NCERT Notes: C R Formula or Rajaji Formula (1944)

Subject: History
Category: Modern History
Topic: C R Formula or Rajaji Formula

NCERT notes on important topics for the UPSC civil services exam preparation. These notes will also be useful for other competitive exams like bank PO, SSC, state civil services exams and so on.

  • During the Second World War, the British government, under the viceroyalty of Lord Linlithgow had said that any move towards an Indian statehood would be possible only if the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Muslim League resolve their differences.
  • The League was increasingly demanding a separate nation of Pakistan for the Muslims whereas the INC was against the partitioning of the country.
  • To break this deadlock between the two major political parties in India, C Rajagopalachari, INC member who was close to Mahatma Gandhi, proposed a set of plans called the C R Formula or Rajaji Formula.
  • This was the first acknowledgement by a Congressman about the inevitability of the partition of the country and a tacit acceptance of Pakistan.

  • The Muslim League would join hands with the INC to demand independence from the British.
  • Both parties would cooperate and form a provisional government at the centre.
  • After the war, a commission would be entrusted with the task of demarcating those areas with an absolute majority of Muslims and a plebiscite to be held in those areas where all the inhabitants (Muslims and non-Muslims) would vote on the basis of adult suffrage whether to form a separate sovereign nation or not.
  • In case of partition, joint agreements to be made for the safeguarding of defence, communications and commerce.
  • The above terms to come to fruition only if Britain transfers full powers to India.

  • In 1944, Gandhi and M A Jinnah held talks on the basis of the Rajaji Formula.
  • The talks were a failure as Jinnah had objections to the proposal.
  • Jinnah’s objections:
    1. He wanted the INC to accept the Two Nation Theory.
    2. He did not want the entire population of the Muslim majority areas to vote on the plebiscite, but only the Muslim population in those areas.
    3. He was also against the idea of a common centre. Also, Jinnah wanted separate dominions be created before the English left India.
  • The Sikhs also looked upon the formula unfavourably because the formula meant a division of Punjab and although the Sikhs were a big chunk of the population, there were not in a majority in any of the district.
  • V D Savarkar and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee of the Hindu Mahasabha and Srinivas Sastri of the National Liberal Federation were also against the C R Formula.
  • The INC, which was hitherto opposed to the partition of the country were willing to give some concessions in order to get the League on board for talks for independence, but the League was more interested in Pakistan than freedom.


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