Zitierweise / cite as:
Payer, Alois <1944 - >: Quellenkunde zur indischen Geschichte bis 1858. -- 16. Quellen aus der Zeit des British Raj. -- 1. Zum Beispiel: Henry Waterfield: Memorandum on the census of British India of 1871- 72, 1875. -- Fassung vom 2008-06-14. -- http://www.payer.de/quellenkunde/quellen1601.htm
Erstmals publiziert als:
Waterfield, Henry: Memorandum on the census of British India of 1871- 72 : presented to both houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty / [signed on p. 42: Henry Waterfield]. -- London : HMSO, 1875. -- 65 S. ; 33 cm. -- Online: http://www.chaf.lib.latrobe.edu.au/dcd/census.htm. -- Zugriff am 2008-06-14.
Erstmals hier publiziert (ohne Tabellenanhang): 2008-06-14
Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung FS 2008
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|Census taken in 1871-72||
|Imperfection of the Census||
|Density of the Population||
|Increase or Decrease of the Population||
|Villages and Towns||
|Sex and Age||
|Nationality, Language, and Caste||
|Proportion of Sexes and Ages, in Religions and Caste divisions||
|Incidence of the Land Revenue||
|Mode in which the Censes was effected||
|General success of the Census||
|Cost of the Census||
TABLES [Hier nicht wiedergegeben]
|1.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in British India||43|
|2.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in Bengal||43|
|3.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in Assam||44|
|4.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in North-West Provinces||44|
|5.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in Ajmere||45|
|6.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in Oude||45|
|7.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in Punjab||46|
|8.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in Central Provinces||46|
|9.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in Berar||47|
|10.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in Mysore||47|
|11.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in Coorg||47|
|12.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in British Burma||48|
|13.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in Madras||48|
|14.||Area, Villages, Houses, and Population in Bombay||49|
|15.||Towns and Villages in British India, classified according to population||49|
|16.||Population of British India, class. according to Sex and Age||50|
|17.||Population of British India, class. according to Religion||50|
|18.||Hindoo and Sikh Pop. of British India, class. acc. to Sex and Age||51|
|19.||Mohomedan Pop. of British India, class. acc. to Sex and Age||51|
|20.||Buddhist Pop. of British India, class. acc. to Sex and Age||52|
|21.||Christian Pop. of British India, class. acc. to Sex and Age||52|
|22.||Other Pop. of British India, class. acc. to Sex and Age||53|
|23.||Population of British India, class. according to Cast and Nationality||53|
|24.||Asiatic Non-Indian Pop. of British India class. accord. to Nationality||54|
|25.||Mixed Races of British India, classified accord. to Nationality||54|
|26.||Non-Asiatic Pop. of British India, class. accord. to Nationality||55|
|27.||Adult Male Population of British India class. accord. to Occupation||55|
|28.||Detailed Statement of Occupations of Male Pop. of British India||56|
|29.||Adult Female Population of Bengal, Assam, and Bombay, class. Occup.||60|
|30.||Detailed Statement of Occup. of Female Pop. Bengal, Assam & Bombay||61|
|31.||Population of British India subject to Infirmities||63|
|32.||Population of British India able to read and write, or under instruct.||64|
|33.||Statement of the pop. of British India with reference to Cultivation of the Land and the Land Revenue||65|
Abb.: Indian Empire, Westen
Abb.: Indian Empire, Osten
[Quelle beider Karten: Bartholomew, J. G. (John George) <1860-1920>: A literary and historical atlas of Asia. -- London :  -- xi, 226 S. ; Ill. : 18 cm. -- S. 52f. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/literaryhistoric00bartrich. -- Zugriff am 2008-06-10. -- "Not in cpopyright".]
[S. 5] In the year 1871-72 the first approach was made to the taking of a general census for the whole of India at a given date. Enumerations of the people had already been made in the North-West Provinces in 1853 and 1865, in Oude in 1869, in the Punjab in 1855 and 1868, in the Hyderabad Assigned Districts in 1867, and in the Central Provinces in 1866; while in Madras quinquennial returns have been prepared since 1851-52 by the officers of the Revenue Department, giving with more or less accuracy the numbers of the people in each district, and in British Burma also a tolerably correct census is made each year for the purpose of the capitation rate. Nor was the Government supposed to be without some means of forming an estimate of the numbers under its rule in Bengal, in Bombay, or in the minor provinces, though in Bengal at least the estimate has been found to have been utterly wrong. The Census of 1871 was, however, an attempt to obtain for the whole of India statistics of the age, caste, religion, occupation, education, and infirmities of the population; and the results, for their respective provinces, have been carefully analysed in the reports written by Mr. Beverley for Bengal, Mr. Plowden for the North-West Provinces, Mr. Neill for the Central Provinces, Surgeon-Major Cornish for Madras, Surgeon-Major Lumsdaine for Bombay, Mr. M`Iver for British Burma, and Major Lindsay for Coorg and for Mysore, which State, though administered for its Native Prince, may for present purposes be treated as part of British India.
Unfortunately the enumeration was not carried out in all the provinces, it being thought undesirable to incur the expense or disturb the people in the Punjab, Oude, and Berar so soon after the last census taken in those parts of the country. In the following endeavour, therefore, to bring into one view particulars relating to the whole population of British India, it will be necessary to use for those provinces returns which are from three to six years antecedent in date to the general census of 1871-72.
The following Statement gives the Area and Population of British India as shewn in the various Census Reports, with the best information available relating to the Native States:-
Under British Administration
Area in Square Miles.
Area in Square Miles.
Area in Square Miles.
|Government of India|
|Central India and Bundelkund||-||-||81,140||7,699,502||81,140||7,699,502|
|North West Provinces||81,403||30,781,204||5,445||907,013||86,848||31,688,217|
|British Burma - -||88,556||2,747,148||-||-||88,556||2,747,148|
*Excluding the Cachar and Luckimpoor Hills, of which the population was not counted, the area of Assam is 41,798 square miles.
According to the most recent information from India, the area of one or two of the provinces differs slightly from that above given,* the correction being due either to more accurate survey or to the transfer of territory from one administration [S. 6] to another. It has, however, been thought desirable to adhere in this Memorandum to the figures of the census. The outlying station of Aden in Arabia, with a population of 22,507, and the penal settlement in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, of which the population is returned as 8,643, have been omitted, as not being strictly within Indian limits. In a few instances fairly accurate statistics have been obtained for the Native Feudatory States; but as a rule the numbers can only be accepted as estimates, and the present review will, therefore, be limited to those relating to British India.
The density of the population throughout the whole of British India and the Feudatory States averages 165 to the square mile, or, if the districts under direct British Administration alone be considered, there are 211 persons to each square mile on the average. Taking those under British rule, the density is,-
|In North West Provinces||378|
|In Assam (excluding uncensused hill country)||99|
|In Central Provinces||97|
|In British Burma||31|
It may be interesting to compare this table with the figures in the margin, shewing the density in certain European countries.
|Population per Square Mile.||Population per Square Mile.|
|England and Wales||390||Bavaria||167|
|Great Britain and Ireland||265||Denmark||111|
In particular districts of India, the density of the population is very remark- able. In the Report on the Census of England and Wales for 1871 it is observed that "any density "of a large country " approaching 200 to a "square mile implies mines, manufactures, or the industry of cities." A population of 500 to the square mile over any but a small area is very dense. In England (excluding. the three Metropolitan Districts, which have an area of only 118 square miles between them,) there are but seven counties with such a population, namely,-
|Square Miles.||Average Population.|
|Middlesex (extra Metropolitan)||234||1,082|
|West Riding of Yorkshire||2,766||678|
As a rule, the districts of India are much larger than English counties, and there are no less than 132 with a greater area than the West Riding, which is the largest English County Division. Yet, though the space over which the calculation is spread is so much greater, a density of 500 to the square mile throughout a district is not at all unusual in Northern India. Of the 43 districts in Bengal, seventeen come up to that standard;-
|Square Miles.||Average Population.|
|Hooghly (with Howrah)||1,424||1,045|
|24 Pergunnahs (with Calcutta)||2,796||951|
|Square Miles.||Average Population.|
The average population of the whole province, excluding the almost uninhabited jungle of the Sunderbuns, is 397 to the square mile, whereas the population of England and Wales, which a little exceed one-third of the size of Bengal, averages only 390 to the square mile.
