Rajaji Formula - C R Formula

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 24, 2022, 6:30

Rajaji Formula or the Rajagopalachari's formula was proposed to solve the political deadlock between the All India Muslim League and the Indian National Congress, lasting for around a decade. It was named after Pandit Rajagopalachari, the first Governor-General of India.

What is Rajaji Formula?

The Rajaji Formula was an attempt to form a joint Hindu-Muslim political front to safeguard India's independence from British rule. A consensus was created between the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress on specific vital issues, which eventually led to acceptance by both parties. The formula came into existence in 1938, and it was named after its proposer, C Rajagopalachari, who was then the Premier of Madras Presidency.

As per the Rajaji formula, it was agreed that the definition of India would be ascertained based on a referendum, which the British authorities would carry out. This referendum decided whether India would be independent under a dominion or whether it would remain with its current status as a colony. It also envisaged that if independence was to be granted to India without any dominion status, it should only be given to Hindus and Muslims jointly.

To avoid being labelled as communal, Indian National Congress accepted specific demands made by the Muslim league on religious grounds, like a separate electorate for minorities and reservation of seats for Muslims in the legislatures.

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Significance of Rajaji Formula

The significance of the Rajaji Formula lies in the fact that it allowed the formation of a joint Hindu-Muslim political front against British rule. The formula came into existence when both, the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League, had failed to reach a consensus among themselves on any issue. As per this formula, whether India was granted independence or not was to be decided through a referendum by the British authorities. It is one reason many people have considered it a big failure since India did not get independence till 1947. It has been argued that India would have gained independence much earlier if this formula had been adopted by Indian National Congress and Muslim League much earlier than 1938. Moreover, despite the Rajaji formula, there was no consensus on the terms of independence, and it was decided that India would remain under British rule.

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From the above discussion, it gets clear whether India gained independence or not, its political landscape had significantly changed post-Rajaji Formula. Till now, even after 62 years of independence, Hindu-Muslim politics in India remains to be a topic of controversy.

On the one hand, this formula worked as a sort of catalyst that allowed the formation of a coalition between the Muslim League and the National Congress. On the other hand, this formula has been criticised because it did not result in the immediate granting of independence to India. One of the reasons for this failure is that this formula failed to answer what would happen if India was not given freedom after such a referendum.

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FAQs on Rajaji Formula

Q1: What is the significance of the Rajaji Formula in India?

On one hand, this formula worked as a sort of catalyst that allowed the formation of a coalition between the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. On the other hand, this formula has been criticised because it did not result in the immediate granting of independence to India.

Q2: What were the terms of the Rajaji formula?

One of the most important terms of the Rajaji Formula was that India would be given independence if it was granted dominion status. If it was not declared as a dominion, then a referendum should be conducted to decide whether India should be independent under a control or as a colony. It also envisaged that if independence was to be granted to India without any dominion status, then it should only be given to Hindus and Muslims jointly. As per this formula, whether India was granted independence or not depended on whether it would become a dominion or remain with its current status as a colony under British rule.

Q3: Was the Rajaji Formula a failure?

Rajaji Formula has been criticised because India did not get independence till 1947. It has been argued that India would have gained independence much earlier if this formula had been adopted by Indian National Congress and Muslim League much earlier than 1938. Moreover, despite the Rajaji formula, there was no consensus on the terms of independence, and it was decided that India would remain under British rule.

Q4: Who was C Rajagopalachari or Rajaji Formula?

C Rajagopalachari was the Chief Minister of Madras Presidency for a brief period during British rule. In 1931, he left Congress, and some other leaders launched Swaraj Party. He is also known for his support of separating the electorate from Muslims.