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Simon Commission and the Civil Disobedience Movement

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Simon Commission and the Civil Disobedience Movement - Lesson Summary

In 1922, the Chauri Chaura incident is considered as an Act of Violence and completely shook Mahatma Gandhi and other Congress leaders.
In Chauri Chaura, a peace demonstration to picket a liquor shop turned violent when policemen opened fire, killed and injured some satyagrahis. In reaction the police station was set on fire where the policemen had locked themselves burning many of them alive.
In February 1922, Mahatma Gandhi took back the Non-Cooperation Movement owing to the widespread of violence. Moti Lal Nehru and Chittaranjan Das formed the The Swaraj Party within the Congress in 1922. Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose opposed this formation and stressed on full independence based on socialist ideas.
The growth of the National Movement was influenced by two factors;
  • The worldwide Economic Depression and
  • The formulation of the Simon Commission under Sir John Simon.
The Simon Commission was a statutory commission aimed at looking into the constitutional system of India and suggest changes. It was an all-white commission without any Indian representation.
In 1928, when Simon Commission came to India all parties protested against it. To pacify the leaders, Lord Irwin the Viceroy gave a vague offer of Dominion status to India and also proposed a round table conference.
In the Lahore session of the Congress, in 1929 Jawaharlal Nehru declared the demand for Purna Swaraj. The call of Purna Swaraj did not create much enthusiasm among people.
Mahatma Gandhi discovered salt was a common ingredient in the food of both rich and poor. He viewed the tax on salt and the monopoly of the Government on its production as downright oppressive.
On 31st January 1930, he sent a letter to Lord Irwin stating eleven wide ranging demands of various classes of India. The launch of Civil Disobedience was also stated.
On refusal to negotiate by the British, Mahatma Gandhi launched a salt March from Sabarmati Ashram to the coastal town of Dandi in Gujarat.
On 6 th April Mahatma Gandhi broke the salt law manufactured salt by boiling sea water. This marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
The Non- cooperation movement aimed at bringing the British Government to a stand-still by refusing to cooperate with them. The Civil disobedience movement was more assertive and aimed at non-cooperation with the British as well as an open violation of oppressive British laws.


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