In the North-West Provinces the districts are much smaller than in Bengal, but larger than most English counties. Thirteen out of the 35 come up to the before-mentioned standard of dense population:—
|Square Miles.||Average Population.|
The average for the whole territory (which is about half as large again as England and Wales) is 378, and that of the plain country, (excluding, that is to say, Kumaon and Gurhwal,) 430 to the square mile.
The excessive density of population in the valley of the Ganges and the neigh- bouring districts may be illustrated in the following manner. Taking the three provinces of Bengal, Oude, and the North-West (with the exception of the out- lying districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Cooch Behar, and Kumaon, on the north, and the Sunderbuns, Chota Nagpoor, and Jhansi, on the south), we have an area of 201,581 square miles, and a population of 96,788,049, giving an average of 480 to the square mile; that is to say, over a country larger than Spain and little less than France, there is an average population exceeding that of Belgium by more than 7 per cent., and that of England by nearly 14 per cent., those being the two most densely populated countries in Europe.
This density is, moreover, not due to a great concourse of inhabitants in large cities, seeing that there is a very general spreading of the people over the country, as will appear from the following comparison. The total population of England and Wales is about 22¾ millions, of whom 9½ millions (or 42 per cent.) live in towns with upwards of 20,000 inhabitants, leaving 13¼ millions (or 58 per cent.) for the villages and country. In the Census of India the urban population is taken to comprise those living in towns of 5,000 (not 20,000) or upwards; yet, even with this great extension of the term, there are little above 3 millions (or 5 per cent.) of the people in Bengal who can be said to live in towns, about the same number (3 millions, or 10 per cent, of the total population,) in the North-West Provinces, and less than 800,000 (or 7 per cent.) in Oude. The average for this part of the country is therefore about 7 per cent, of urban and 93 of rural population. [S. 8]
In Oude, 7 of the 12 districts have a density exceeding 500:—
|Square Miles.||Average Population.|
The average throughout the province is no less than 468, the area being about two-fifths the size of England and Wales.
When, however, we quit the valleys watered by the great rivers, the Brahma- pootra, Ganges, and Jumna, the Gogra and the Goomtee, we find a much more sparsely populated territory. Out of the 32 districts of the Punjab, there are only three in which the average of 500 is exceeded (excluding Simla, which for each of its 18 square miles has 1,889 persons):-
|Square Miles.||Average Population.|
The average throughout the Punjab is 173; the area of the province exceeds that of England and Wales by about 75 per cent.
On the north-east of Bengal, the newly formed Chief Commissionership of Assam (which is little less in size than England and Wales) has one district, Sylhet, with 312,but no other with more than 160 to the square mile; and the average, even when the wild hill country of Cachar and Luckimpoor is excluded, is only 99.
Nor is the case different when we turn to the territories on the south and west of Bengal. In the Central Provinces, the most populous district, Nagpoor, has only 169 to the square mile, the average of the whole province being 97; that is to say, over a territory exceeding the total area of England and Wales by about one half, the population is not on the average denser than that of Westmoreland (the least thickly peopled of English counties).
Berar (or the Assigned Districts of Hyderabad) is about one-fifth of the size of the Central Provinces, and is somewhat more thickly populated, there being in one district, Ellichpoor, 271 persons to the square mile, and 129 on the average throughout the province.
The two districts of Ajmere and Mhairwarra are situated in the midst of the Native States of Rajpootana. They are together somewhat larger than Devon- shire, and have a population of 119 to the square mile, or about half the average of that county.
Setting aside the 27 square miles which constitute the city and suburbs of Madras, the Presidency of that name has only one district coming up to the standard of 500 to the square mile, namely, Tanjore, in which there is an average of 540 persons throughout its area of 3,654 square miles. The next in order is Malabar with 377; and the average of the Presidency is 226. Its size is nearly 2½ times as great as that of England and Wales.
In Bombay also, of which the area is rather less than that of Madras, there is, besides the island containing the capital, only one district coming up to the above assumed standard of excessive population, namely, Kaira, which contains 1,561 square miles, with an average of 501 persons. In Sind, the population is very sparse, the average of its five districts being respectively 88, 80, 47, 30, and 14 to the square mile.
In Mysore, there is no district with more than 284 to the square mile, and in Coorg none with more than 164; the two together are just half the size of England and Wales. British Burma, which is three times as large as the united areas of Mysore and Coorg, is still less thickly populated, the densest district having 115, while there are one with 7 and two with only 6 to the square mile.
In connexion with this branch of the subject, the very interesting question arises, whether there is reason to consider the population of India as on the increase, and, if so, at what rate. The absence of trustworthy data in most of the [S. 9] provinces renders it very difficult to form a confident opinion on this point, and, even in those territories for which a census has been previously taken, it must be borne in mind that a portion of the increase shewn by the figures may be attributable to more perfect registration.
In Bengal, the estimates which have been formed at various times have been usually suspected to be very inaccurate, and in some cases have hardly pretended to be more than a mere guess. The one exception is the attempt made by Dr. Buchanan, between 1807 and 1814, to compute the population in the northern districts of Bengal and a portion of Behar. The mode which he adopted was to ascertain the extent of cultivation, and, allowing five or six acres (according to the character of the district) to each plough, which he assumed to represent five persons of all ages, to calculate the aggregate agricultural population, whence, by consulting the most intelligent inhabitants as to the proportion which the agriculturists bore to other classes in that district, he arrived at the total number. This rough estimate was in some cases checked by ascertaining the aggregate agricultural produce, and, after abatement for exports, calculating the number of mouths for which the remainder would suffice. The result of Dr. Buchanan's survey was that, in an area of 36,784 square miles, he reckoned the population to be 15,443,220, giving 420 persons to the square mile, an average which must be corrected to 412, as the country embraced in the maps accompanying his description is now found to comprise 37,425 square miles. The population of this tract by the last census was 14,926,337, or 399 to the square mile, exhibiting (so far as reliance is to be placed on the earlier figures) an average decrease in the districts to which they refer of 13 persons to the square mile during 60 years, or 1/2000th annum.
That Dr. Buchanan's mode of calculation, rough as it seems, was not a bad one for the purpose appears likely from the following consideration. In the thickly populated districts of the North-West Provinces and Oude the cultivated land is about five-eighths of the entire territory, and the proportion in similar parts of Bengal may be assumed to be much the same; so that we might expect to find, in the districts surveyed by Dr. Buchanan, a population of about 5/8ths (37,425 X 240), or 14,989,600, which differs very slightly from that shewn by the census, namely,14,926,337; and, conversely, we should find the area to be 8/5ths (14,926,237/646), or 37,316 square miles, which is within one third per cent. of the truth.
The inference, then, may perhaps be drawn, with reference to the; particular territory surveyed by Dr. Buchanan, that the area of cultivation has not materially increased since the early part of the century, or, at any rate, not to a greater extent than is counteracted by the increased facilities for exporting produce; and that, the country being already as thickly populated as it would bear, the number of inhabitants has remained almost stationary.
In most cases the alterations which have taken place in the boundaries of the districts during this century render it impossible to compare the estimates of their population made from time to time with the results of the census. The following instance seems, however, confirmatory of what has been said above respecting the inferences to be drawn from Dr. Buchanan's figures.
