CR Formula was given by INC leader Chakravarti Rajagopalachari. He was popularly known as Rajaji. Rajaji served as the last Governor General of India between June 1948 to January 1950.
CR Formula is also known by two other names - C Rajagopalachari Formula and Rajaji Formula.
On 20 August 1917, British Secretary of state Edwin Montagu declared that British Government is looking to grant the self government to Indians in longer run. This declaration of Edwin Montagu is called August Declaration.
After the August Declaration right from year 1917, there were many efforts made by the British government with regards to Indian constitutional advancement.
But, almost every effort made by British government in this direction failed. And the reason is that Indian political parties could not come up to any agreement among themselves. Differences between Indian National Congress and Muslim League were quite visible. All this lead to a situation of political deadlock in India.
Infact, during second world war, Lord Linlithgow, the then viceroy of India gave a statement that if Indians are serious for the constitutional settlement, then they should first settle the differences between Muslim League and INC.
Reason of the Political Deadlock in India
Muslim League was demanding a separate state – ‘Pakistan’ for Muslims of India. Whereas, Indian National Congress was no ready to any kind of division of Indian Union.
In order to end this deadlock, C Rajagopalachari came up with CR Formula in the year 1944. This was an attempt to carve out a middle path between these 2 major political parties.
CR Formula Proposal
- A commission would be formed which will be responsible for the conducting the plebiscite in the muslim majority areas, to decide ( based on voting )whether people in these areas wanted a separate country or not.
Which means, the proposed commision will first identify the muslim majority areas in the United India and will then conduct the plebiscite.
- In case, a separate country is formed based on Plebiscite, Then both the countries India and newly formed ‘Pakistan’ will have to do a joint agreement and form a common centre for Defence, Communication and Commerce.
- CR Formula will be implemented only after British government transfers the power to India.
Analysis of CR Formula
This is for the first time that Congress has agreed to some extent to accept Muslim League’s demand to form separate country for Muslims.
At a glance, the proposed Formula looks good and it was expected that the political deadlock between the Muslim League and INC would end.
Muslim League’s Response to CR Formula
Gandhiji began talks with Jinnah to discuss the CR Formula in the year 1944 itself. But, talks failed as Jinnah had objections related to CR Formula’s proposals.
Why did Jinnah Rejected the CR Formula
Jinnah was particulary not happy with the way plebiscite was proposed to be conducted. As per the proposal all the people living in the identified Muslim Majority areas were allowed to vote. Whereas, Jinnah wanted only Muslim population to vote.
According to Jinnah - Hindus, Sikhs, Cristian living in Muslim Majority Areas should not be allowed to vote in the proposed Plebiscite.
Not only this, Jinnah was not ready to accept the idea of common centre between these 2 countries.
Thus, CR Formula was rejected by Muslim League.
Others, who too had opposed CR Formula
Sikh Community & Hindu Mahasabha were also opposing the CR Formula.
In Muslim Majority area – NWFP ( North West Frontier Province ) Sikhs were there in large numbers but were not in majority in any of the districts. So, Sikh community knew that plebiscite would result in separate Country. Which means, Sikh community had to separete from India even though they did not want to.
Apart from this, Hindu Mahasabha leaders like – VD Savarkar and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee were also opposing CR Formula as it was beyond their imagination that Muslim League’s demand could be taken seriously.