The more positive aspect of the anti-Simon movement was an All- Parties Conference which met at Delhi in February 1928 to produce a draft constitution.
Its major task was to rebate the challenge thrown by the Secretary of State Lord Birkenhead that Indians were incapable of producing a constitution satisfactory to all interests in the country.
The conference appointed a committee with Pandit Motilal Nehru as President to draft the future constitution by July 1928. The main problem before the Nehru Committee was the amiable solution of the Hindu Muslim problem.
The Nehru Constitution or Report was placed before the Conference in August at Lucknow. All Parties Conference discussed over the provisions of the constitutions elaborately. Under the draft constitution India was to be a secular state with no state religion and as regards the communal question the Nehru report adhered to the system of joint electorates with reservation of seats. In the House of Representatives, the Lower House of the Central Legislature seats were to be reserved for Muslims in provinces where they were in minority and for non-Muslims in the North-West Frontier Province.
Against the challenge the Nehru Report said “We do not deny that there is much need for social advance. Indeed the need seems to us to be urgent and imperative. We feel however that is an argument for rather than against the establishment of responsible Government, for we believe that without real political power coming into our hands a real programme of social reconstruction is out of the question”.
The All-Parties Conference accepted the Nehru Report which became a rare example of Political foresight and wisdom. But unfortunately a few months later the report was rejected by the Muslim League led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah after his return to India from England. Thus India faced a triangular struggle between the Congress the League and the British, a struggle which often assumed the shape of a Gandhi-Jinnah duel.
On the other hand, Jawaharlal felt that the ideal of Dominion Status adopted by Nehru Report was a betrayal of the Congress. He along-with Subash Chandra Bose organized the Independence for India League. They were supported by the youth of the country.
The conflict since was more theoretical than practical they evolved a new formula which satisfied both the wings of the Congress. After the skilful compromise Gandhiji loudly gave a warning that he- would not compromise on the question of India’s freedom. He further said “It must declare myself an Independence—Walla”.
Significant Developments 1928-29:
As Nehru writes, India seemed fresh, active and full of suppressed energy in 1928. Everywhere there was evidence of these effects. Among the industrial workers, the peasantry middle class youth and the intelligential class became exceptionally enthusiastic to organize movements in their respective areas. The Trade Union Movement led by All-India-Trade Union Congress had become powerful. Industrial disturbances took place in various parts of the country. In 1928 alone the workers organized strikes in as much as 200 places in India.
The militant Girni Kamgar Unions of the Cotton Textile industry in Bombay and Southern Maharashtra became very powerful. A general strike was organised by that Militant Union in Bombay in 1929.The peasant unrest in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat were indicated. The heroic struggle of the peasants of Bardoli led by Sardar Vallabbhai Patel against the Government opened the eyes of the peasantry of India to make anti-Government, anti-imperialistic peasant’s movements all over the country.
The “no tax” campaign organized by Patel crippled the administration in the area. The leadership of this historic struggle made him known as Sardar. During the period the youth movements became popular and widespread. Many Youth Leagues were founded and Youth Conferences enthusiastically held. Revolutionary activities were also spreading fast. The political situation was explosive and full of possibilities of a countrywide revolution with greater magnitude.
The Congress had enough of reason to suspect the British for their duplicity and diplomacy. The Congress believed that the government could discover millions of Muslims, Millions of depressed class, millions of the business and Anglo-Indian Community who intend to put their case before the Commission and that the Commission could ultimately report to Parliament.
There was no doubt in the Congress quarters that Britain would do no stone untouched to divide the Indian nation into many communities if the Congress would delay its freedom struggle. Under such pressure the Congress got ready for its momentous next session which met at Lahore on 29th December 1929. Before a huge gathering of 15000 people, it was pledged to fight till Purna Swaraj is achieved on 31st December 1929. Thus Gandhiji echoed another call for a mass movement that came to being in the form of a Civil-Disobedience Movement.