In the year 1813, Mr. Butterworth Bayley, at that time the Judge and Magis- trate of Burdwan, endeavoured to ascertain the population of his district. By inquiries among the Native proprietors of estates and European residents, he satisfied himself that an average of 5½ persons should be allowed for each dwelling, and that the number of houses might be taken at 262,634, which gave a population of 1,444,487. The territory comprised in the district as then con- stituted appears from the recent census to contain 322,830 houses, with a popu- lation of 1,305,316 souls, or 4½ to each house. The diminution, both in the actual numbers and in the average of residents in each house, is such as may well be ascribed to the ravages made by the epidemic fever which had pervaded Burdwan for several years, till it was checked by the dry season of 1873-74, coupled with the sanitary measures adopted by the Government.
In the outlying districts, and those which more especially suffered from the disorders prevailing before the firm establishment of British rule, there must undoubtedly have been a large increase both of cultivation and of population, but no general estimate can be made, with any pretension to accuracy, of the addition which has taken place. The calculations given at various times for Orissa shew a curious variation. At the beginning of this century, when it came under British government, the country had been well nigh depopulated; and in 1822 the inhabitants were reckoned to amount to less than 1,300,000. In 1855 this estimate [S. 10] was more than doubled; and in 1866 the population was thought to be at least 3,015,826. The Commissioners who inquired into the circumstances of the terrible famine in that year were of opinion that one-fourth of the people had been swept away by the calamity, and their inquiries shewed only 2,086,288 survivors. Yet, five years afterwards, the population was found by the census to have risen to 3,034,690.
In the North-West Provinces the census of 1865 exhibited a falling-off in population since 1853 by somewhat less than three-fourths per cent., a result which was attributed to inaccuracy in the earlier return. The census of 1872 shews an increase on that of 1865 by about 3¾ths per cent. In some districts this may be due to the natural progress of a fairly well-to-do agricultural population; and, in writing of Moozuffernuggur, the Settlement Officer expressly points out that the figures "tend at least to prove that canal irrigation does not necessarily lead to a decrease of population." In most cases, however, the apparent increase is attributed by the officers to more accurate registration on the present occasion, especially with regard to the female population. The returns shew an increase in most of the divisions, though in some parts the effect of the famine of 1868-69 is seen in the less rapid increase or even actual decrease. This is especially apparent in Jhansi, where the falling off is nearly 7 per cent.
Yet more sad is the tale revealed by the census of Ajmere and Mhairwarra. In 1865 these districts belonged to the North-West Provinces, and, according to the enumeration then made, they contained a population of 426,268, or 160 to the square mile. Having since been placed under a Commissioner directly responsible to the Government of India, their condition was tested by a separate census, taken on the 1st of May 1872, when the number of inhabitants was found to be only 316,032, or 119 to the square mile, the figures shewing a decrease of more than one-fourth of the population, attributed to the famine of 1868-69 and the epidemic diseases which followed it.
In the Central Provinces the returns shew an increase in the population amounting, in the six years since the last census, to 185,191, or 2 per cent. The emigration of the people from their homes to other places has in some districts led to an increase, and in others to a decrease; in the Upper Godavery District there has been a falling-off of no less than 60 per cent., attributed partly to the stoppage of the navigation works and partly to the emigration of the Koees into the country of the Nizam.
The returns for British Burma gave a population in 1862 of 2,020,634, and in 1872 of 2,747,148; in the former case the counting was not made by a systematic census, and was manifestly too low, but, allowing for the omission of perhaps 5 per cent, on that occasion, we find an increase of 625,000 persons, or 30 per cent, on the numbers existing ten years ago. This shews a progressive expansion at the rate of 3 per cent, per annum, an improvement doubtless due to the better administration of the country since it came under the British rule.
No good result would apparently be obtained by an attempt to compare the numbers reported for other provinces with the estimates of a more or less vague character which were made on previous occasions.
The number of inhabited houses enumerated in British India is 37,041,468, which gives an average of 41 houses to the square mile, and of 5 14 persons to a house. In 1831 the average number of houses to a square mile in England and Wales was 42.6, and there were 5.41 persons to a house; but a great increase has taken place in the number of dwellings since that date, and the census of 1871 shewed 73 houses to the square mile with 5.33 persons to the house.
Number of inhabited houses per square mile.
|Central Provinces||20||Average for British India||41|
The pro-portion of houses to the area in India varies very greatly in the different provinces; in Oude there is an average of 102 to each square mile, in the North-West Provinces it is 78, in Bengal 69, in Madras 42, in the Pun-jab 41, in Mysore 37, in Ajmere 34, in Berar 29, in Bombay 26, in Assam 24, in the Central Provinces 20, in Coorg 11, and in British Burma only 6. The average of five persons to a house represents fairly the condition of matters throughout the country, since, out of the 236 districts, only 10 have an average so high as [S. 11] seven, and 18 between seven and six, while in only 15 does it fall below if our. Coorg is remarkable for the closeness with which its people pack themselves in their habitations, in one district the average being 9.76, in another 8.67, and that for the whole province 7.35; the average in Bombay Island is 20.49; that in Calcutta is 11, and that in the City of Madras 8. The lowest averages are those for Ajmere and Mhairwarra 3.47; for Jullundhur, in the Punjab, 3.28; and for Ahmedabad, in Bombay, 3.18.
Contrary to the experience of other countries, it is found that in India the proportion of persons to each house is, as a general rule, less in the towns than in the country, the reason assigned being that in towns most of the houses are shops, and many of the shopkeepers are traders from a distance whose families do not reside with them.
With regard to the average number of persons in a house, Mr. Neill, referring to the condition of affairs in the Central Provinces, observes that, while the figures do not suggest the idea of overcrowding, a knowledge of the way in which the five human beings share their dwelling with buffaloes, cows, or goats, interferes with the view which might otherwise be formed respecting the standard of comfort among the people.
An attempt was made in the census of 1872 to distinguish between the better class of houses, or those built of masonry and tiled, and the inferior sort, constructed of mud and thatched.
Number of Houses and of their Inmates in each Presidency and Province.
It is doubtful whether the line has been drawn between the two kinds with any great accuracy, and, indeed, the mud houses of the higher class of land- holders are far superior as dwellings to the di- lapidated brick houses in some of the towns. So far as the returns go, however, they shew that, in the seven pro-vinces to which they re-late, nearly one-ninth of the inhabitants live in houses of the better class.
The 37 millions of houses are grouped into 493,444 villages or townships, giving an average of 75 houses to each, with a population of 386 persons. Taking the whole of India, there is rather more than one such village or town for every two square miles, the proportion varying from 1.16, 1.11, and 1.03, to the square mile, in Bengal, the North-West Pro- vinces, and Oude, to .25, .21, and .16 in Coorg, Bombay, and British Burma.
Average Number of Villages, &c., per Square Mile.
|Central Provinces||.37||Average for British India||.55|
The presidency of Bombay contains the high average of 614 persons to each village or town, a result which is in part due to the circumstance that the whole island of Bombay, covering 19 square miles, and con- taining one twenty-fifth part of the inhabitants of the Presidency, is reckoned as a single township; in the remainder of the Presidency, including: the cantonments situated in Native territory, the average is 589 to each town or village, a rate which, coupled with the comparative scarcity of the townships, seems to imply that the term has in this Presidency received a somewhat wider application than in other parts of the country.
