Words such as Swaraj and Simon Commission reached them through the window above Sowmya’s head. A woman called Parvati Devi was charged with inciting riots over the Commission’s arrival and took her baby with her to jail.

–Desire of the Moth

The Simon Commission was appointed in November 1927 by the British Conservative government and charged with reporting on the working of the Indian constitution established by the Government of India Act of 1919. Dispatched to India in 1928 the Commission did not include any Indian delegates. As a result, the Indian National Congress and a faction of the Muslim League, led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, decided to boycott the Commission. Upon arrival in Bombay on 3 February 1928, the Commission was met by nationwide protests. In London, the London Branch of the Indian National Congress planned a demonstration upon the return of the Commission.


The Commission nevertheless produced a two-volume report. It proposed provincial autonomy in India but rejected parliamentary responsibility at the center. It accepted the idea of federalism and sought to retain direct contact between the British crown and the Indian states. The Report was met with disappointment and condemnation throughout India. The Indian National Congress mistrusted the findings of the Commission and the Congress boycotted the Report.

Simonprotest-chakra flag

Gandhi subsequently started the Civil Disobedience Movement with aim of not only non-cooperation with the British but in open violation and rejection of oppressive British laws.

Civil Disobedience