The Nehru Report, officially known as the “Report of the All-Parties Conference,” was a significant document in India’s constitutional history. It was prepared by a committee headed by Motilal Nehru, a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress, and presented on August 10, 1928. The report was a response to the challenge posed by the British government’s announcement of a new constitution for India, which was seen as not adequately representing Indian interests.


Background of Nehru Report:

1. Simon Commission: The British government appointed the Simon Commission in 1927 to discuss constitutional reforms in India. However, the commission consisted of all British members and no Indian representation, leading to widespread protests and boycotts in India.

2. All-Parties Conference: In response to the Simon Commission and the need for a unified Indian response, an All-Parties Conference was convened in 1928 in which leaders from various political parties participated.

Key Features of the Nehru Report:

1. Dominion Status: The report demanded the establishment of a dominion status for India within the British Commonwealth. It called for the recognition of India as a federation of British provinces and princely states.
2. Federal Structure: The Nehru Report proposed a federal structure for India with residuary powers vested in the provinces. It recommended a strong centre with powers divided between the centre and the provinces.
3. Fundamental Rights: The report advocated for the protection of fundamental rights, including freedom of speech, religion, and assembly. It called for the establishment of an independent judiciary to safeguard these rights.
4. Minority Rights: The Nehru Report proposed separate electorates for religious and social minorities to protect their political representation.
5. Rejection of Separate Electorates for Untouchables: Unlike the Communal Award, the Nehru Report did not support separate electorates for the untouchables, advocating instead for reserved seats within general electorates.

Reactions and Significance:

1. Muslim League’s Response: The Muslim League, under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, rejected the Nehru Report as it did not fully meet the demands of Muslims, especially concerning separate electorates and political safeguards for Muslims.
2. Civil Disobedience Movement: The Nehru Report and its rejection by certain parties highlighted the political divisions in India. This period was also marked by the intensification of the Civil Disobedience Movement, reflecting the growing discontent against colonial rule.
3. Round Table Conferences: The failure to achieve a consensus through the Nehru Report led to further discussions in the Round Table Conferences (1930-1932) where various parties and communities discussed the future constitutional setup for India.
While the Nehru Report did not lead to immediate constitutional reforms, it played a crucial role in shaping the subsequent dialogue and negotiations between Indian political parties and the British government, paving the way for future constitutional developments in India.