Average Number of Persons per Village or Town
|Central Provinces||260||Average for British India||386|
In Madras, the proportion is 564; in the Punjab, 493; in Oude, 453; in Berar, 392; in Assam, 359; in Ajmere, 342; in Coorg, 340; in the North-West Provinces, 339; in Bengal, 338; in the Central Provinces, 260; [S. 12] in Mysore, 258: and in British Burma, only 195. The average for the whole of British India is 386. Of the total number of 493,444 towns and villages in British India, there are 480,437 recorded as having a population of Less than 5,000, besides 11,517 others in Oude and Madras, of which the par- ticklers are not stated, but by far the greater part of which, if not all, must con- tain less than that number of inhabitants. Thus only 1,490, or about three in a thousand, are towns with a population ex- ceeding 5,000; 1,070 of these contain less than 10,000 persons, 374 between 10,000 and 50,000, and 46 (or, reckoning Calcutta and its suburbs as one, 44) above 50,000,—a number which, to compare Indian towns with those in England and Wales, is to be found in such places as Croydon, Bath, Southampton, Derby, and Merthyr Tydfil.
|Towns and Villages having above No. 50,000 inhabitants||46|
|Between 10,000 and 50,000 ditto||374|
|Between 5,000 and 10,000 ditto||1,070|
|Under 5,000 ditto||480,437|
|Number of Towns and Villages in British India||493,444|
Foremost in India, and second only to London in the British Empire, is Calcutta, which, notwithstanding the imperfection of the census taken by the municipal authorities, is recorded as comprising, with its suburbs, a population of 795,000 (without reckoning nearly a hundred thousand more in Howrah, the Southwark of the city). Not far behind Calcutta comes Bombay, with 644,000 inhabitants, or about 150,000 more than Liverpool; and next, though with a long interval, is Madras with 398,000. Among English cities, Manchester and Birmingham have each about 350,000, Leeds and Sheffield 250,000, inhabitants: between these, in size, comes the fourth city of India, Lucknow, with 285,000. There are twelve other towns, with a population exceeding 100,000, in British India:—Benares the holy, with 175,000; Patna, the capital of Behar under Mahomedan rule, with nearly 159,000; Delhi, the royal city of the old Mogul Empire, with 154,000; Agra the former, and Allahabad, the present, seat of Government in the North- West Provinces, with 149,000 and 144,000 respectively; Bangalore, the chief town in Mysore, which with its large cantonment contains 143,000; Umritsur, the sacred city of the Sikhs, with 136,000: Cawnpoor, the frontier cantonment of the British forces when warlike Oude still retained her independence, with 123,000; Poona, the summer residence of the Bombay Government, and the principal cantonment in the west of India, with 119,000; Ahmedabad, once the capital of Guzerat, with 117,000; Surat, the commercial mistress of the West before the rise of Bombay, with 107,000; and Bareilly, the chief town in Rohilcund, with 103,000.
Besides these large cities, the following, of a smaller size, are worthy of enumeration on account of the number of their inhabitants:—Lahore, Rangoon, and Howrah, with upwards of 90,000: Nagpoor and Meerat, with more than 80,000; Furruckabad, Trichinopoly, and Shahjehanpoor, with a population exceeding 70,000; Bhaugulpoor, Dacca, Mirzapoor, Gya, and Moradabad, with above 60,000; and Monghyr, Muttra, Peshawur, Allyghur, Mysore, Mooltan, Jub- bulbar, Karachi, Shoal-. poor, Tanjore, Madera, Bellary, Goruckpoor, Cut- tack, and Salem, all of which have upwards of 50,000 inhabitants. The population of these 44 great cities is not much more than five and a half millions, or less than 3 per cent, of the total po- pulation of British India; while the number of inha- bitants of the 34 towns in England and Wales which have more than 50,000 residents exceeds 7¼ mil- lions, or 32 per cent, of the total population,—another striking proof of the re- lative excess of the rural community in India.
Total Population of the 44 largest towns
[S. 13] Turning next to the question of the division of the population according to sex and age, we find in British India 98 millions of males and 92½ millions of females, or about 100 males to 94 females. The number of adults above the age of 12 is about 123 millions, and that of children under 12 nearly 67 millions, (while three-fourths of a million are unspecified), giving a proportion of 100 adults to 54 children. The adult males are 617/8 millions, the adult females a little over 61 millions, or not quite 99 females to 100 males. The children are divided into 35¾ million boys and 311/8 million girls, giving a little over 87 girls to each 100 boys.
|Under 12 years||35,719,264|
|Above 12 years||61,858,494|
|Under 12 years||31,125,079|
|Above 12 years||61,070,618|
|Both Sexes :|
|Under 12 years||66,844,343|
|Above 12 years||122,929,112|
|Sex and age unspecified||7,080|
In this country it is found that the male births are very slightly (about 1 per cent.) more numerous than those of females, and that for the first few years there is a small excess of surviving boys over girls, but that, after the age of 20, the number of females considerably preponderates over that of males, and that, taking all ages together, there are nearly 105 females to every 100 males. The discrepancy is attributed by the writers of the Report on the Census of England and Wales for 1871 to emigration to the British Colonies and the United States of America; "the equality of the two sexes is," they remark, "maintained by "nature, and the disparity arises almost entirely from displacement."
In India there are scarcely any centres of mining or manufacturing industry to withdraw the male population from their homes; and the annual emigration of even a hundred thousand persons to the British and French colonies would not have any great effect on the proportion calculated on numbers little below one hundred millions of each sex. It might, therefore, be expected that throughout the country the natural equality between the two sexes would be maintained, and that the excess of female population observable in England would vanish when the census of India was examined. This is indeed the case, but the balance is thrown with violence to the other side, and there is in the whole of British India, so far as the returns are to be credited, an excess of 5½ millions of males over females, or nearly 6 per cent.
Physiological reasons have been assigned for this excess, such as the asserted tendency of a hot climate to produce an excess of male births, and the possibility of a similar result ensuing from early marriage of the girls, and consequent greater maturity of the husbands. A third reason may also be given, namely, that perhaps the excess of males is to a large extent only apparent, being due either to the omission of females owing to the low estimation in which they are held, or to their systematic concealment in consequence of the reticence practised in an Oriental country on all matters connected with female relations. To ascertain how far this is likely to have been the case, it will be necessary to examine the statistics of the chief provinces separately.
In Bengal the sexes may be considered to be on an equality, there being 100 males to 100.14 females; and, if the examination be made more minutely, whether by the district or by religion, it is found that the disparity of sexes, one way or the other, is, with a few exceptions, only such as may be readily accounted for by peculiar circumstances, and is not in real opposition to the general rule of equality.
In Assam there are only 94 females to every 100 males, but this is a not unnatural result of the immigration of Coolie labour into the province for work on the tea plantations.
In Mysore, the equality of sexes is very nearly maintained, there being 99.35 females to 100 males, and the slight variations in the several districts appear to be due to the demands of the coffee plantations for labour.
In Madras, there are 99 females to every 100 males, and in seven of the twenty-one districts the former are in excess Indeed, so convinced is Surgeon-Major Cornish that the proportion between the sexes to he found in Europe may also be expected in India, that he considers that a judgment may be formed of the general accuracy of the census in any district from the way in which the proportion of the sexes has been recorded.
In these four provinces, then, which comprise 101 out of the 190 millions of British India, the returns show the females as being not above 1 per cent. less than the males, which, in the circumstances of the country, may be considered a very near approach to equality, and seems to be fatal to the theories attributing to climatic or physiological causes an abnormal excess of male over female births. It has, however, been observed that in the large Lying-in Hospital at Madras there are 112 boys born to every 100 girls; and, if anything like this proportion prevailed throughout India, the fact would go far to account for some excess of the male over the female population. Mr. Neill, on the other hand, in writing of the Central Provinces, says that the general impression among natives is that more girls are born than boys; and he refers to a remark made to him by an intelligent native gentleman, that the greater number of female births was a wise provision of nature, to enable the classes to whom a plurality of wives is allowed to enjoy that indulgence, without interfering with their monogamous brethren.
