Rajagopalachari Formula, 1945



  • Rajagopalachari’s formula(or C. R. formula or Rajaji formula) was a proposal formulated by C.Rajagopalachari to solve the political deadlock between the All India Muslim League and the Indian National Congress on the independence of British India.
  • The League’s position was that theMuslims and Hindus of British India were of two separate nations and henceforth the Muslims had the right to their own nation.
  • The Congress, which included both Hindu and Muslim members, was opposed to the idea of partitioning India.
  • To add to the situation, with the advent of theSecond World War the British administration sought to divide the Indian political elite into two factions so as to make sure that the Indian independence movement does not make large progress, taking advantage of the war.
  • It was at such a juncture, that Rajagopalachari devised a proposal for the Congress to offer the League.


The Rajagopalachari Formula

  • The main points in the CR Plan were:
    • Muslim League to endorse Congress demand for independence.
    • League to cooperate with Congress in forming a provisional government at centre.
    • After the end of the war, the entire population of Muslim majority areas in the North-West and North-East India to decide by a plebiscite, whether or not to form a separate sovereign state.
    • In case of acceptance of partition, agreement to be made jointly for safeguarding defence, commerce, communications, etc.
    • The above terms to be operative only if England transferred full powers to India.


Reactions to the formula

  • The formula was a tacit acceptance of the League’s demand for Pakistan. And Gandhiji supported the formula.
  • Jinnah wanted the Congress to accept the two-nation theory.
    • He wanted only the Muslims of North-West and North-East to vote in the plebiscite and not the entire population. He also opposed the idea of a common centre.
  • While the Congress was ready to cooperate with the League for the independence of the Indian Union, the League did not care for independence of the Union. It was only interested in a separate nation.
  • Further, Hindu leaders led by Vir Savarkar condemned the CR plan


Causes of failure of the proposal

  • Although the formulation supported the principle of Pakistan, it aimed to show that the provinces that Jinnah claimed as Pakistan contained large numbers of non-Muslims.
    • Jinnah had claimed provinces then regarded as Muslim majority regions. Thus, If a plebiscite was placed, Jinnah ran a risk of partitioning Punjab and Bengal
  • Furthermore, the decision of Muslims to secede from India, according to the CR formula, would be taken not just by Muslims alone, but by a plebiscite of the entire population even in the Muslim majority districts.
    • This might well have diluted the enthusiasm of the people of these provinces about going partition. Hence Jinnah rejected the initiative.