad Municipality.

  • Rajendra Prasad became Head of the Patna Municipality;

  • They defeated the most dangerous bill- The Public Safety Bill in C.L.C in 1928;

  • They successfully protested Sir Alexander Muddiman and Lee Commission Committee Report.

Crisis in the Swarajist Party

  • On 16th June, 1925, C.R.Das died.

  • A no. of sectarian development took place.

  • Again elections took place in 1926.

  • Swaraj Party had almost divided into 3 groups: The Old Swarajists, The Responsivists (Jaikar, Kelkar and Munji), The Independent's Congress Party (M.M.Malviya)

Results of the Elections of 1926

  • 40 seats were bagged by Swarajist Party out of the 104 seats.

  • In Madras, they did not fair well; the anti-Brahmanical parties dominated.

  • In Bengal they won most of the seats.

  • In Bihar and Orissa, Responsivists dominated.

  • In Central Province, Punjab and U.P., Swarajists were defeated.

Simon Commission


  • A lot of resentment was against the Act of 1919, among the people.

  • The British government realise this by appointing the Simon Commission in 1927.

  • On 8th November, 1927, the British P.M. established a 7 member team called Simon Commission with John Simon as its Chairman.

  • The Simon Commission landed at Bombay on 3rd February, 1928.

  • The Congress boycotted the Simon commission and hartals were taken out.

  • The Muslim League Session held in December, 1927, under the Chairmanship of Mhd.Yaqub boycotted the commission at the Calcutta.

  • In 16th February, 1928, L.L.Rai moved a resolution in the Central Legislative Council (CLC) and protested against it.

  • Lord Birkenhead felt that by the next general elections Labour Party would come to power.

  • Hence, he did not want the Commission to come under the next government.

  • The Commission was to enquire about the following:

  • enquire in to the working of the government.

  • growth of education, development of representative system of governance in India and matters connecting with it;

  • how far it would be advisable to adopt responsible government;

  • to extend modify and restrict the degree of responsible government;

  • to enquire about the relations between states and govt.

  • The purpose of the Commission was to report on the making of the Constitution of India.

  • The report was published on 13th January, 1930, with the following recommendations:

  • new constitutional reconstruction should be done;

  • it should be a federal constitution;

  • Provinces to be given full autonomy including law;

  • the governor should have discretionary power related to internal security and administrative powers to protect the different communities;

  • the number of members of Provincial Legislative Council (PL.C.) should be increased;

  • In the C.L.C, the lower house should be called Federal Assembly and upper house-Council of States;

  • the governor general should have complete power to appoint the members of his Cabinet;

  • Government of India should have complete control on the High Court;

  • the number of members of Secretary of States should be reduced;

  • the Central Legislature to be enlarged and elected by Provincial Councils;

  • Burma was to be separated from India and Sindh from Bombay Presidency.

Limitations of the Commission

  • No Indian members in the Commission.

  • No universal franchise.

  • The position of Governor General remained unaffected.

  • No provision to abolish separate electorate

  • On 20th September, 1929, the Government of India approved the report and sent it for discussion in the Round Table Conference.

Civil Disobedience Movement

  • The immediate cause for the initiation of CDM was the failure of Simon Commission.

  • The CDM started on 12th March, 1930, with the Dandi March (popularly known as Salt Satyagrah).

  • 72 or 79 male followers along with Gandhiji started their movement to Darshana. Sarojini Naidu was the only female to participate.

Regional Variations: Bombay

  • Jamnalal Bajaj, K.F. Nariman, Yusuf Mehar Ali were the leaders.

  • Gujarat: No Tax Movement was launched at Bardauli (Surat). The main centres were : Anarid, Borsad, Kheda (Nadia Taluk) and Bharoach (in Jambusar).

  • Tamil Nadu: C. Rajagopalachari conducted a salt march from Trichinopalli to Veda Vannayam( on Tanjore coast).Head quarter was Tiruchengodu. Satyamurti and Srinivas Aiyangar were the leaders.

  • At Malabar Vaikom Satyagraha took place under the leadership of K. Kelapant. He walked from Calicut to Bayannur to break the Salt Law.

  • P. Krishnapillai hoisted the national flag on 11th November 1930. Kelapant had a contact with Ezvahas.

  • Bengal: Extremists were quite active. The Chittagong armoury raid took place in

  • April 1930.1n August, 1930, Bina Bose killed an English officer.

  • In December, 1930, Badal and Dinesh entered Writer's building and shot the I.G. (Prison).

  • No tax and Chowkidari movement started in Midnapore, Arambagh.

  • J.M. Sen Gupta and S.C. Bose were at loggerheads.

  • Therefore was not very successsful.

  • Kishoreganj and Dhaka witnessed communal riots.

  • Sylhet was a main base in Bengal.

  • Punjab: Tara Singh of Akali, Kharag Singh of Congress were the main leaders.

  • Kirti Kishan Sabha, Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Riashati Prajamandal were the important associations.

  • United Provinces: CDM was very active.

  • A riot took place in Benaras.

  • In Awadh, no rent movement started.

  • In Rai Bareilli, tallukdars were organised by Kalka Prasad.

  • The centres were: Barabanki and Allahabad.

  • Karachi: Swami Govind-anand was important.

  • Orissa: Gopabandhu Chaudhary was the leader

  • In 1931, Raiyat Sabha was found.

  • Bihar: A protest against Chowkidari tax at Saran, Munger and Bhagalpur.

  • Rajendra Prasad was injured in a mass rally.

  • In Begusarai, Somrabonga Majhi, was a tribal leader.

  • Peshawar: Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan was very active.

  • Khudai Khidmatgar Movement was launched during this period.

  • It had 50,000 red shirts (members).

  • Garhwal: On 20th April. , 1930, Chander Singh Garhwali refused to fire on the pathans.

  • Manipur: Rani Gadinilai of Nagaland rebelled against the British and was sentenced to life imprisonment. J.L. Nehru said about her," a day will come when India will remember and cherish her."

  • Assam: Tarunram Phoken, a Congress leader opposed CDM.

  • N.C. Bardolai was not very active.

  • In Kamrup, Chandra Prabha Shakyani led the movement.

  • Allahabad: M.N. Roy led no tax campaign.

Suspension of the Movement

  • The movement was suspended partially after Gandhi -Irwin Pact.

  • But it was resumed after the failure of the 2nd Round Table Conference.

  • In January 1932, Gandhi and other leaders were arrested .

  • In 1933 Gandhi confessed the failure of the movement. He resigned from congress membership and took to constructive work.

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