Certain it is that in the other divisions of the country, comprising nearly two- thirds of the area and not quite half the population of Native India, the female sex is in a remarkable minority. In the Central Provinces there are to every 100 males 96½ females, in Berar 93½, in Oude 92¾, in British Burma 911/3, in Bombay 91, in the North-West Pro- vinces 87½, in the Punjab 83½, in Coorg 78¼, and in Ajmere only 49½.
|North West Province||16,413,642||14,367,562|
There would not, at first sight, appear to be any particular reason why the enu- meration should not have been carried out at least as accurately in provinces where a census had been frequently taken as in those where it was introduced for the first time; and, to ascertain the cause to which so excessive a disparity is to be attributed, it is necessary, in the first place, to examine the division of the population according to age.
It might have been expected that the tendency, which is found in this country, to consider girls as adults at an earlier age than boys, though they may not have arrived at maturity, would be exaggerated in an Oriental people, even if a jealous care of the young women did not lead to their omission from the returns; and this feeling must have been enhanced by the ignorance of the people leading them, in some cases, to imagine that the object of the census was to secure wives for the European soldiers, a fear which, both in the Central Provinces in 1866, and in Oude in 1869, led to the actual marriage of many girls in order that they might escape the dreaded conscription. A remarkable falling off in the number of girls between 10 and 13 years of age has been observed in the North-West Provinces, but there being no corresponding increase in those between 13 and 20 years of age, this seems due to entire concealment, rather than to their return as adults.
That some such considerations as have been mentioned, however, prevailed to a great extent seems clear, when it is found that, notwithstanding the ge-neral equality of sexes in Bengal, the number of boys under 12 exceeds that of the girls under that age by nearly two millions, the male adults falling below the female adults by a corresponding number. In Assam the result is somewhat similar, for, while the adult males would, through the influence of immigration, be expected to be largely in excess of the adult females, and the children to be equally divided, it is found that the adults are very nearly on a par, and that the boys outnumber the girls by 113,000, or about 14 per cent. So also both in Mysore and in Madras, the adult females male adults, but the boys are in excess of the girls.
|Provinces.||Boys.||Girls.||Male Adults.||Female Adults.|
The same result is to be seen in the returns of the Central Provinces, where the male adults are very slightly more numerous than the females, but the boys exceed the girls by 8 per cent.
|Provinces||Boys||Girls||Male Adults||Female Adults|
In Berar the excess of male adults is greater, they being 3½ per cent, more than the females, while the boys are 111/3 per cent, more numerous than the girls. In Oude the female adults are only 2¼ per cent. less than the male adults, while there are but 841/3 girls to 100 boys In Bombay there are 100 male to 92 female adults, but 100 boys to 89½ girls. In the North-West Provinces there are only 89¾ female adults to 100 males, and but 83¼ girls to 100 boys. In the Punjab, however, while there are barely 83 female to 100 male adults, there are 841/3 girls to 100 boys. The disparity of the sexes and the remarkably low percentage of children in Coorg are said to have been to a great extent accidental, owing to a large influx of male labourers from Mysore, in the month of November, to work on the coffee estates. In British Burma it is noteworthy that, contrary to all experience, the males outnumber the females at every period of age; but the total excess is unquestionably due in a great measure to the annual immigration of nearly 100,000 coolies from Upper Burma, Madras, or Chittagong, who do not bring their families with them in general, and most of whom return after a residence of from one to four years, leaving perhaps one-fifth of that number on an average each year to swell the male population; in one district, Tavoy, where there is little immigration, the females exceed the males. In the opinion of the Commissioner of the Tenasserim division, the paucity of women may be partly accounted for by the inhuman treatment the mothers receive at childbirth. With regard to the children also, he mentions that, after they are born, "they are placed before a large fire, and literally toasted till there "is little strength left in them," so that "many of them die, and others become "injured and fruitless for the rest of their lives;" this, however, seems to relate to both sexes, and would not affect their relative numbers. Mr. M'lver considers it moderate to make a deduction of 80,000, or 7 per cent., for "the average population unprovided with females," an adjustment which would bring the proportion of the sexes to within about 2 per cent. of an equality. The census of Ajmere was considered to exhibit so much want of accuracy that a fresh one was ordered, and very little reliance can be placed on the figures; as returned, the disproportion of sexes is astounding, there being rather more than twice as many males as females; the ratio of children to adults is also the lowest in any province except Coorg, there being 67½ per cent. of the latter, and 32½ per cent. of the former; these results, if correct, bear startling evidence of the sufferings of the weaker classes during and after the famine.
We find, then, that, as a general rule, the number of girls is understated, even where there is no reason to suppose that they have been omitted from the census, the number of adults being proportionately increased. But in the North-West Provinces, Oude, and the Punjab, and to a less degree in Bombay, Berar, and the Central Provinces, there is an excess of boys over girls to a much greater extent than can be fairly attributed to inaccuracy of registration. On the probable cause of this excess much light will be thrown by a careful study of 3the classification of the people with reference to religion and caste; but, before dealing with those branches of the subject, there is one point which demands consideration, namely, the remarkably large proportion of children to adults in India, which, if an excess of male births be an established fact, will in itself tend to aggravate the abnormal excess of the male population generally.
While there are in England about 41½ persons under the age of 12 to 100 above that age, in India the lowest percentage, that in Ajmere and Coorg, is about 48¾; in the North-West Provinces it is not quite 50; in Bengal 52, or still higher if the supposition that many girls have been reckoned as women be correct; and in the other divisions 55 and upwards, the Central Provinces, with 61½, holding the first place, a position perhaps attributable to the unusually prolific character of the aboriginal tribes, who form a large portion of the population Various [S. 16] suggestions are made to account for this large number of children,—the most probable being the almost universal custom of marriage, coupled with the practice of contracting a second or third marriage if no male offspring result from the first (one instance is given of seven wives in Berar); but it may be questioned whether union at a very early age would generally result in large families.
Another view is that the proportion of children is excessive, owing to the greater mortality of adults in India than in colder countries. The inferences to be drawn from the tables of age have been worked out with great pains by Mr. Plowden, who is satisfied that, notwithstanding the notorious inaccuracy of Natives of India on the subject, the information has been obtained with sufficient probability to render it not unsafe to deduce general conclusions; and one which forces itself prominently on his mind is the very low rate of life, or rather the excessive mortality, which prevails in India, and which he considers to be about on a par with that found in Italy or Spain, and worse than in any other European country except Russia. Surgeon-Major Lumsdaine states the average age throughout the Bombay Presidency to be 11 or 12 years lower than the average in England; and he sums up the main differences between the population of Bombay and that of England with the observation that in the former the" children are "more numerous, they reach maturity earlier, and, as adults, they die earlier." Surgeon-Major Cornish expresses the same view when he says that" the aged are "rare, and youth superabundant, in an Indian community."
Classified according to religion, the population of British India is, in round numbers, divided into 140½ millions of Hindoos (including Sikhs), or 73½ per cent., 40¾ millions of Mahomedans, or 21½ per cent., and 9¼ millions of others, or barely 5 per cent., including under this title Buddhists and Jains, Christians, Jews, Parsees, Brahmoes, and Hill men of whose religion no census was taken or no accurate description can be given.
|Buddhists and Jains||2,832,851|
|Religion not known||425,175|
Thus, at least 19 in every 20 persons in India are either of the Hindoo or of the Mahomedan religion, and there are 7 of the former to 2 of the latter.
