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Nehru Report, 1928 and Lahore Session, 1929

Nehru Report, 1928

Under the Act of 1919, new reforms were to be introduced in India by the British Government after every 10 years. For this purpose Simon Commission was sent to India in 1927. Most of the Indian political parties decided to boycott the Commission on the plea that it lacked Indian representation. The British decided to throw the ball in the court of the Indian politicians. Lord Birkendhead, Secretary of State for Indian Affairs, challenged the Indians, “If they have any political capability and competence then they should form a unanimous constitution and present it to us and we will implement it.”

Indian political parties accepted the challenge and called an All Parties Conference at Delhi in January 1928. The conference was attended by around a hundred delegates, from all the important parties, including the Indian National Congress, All India Muslim League, National Liberal Federation, Hindu Mahasabha, etc.

The conference failed to reach a conclusion on the issue of the rights of minorities. The second round of the All Parties Conference was held in March the same year. Two sub-committees were formed but the end result was not different from the first session. It was during the third session of the All Parties Conference held at Bombay in May 1928 that a seven members committee under the chairmanship of Motilal Nehru to determine the basic features of the future constitution of India.

Despite many hurdles, the Nehru Committee completed its task and its report, commonly known as Nehru Report was presented in the fourth session of the All Parties Conference held in August 1928. The Committee declared that it was useless to ask anything less than complete Swaraj and presented the following demands:

  1. India should be given a Dominion Status, with a parliamentary form of Government.
  2. There should be a bi-cameral legislature consisting of a senate and the House of Representatives. The senate will comprise of two hundred members elected for seven years, while the House of Representatives should consist of five hundred members elected for five years.
  3. The Governor-General will act on the advice of the Executive Council. It shall be collectively responsible to the parliament.
  4. There should be a federal form of government in India, with residuary powers to be vested in the Centre.
  5. There will be no separate electorate for minorities.
  6. The system of weightage shall not be adopted for any province.
  7. There would be no reserved seats for communities in Punjab and Bengal. However, reservation of Muslim seats could be possible in the provinces where Muslim population would be at least ten percent.
  8. The Judiciary should be independent from the Executive.
  9. There should be 1/4th Muslim representation at the Centre.
  10. Sind should be separated from Bombay, provided it proves to be financially self sufficient.
  11. Reforms shall be introduced in the NWFP.

Fourteen Points, 1929

Jinnah presented his famous fourteen points on March 28, 1929 to the Muslim League Council at their session in Delhi.

Since all the Muslims opposed the Nehru Report, these points were to counter the proposals made in the Nehru Report. The points were to recommend the reforms that would defend the rights of the Muslims of the sub-continent.

Lahore Session, 1929

The Purna Swaraj declaration, or Declaration of the Independence of India, was promulgated by the Indian National Congress under the influence of Jawaharlal Nehru and other revolutionaries on 19 December 1929, resolving the Congress and Indian nationalists to fight for Purna Swaraj, or complete self-rule, independent of the British Empire.

The flag of India was hoisted by Gandhi on 31 December 1929, in Lahore. The Congress asked the people of India to observe 26 January as the Independence Day. The flag of India was hoisted publicly across India by Congress volunteers, nationalists and the public.

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