The provision about Depressed Classes became the subject of a serious
controversy. Gandhi who was then in jail was vehemently opposed to it. His
decision (September 1932) to go on a fast unto death brought about
negotiations with B.R. Ambedkar culminating in the Poona Pact, which
secured a major modification of the original provision. Eventually, the pact
came to be included as an integral part of the Communal Award.
Government of India Act, 1935
Disillusionment with Montford Reforms The Montagu-Chelmsford
Reforms soon caused a great amount of disillusionment. In other words, their
failure to satisfy the country’s political aspirations made all parties to join
hands to agitate for a further revision of the constitutional set-up.
• Even in the first few years of the life of reformed Provincial Councils,
a resolution moved in the Central Legislative Assembly had urged the
establishment of full responsible government in the provinces and a
simultaneous transfer of control of all the central departments, except
for the army and foreign affairs.
• The force of public opinion in the Legislative Assembly led to the
appointment of the Muddiman Committee under the then Home
Member. Its terms of reference were narrow and, even though the
majority report held that the new system had not been given a fair
trial, the minority emphasised that the diarchic experiment had failed
and that no other transitional system could be set up.
• Additionally, there was need for a constitution which ensured
‘stability in the government and willing co-operation of the people.’
• As expected, the British government refused to go beyond the
majority report and, in 1927, Lord Irwin even warned that Parliament
could not be pressurised into a decision by the Congress policy of
Change in Government’s Attitude But the appointment of the Simon
Commission was eloquent testimony of the government’s changed thinking.
The Commission functioned