The Hindoo element preponderates especially in the south. In Mysore, it comprises 95 per cent, of the whole popu- lation, and in Coorg and Madras about 92 per cent. In Oude, the North-West Pro- vinces, Ajmere, and Berar, it forms between 80 and 90 per cent, of the people. Bombay contains 79½ per cent, of Hindoos, and the Central Provinces 7l½ per cent. In Bengal and Assam the percentage is about 64½, and in the Punjab 34¾ without, or 41¼ with, the Sikhs. In British Burma, the stronghold of Buddhism, there are only 11/3 per cent. of Hindoos.
|North West Provinces||26,568,071|
Conversely, the Mahomedans are found to be most numerous in the northern parts of India. In the Punjab they form the larger half, 53 per cent., of the population. In Bengal they amount to 321/3, and in Assam 26¾, per cent.; in Ajmere nearly 20, in the North-West Provinces 13½, and in Oude 10½, per cent.; Bombay has 17½ per cent, of Mussulmans; but in Berar and Coorg they do not come up to 7, in Madras they are barely 6, and in Mysore, British Burma, and the Central Provinces, they are only 4, 3½, and less than 3 per cent., respectively. It is remarkable that, of the 20½ millions of Mussulmans in Bengal and Assam (forming the larger moiety of the Mahomedan population of British India), 17½ millions are found in Eastern Bengal and the adjoining Districts of Sylhet and Cachar, where they amount to 49 per cent, of the total population; and in two districts, those of Bogra and Rajshahye, to about 80 per cent. In that part of the country they comprise the bulk of the cultivating and labouring class, while in [S. 17] Chittagong and Noacully, they follow a seafaring life; and it seems probable that their preponderance is due to the conversion of the lower orders from the old Hindoo religion under which they held the position of out-castes. In Behar the comparatively few Mahomedans, some 13 per cent., belong to the upper classes as a rule, while the great majority of the people (nearly 84 per cent.) is Hindoo. In Orissa, the population is almost entirely Hindoo, more than 95 per cent professing that religion, and only 21/3 per cent, being Mussulmans. In Chota Nagpoor, where the aboriginal tribes are numerous, about 71 per cent. of the population are Hindoos, and not quite 5 per cent. Mahomedans. In Assam (excluding the hill tribes for which the particulars cannot be given), 70 per cent. are Hindoos and nearly 29 per cent. Mahomedans, or, confining the view to the old province of Assam without Sylhet and Cachar, there are 88 Hindoos and from 9 to 10 Mussulmans in each hundred of the population.
Passing up the valley of the Ganges, we find the relative excess of Hindoos over Mahomedans increase. In the Benares division there are 89 of the former to 11 of the latter, the percentage of other religions being inappreciable throughout the North-West Provinces; in Allahabad the proportions are 90½ to 9½, in Jhansi 95½ to 4½, and in Agra 91½ to 8½. In the two more northern divisions of Rohil- kund and Meerut, the Mahomedans are much more numerous than in the southern districts, the proportions being 79 and 77 Hindoos to 21 and 23 Mahomedans respectively; indeed, those two divisions contain more than half the Mussulman population of the North-West Provinces. In Kumaon, however, there are very nearly 99 Hindoos returned for every one of any other faith, though many of the former belong to the doubtful castes of which it is difficult to say where they should be classed.
The Mahomedans in Oude are distributed pretty evenly through the province, the proportion being largest (14 per cent.) in the division of Lucknow, owing chiefly to the fact that two-fifths of the inhabitants of the capital profess that religion, and smallest (7½ per cent.) in Roy Bareilly, the division immediately adjoining the dense belt of Hindooism which runs through the Gangetic valley. In the central districts of Lucknow and Barabunkee 34 out of the 55 talookdars at the time the census was taken in 1869 were Mahomedans.
In dealing with the population of the Punjab it is necessary to take into consideration a third religion, that of the Sikhs, who in this province form an important element, though in the others they are so few as to be merely reckoned among the higher castes of the Hindoos. In every 100 persons in the Punjab there are, on an average, 53 Mahomedans, 34¾ Hindoos, and 6½ Sikhs. As might be expected, the Hindoos are most numerous in the more southern divisions bordering on the North-West Provinces; in Delhi, Hissar, Umballa, and Jullundhur, they comprise 68, 74, 56, and 58 per cent. of the people, while in Umritsur they only form 24 per cent., in Mooltan 17, in Lahore 15, in Rawulpindee 10, in the Derajat 11, and in Peshawur not more than 5 per cent. The returns vary, however, some comprising the sweeper castes among Hindoos, while some, treating them as out-castes, include them in the "other" population. The Mahomedans muster from 21 to 30 per cent, in the four lower divisions, but in Umritsur, Lahore, and Mooltan they come up to 51, 57, and 65 per cent.; in Rawulpindee and the Derajat they have 86 and 87, and in Peshawur no less than 93 per cent. of the population. The stronghold of the Sikhs is the country between the rivers Ravee and Sutlej, including the central districts of Lahore where they form 17, Umritsur where they are 13 per cent. of the people, Umballa where they amount to 9, and Jullundhur where they are 8 per cent.; in the other districts they range from 3 per cent. to 1 in 300 of the inhabitants.
There are not many Mahomedans in the Central Provinces, the proportion on the whole being under 3 per cent, of the population. In only one district do they muster so strongly as to form 10 per cent., namely Nimar, in which is situated Boorhanpoor, the seat of Government under the Mogul Emperors. The Hindoos are most numerous in the Nagpoor plain and Wurdha valley, where they form 85 per cent, of the people, while in the thinly inhabited eastern division of Chutteesgurh only 62½ per cent. are of that religion.
The great extent to which the Madras Presidency is devoted to Hindooism is made more apparent by reference to the several districts. In those on the northern coast, Ganjam, Vizagapatam, and Godavery, from 97½ to 99½ per cent are Hindoos, [S. 18] and in Kistna, Nellore, Chingleput, Coimbatore, Salem, and North and South Arcot, 94 to 97 per cent., while the Mahomedans in these districts vary from 5½ per cent, to 1 in 300. In the southern districts, Tanjore, Trichinopoly, Madura, and Tinnevelly, the Hindoos claim from 89 to 93, and the Mahomedans from 2½ to 6 per cent. The latter, however, have a larger proportion in the three central districts of Cuddapah, Bellary, and Kurnool, where they number from 7½ to 11 per cent. of the people, the Hindoos having 92 to 95 per cent. In the two districts on the west coast, the latter have a less preponderance; of the inhabitants of South Kanara, 84½ per cent. are Hindoo and 9 per cent. Mussulman, and of Mala- bar, 72½ per cent. Hondo and as many as 25½ per cent. Mahomedan. In the two small districts of the Neilgherries and Madras, the European population affects the percentages; the Hindoos amount to 86 and 77½, and the Mahomedans to 4 and 13 per cent., respectively.
The statement that Bombay contains 79½ Hindoos and 17½ Mahomedans in each 100 of the population by no means gives an accurate idea of the distribution of the people throughout the Presidency; for, on examining the returns for the several divisions, it will be found that in Bombay proper, excluding Sind, the Hindoos are upwards of 89 per cent. and the Mahomedans only 8 per cent. The Hindoos are pretty evenly divided among the several districts, the percentage varying from about 95 in Poona and Sattara to 87 in Dharwar, Belgaum, and Surat, 86 in Ahmedabad, and 63½ in the island of Bombay. The Mahomedans have only from 3½ to 4¼ per cent. of the population in Sattara, Poona, and Nassick, while they are most numerous in Kuludghee and Dharwar, where they form 11 per cent., and Broach and Bombay Island, where they have 19¾ and 21½ per cent., respectively. It is, however, in Sind that they are to be found in the greatest numbers, three-fifths of the whole Mussulman population being included in that province, in each 100 of the inhabitants of which barely 18 are Hindoos, while 78 are followers of Mahomet.
