Nehru Report

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In November 1927, the British federal government designated the Simon Commission to examine the functioning of the Government of India Act 1919 and introduce constitutional changes for India. The Commission did not have a single Indian participant, which upset leaders of the nationalist movement. While the British recognized the unhappiness, it did not change the composition of the Commission as well as instead asked Indians to verify that they could prepare a constitution themselves. Leaders of the nationalist movement reacted to the challenge by composing the Nehru Report 1928.

In December 1927, at its Madras gathering, the Indian National Congress took two major decisions in response to the establishing the Simon Commission: initially, it determined not to accept the Commission; second, it established an All Parties Conference to prepare a Constitution for India. The conference, on 19 May 1928, comprised a committee to draft the Constitution. Some of the prominent members of this Committee were: Motilal Nehru (Chairman), Sir Ali Imam, Tej Bahadur Sapru, and Subash Chandra Bose. M.R. Jayakar and also Annie Besant joined the Board later on. Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal Nehru’s son, was selected as the secretary to the Committee. The Board was given the brief ‘to think about as well as determine the principles of the Constitution of India together with the issue of communalism and issue of dominion status.’ The Committee sent its report to the All Parties Meeting in August 1929. In December, a supplemental record was published that showed some adjustments from the initial version.

The Record readout like what it claimed to be– a constitutional record. It was composed in a lawful style, including 22 chapters, as well as 87 articles. The very first article of the report indeed asserted dominion status for India. Other remarkable features included an area on fundamental rights: the right to free expression and viewpoint, equality before the law, right to bear arms, the flexibility of principles, complementary occupation, and also the proliferation of faith. The most remarkable arrangement was the right to freedom as well as elementary education. The Record presented a parliamentary system of government together with universal adult suffrage. On the public concern, the Record proposed reservation for Muslims in legislatures; however, these were limited to just those constituencies where Muslims were in the minority. Likewise, there was no mention of separate bodies politic for Muslims.

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