In some of the provinces, the Mussulmans have been divided into the two great rival sects of the Soonees who acknowledge the succession of the first three Caliphs, and the Sheeas who hold Ali, the fourth, to be the only rightful successor of Mahomet, and reject the Book of Traditions which the Soonees accept as canonical. Not many of the Sheeas are found in Bengal, but the numbers are not given; in Oude, also, the Soonees are by far the most numerous, though the Sheea tenets are those of the ex-royal family and the greater part of the higher classes. In Mysore about 93 per cent. of the Ma- homedans are Soonees, and in Coorg about 91 per cent. In Madras the pro- portion of Soonees is 89 per cent., to not quite 4 per cent, of Sheeas, the other 7 per cent. being unspecified. In Bombay the relative numbers are still more at variance, the Soonees in that Presidency amounting to more than 96½ per cent., while in Sind more than 99¼ per cent. belong to this sect. Very few persons have returned themselves as Wahabees, the puritan sect founded at the close of the last century by Abdul Wahab, an Arab of the province of Nejd, whose tenets were brought to India by Syed Ahmed in 1823, and caught up by the fiery Pathans of the north-west frontier: no classification by sects is given in the reports for the Punjab and North-West Provinces, and in other parts of India the Wahabees do not appear to be at all numerous.
The Buddhist creed claims for its votaries throughout India less than three millions of people, of whom nearly two and a half millions, or 86 per cent., are in British Burma. Of those in India proper, numbering 385,000, many who have been so classed belong to the sect of Jains, a comparatively late offshoot from Hindooism which shares several of the tenets of the Buddhists. About half the number, or 190,000, are in the Bombay Presidency, chiefly in the districts of Belgaum and Ahmedabad, where they only amount to 11/6 per cent. of the population. Some 85,000 are returned in Bengal, consisting almost entirely of the Mughs in Chittagong. The Punjab and the Central Provinces each contain about 36,000, Madras has 21,000, and Mysore 13,000; but in these three last-named divisions they are nearly all Jains, and Buddhism is practically extinct in Southern India. In no province except British Burma and Bombay, is so large a proportion of the population as ½ per cent returned as Buddhist.
|Buddhists and Jains:|
The Christian religion has throughout India not quite 900,000 believers, or less than one in two hundred of the whole popula- tion: and even of these some 250,000 appear to be Europeans, or to have European blood in their veins. About three-fifths of the Christians in India are in Madras, where, in addition to those in the Native States, they number about 534,000, or 1¾ per cent, of the inhabitants; the number of Roman Catholics is 416,000, while nearly 118,000 are en- rolled as Protestants. In Bombay there are 126,000 Christians, forming ¾ths per cent. of the population; of these, nearly 83,000 are returned as Roman Catholics(chiefly the Indo-Portuguese, of whom there are more than 23,000 in the city of Bombay alone), 24,000 as Protestants(of whom four-fifths belong to the Church of England, and the remainder are Presbyterians, Baptists, and Wesleyans, while a few Armenians and Greeks are included), and about 19,000 simply as Native converts, the sect to which they belong not being specified. In Bengal there are 90,000 Christians, who form only 1/7th per cent, of the population. British Burma has 52,000, or not quite 2 per cent, of her inhabitants; in the North-West Provinces and Punjab there are about 22,000 in each case, the per- centage being 1/14th and 1/8th respectively. In Mysore there are nearly 26,000, or ½ per cent., and in the little State of Coorg the 2,400 Christians are not quite 1½ per cent of the people. The numbers in the other provinces are such as to amount to from 1/8th to 1/25th per cent. of the population.
The 5 millions of "Others" are chiefly composed of the hill tribes and aborigines in the Central Provinces, Bengal and Assam, Berar, and British Burma; but it is very difficult to draw the line between Hindooism and the rude religion of some of these tribes, and very possibly many have been classed under the one, when they might with equal propriety have been ranked in the other category. There are 69,000 Parsees, and not quite 7,600 Jews, almost all of both classes being in the Bombay Presidency; while in the Punjab 946,000 have been entered as "Miscellaneous".
Although nearly the whole of the inhabitants of British India can be classed under one or other of the two prevailing religions, it will be found that, when arranged according to nationality or language, they present a very much greater variety. The population of the single province of Bengal contains many races and tribes. Bengal proper, and some of the adjacent districts, are inhabited by the Bengali, living amid a network of rivers and morasses, nourished on a watery rice diet, looking weak and puny, but able to bear much exposure, timid and slothful, but sharp-witted, industrious, and fond of sedentary employment; the Bengali-speaking people number some 37 millions. Allied to these, both in language and descent, even more timid, conservative, bigoted, and priest-ridden, are the Ooryas, or people of Orissa, numbering four millions. The Assamese, of whom there are less than two millions, speak a language very similar to Bengali, but have a large mixture of Indo-Chinese blood; they are proud and indolent, and addicted to the use of opium. The Hindustanis of Behar are hardier and more manly, have a less enervating climate, and use a more substantial diet; their language is Hindee, and, they number(in Bengal) some 20 millions. Besides these, there are the Sonthals, koles, Gonds, and other aboriginal tribes in Chota Nagpoor, the wild mountain races in Julpigoree, the inhabitants of the Garo, Cossya, Jyntea, and Naga Hills, and those in Tipperah and the Chittagong Hill tracts.
In the North-West Provinces there is less diversity of language, Hindee being spoken by the great mass of the Hindoo cultivators, while in the towns and in those parts where the Mahomedan influence is chiefly felt the cognate dialect of Oordoo predominates. In the South of the Mirzapoor district the aboriginal [S. 20] tribes have a language of their own, and on the northern boundary are found the Bhooteeas, who act as carriers between India and Thibet.
In Oude, Oordoo is the common language, but in some districts Persian, and in others Hindee words prevail. The Tharoo tribe, numbering about 6,000 in Oude, have a language of their own; they are also found in the Sub-Himalayan districts of Rohilkund, Goruckpoor, and Chumparun, and are by some believed to have a Tartar origin.
In the portion of the Punjab east of the Indus, Hindee or Punjabee is spoken with varying dialect. A form of Thibetan is used in the Kangra highland of Lahoul and Spiti. Beyond the Indus, Pushtoo is spoken in the frontier villages to the north, and Beloochee to the south. Oordoo is used in the large cities, and Persian by the higher classes in Peshawur.
About one half the inhabitants of the British territory in the central provinces speak Hindee, modified more or less in Nimar and Chutteesgurh by the mixture of Guzeratee words in the former, and those of the hill tribes in the latter case. Rather less than one-fourth of the people speak Mahrattee, which is used in the Nagpoor division; while the original language of the Gonds is spoken by a similar number. Ooriya is used in the Sumbulpoor district, bordering on Orissa, and Teloogoo in the district of Upper Godavery.
In Mysore the prevailing language is Kanarese, but Tamil, Teloogoo, Hindu- stani, and Mahrattee are also spoken. In Coorg, besides the Coorg language, Kanarese, Malayalum, Tamil, Tulu, and Hindustani are used.
The Madras Presidency comprises several distinct linguistic divisions, but about five-sixths of the people use either the Teloogoo language which is spoken from Vizagapatam to Nellore and North Arcot, or the Tamil which prevails from a few miles north of Madras to the extreme south of the continent. On the western coast Malayalum(the language used in the Native States of Travancore and Cochin) is also spoken in Malabar, Tulu in part of South Kanara, and Kanarese in the north of that district as well as in portions of other districts bordering on Mysore. In the extreme north, Ganjam, on the confines of Orissa, adopts Ooriya, the language of that province, while the Khond tribes in the hills have dialects of their own.
The languages used in the Bombay Presidency are very numerous, the chief being Sindhee, Kutchee, and Guzeratee, in the north, Mahrattee, to which that of the Koncan is akin, in the chief part of Bombay proper, and Kanarese in the south.
But, of all the divisions of India, there is perhaps in British Burma the most remarkable variety of race. There are the Burmese, Arakanese, and Talaings, in the plains; the Karens, Shans, Toungthoos, Khyengs, and other tribes, in the hills; while the growing numbers of the two mixed race, of Indo-Burmese and Chino-Burmese are worthy of attention, though not specially numbered in the census report.
Great pains have been taken by the writers of the several reports in the classifi- cation of the population according to caste. The result, however, is not satisfactory, owing partly to the intrinsic difficulties of the subject, and partly to the absence of a uniform plan of classification, each writer adopting that which seemed to him best suited for the purpose. It has, indeed, been found possible to put together a few particulars which are mentioned in 'nearly all the reports; but these give little idea of the mass of detailed information which has been collected under this heading.
|Hindoos and persons of Hindoo origin:—|
|Kshatriyas and Rajpoots||5,641,138|
|Out-castes, or not recognizing caste||8,712,998|
|Aboriginal tribes and semi-Hindooised Aborigines||17,716,825|
The title of Hindoo, in the category of nationality and caste, includes many persons of Hindoo origin, who are no longer Hindoos by religion, such as Native Christians, or who have branched off from its stricter use, such as Buddhists and Jains, or whose actual religion is unknown, such as the aboriginal tribes. In this wider view of the Hindoo people, we find 149 mil- lions so designated, of whom about 101/8 millions are Brahmins, and 55/8 millions Kshatriyas and Rajpoots; 105½ millions belong to other castes; of nearly 790,000 the caste is unspecified; 8¾ millions are out-castes, or re- cognize no caste (as the Bud- dhists) ; not quite 600,000 are Christians (including it is presumed, [S. 21]any converts from the Mussulman religion as well); and 17¾ millions are aboriginal tribes or semi-Hindooised aborigines. A slight notion of the great number of Hindoo castes prevailing in British India may be gathered from the following list showing the proportion in which those of most importance are scattered over Bengal and Assam:—
|Number of Specified Castes.||Population.|
|2 Engaged in preparing cooked food||830,176|
|7 Engaged in personal service||2,469,152|
|3 Occupied in selling fish and vegetables||140,845|
|6 Boating and fishing||2,186,107|
|1 Dancer, Musician, Beggar, and Vagabond||72,247|
|69 Castes specified||29,772,621|
Mr. Beverley, however, says that the number of separate tribes and castes which have been found to exist in Bengal does not probably fall short of a thousand, while, if their subdivisions and septs or clans were taken into account, they would amount to many thousands.
In the North-West Provinces the Hindoos arc divided into 291 specified castes, or, including those enumerated by nationality only, 307 distinctive appellations. In Oude 77 are mentioned, besides 29 other castes of religious mendicants and 12 aboriginal tribes. In the Punjab 19 castes are named; while there are some 40 different divisions in Mysore and Coorg.
In Madras the classification has been made somewhat after the fashion adopted in Bengal, and the various castes of the Hindoos are arranged in 17 sets:—
|Shepherd and Pastoral Castes||1,730,681|
|Writer or Accountant Castes||107,652|
A very similar division has been made in the Central Provinces, the 48 principal castes being divided into 11 groups, according to their general occupation.
In Bombay about 140 Hindoo castes are mentioned in the account quoted by Surgeon-Major Lumsdaine from a work by Mr. Steele on the laws and customs of the Deccan; but the population has been enumerated according to the usual fourfold division of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Soodras, the last men- tioned comprising 86 per cent, of the whole. [S. 22]
In all modes of classification, the first rank is held by the Brahmin or priestly caste; out, so far from us being confirmed to religious duties, there are few trades in which some of its members are not engaged. So minute and endless are the ramifications of caste, that, when Mr. Prinsep took a census of Benares in 1834, no less than 107 distinct castes of Brahmins were found in that one city. The number of per- sons throughout British India who have returned themselves as Brahmins a little exceeds ten millions, of whom there are in Bengal and Assam not quite 2½, and in the North-West Provinces 3 J millions; in Oude they number 1,400,000, in the Punjab 800,000, in Madras 1,100,000, and in Bombay 660,000, while the remaining half million are scattered through the minor provinces.
|North West Provinces||3,234,342|
Next in rank come the Kshatriyas, Rajpoots of warrior caste, of whom there are.-somewhat more than 5½ millions in the provinces under British rule., Of these 1/14 millions are found in Bengal and Assam, 2,400,000 in the North-West Provinces, 660,000 in Oude, 720,000 in the Punjah (besides nearly as many more Rajpoots of the Mahomedan religion), and rather more than 600,000 in the other provinces. There are very few of this caste in Lower Bengal or in the southern Presidencies; Behar, the North- West Provinces, Oude, and the Punjab, are the homes of 85 per cent, of the Rajpoots. They are usually soldiers, landowners, or cultivators; not merely do they in large numbers swell the ranks of the armies in Bengal and Bombay, but they are also found in the service of Native Princes, or acting as overseers or retainers of the large landlords and bankers.
|Kshatriyas and Rajpoots:|
|North West Provinces||2,395,688|
The third of the primitive castes was the Vaisyas, who were occupied in agriculture and trade, while the great majority of the Hindoo population was indiscriminately thrown together into the fourth, namely, the Soodra or servile class. This arrangement has not, however, been maintained in more than one or two of the Census reports; and, instead of attempting to keep up the old distinction, it seems better to enumerate a few of the castes which, from numbers or for any other reason, are of most importance in the several provinces.
Among the intermediate castes in Bengal and Assam may be mentioned the Babhans of Behar, 1,000,000 in number, claiming to be Brahmins and rivals of the Rajpoots, and the Kayesths or writers, 1,600,000, chiefly found in the Lower Provinces; among the trading castes, those who are specially termed Buniyas or shopkeepers, amounting to not quite a quarter of a million; among the pastoral castes, the Goallas, the great class of herdsmen, 3,500,000, two-thirds of whom are settled in Behar, where they are notorious as lathials or clubmen, ready to engage in any riot at the bidding of their employer; among the agricultural castes, the Kaibarthas, 2,700,000, of whom two millions are in the Lower Pro- vinces, and nearly half a million in Behar, where they take the title of Chasa,— the Koeries, 1,000,000, chiefly in Behar, where they are a hardworking quiet set of people, celebrated as spade-husbandmen,—the Koormees, 970,000, mostly in Behar and Chota Nagpoor,—and the Sadgops, of Lower Bengal, 660,000, who form the highest of the cultivating castes; among the artisan castes, the Telees or Kaloos, 1,400,000, makers and vendors of oil; and among the weaver castes, the Tantees, who, to the number of 820,000, are enumerated under this the generic term for their occupation.
Many of those who in other provinces are classed among the lower castes of Hindoos are, in the Bengal report, reckoned as semi-Hindooised aborigines. Of these the most numerous tribes are the Chandals, a hardy race, chiefly found in the eastern districts of Bengal, aggerating about 1,650,000 besides 116,000 Mals, with whom they are frequently identified; the Chanars or Muchees, 1,180,000, of whom the men are workers in leather and the women midwives; the Koch, Paliyas, and Rajbansis, an ancient people of Assam, whose orginal name is still to be traced in Cooch Behar, 1,560,000; the Dosadhs, the ordinary labouring [S. 23] class of Behar, who, though the bulk of them are said to be thieves, have so completely monopolised the office of the village watchman that their name is used as for chowkeedar, 950,000; the Bagdees, chiefly employed as fishermen, and labourers, 700,000; the Harees, a scavenger caste, 560,000; timid, but making good steady labourers, much sought for work in the indigo factories, 430,000; the Doms, an impure race, employed by the Hindoos to construct their funeral pyres, and remove dead animals, and also used as public executioners, 426,000; the Baurees, a hardy people, much employed in Lower Bengal as palkee-bearers, 405,000; the Bhimyas, supposed to have been formerly a powerful tribe in Behar, and also found largely in Chota Nagpoor, 398,000); the Pasees, once a celebrated nation of archers, now chiefly occupied in the sale of toddy, 134,000; the Ahoms, a Shan race dominant in Assam for some 450 years, whose name is now supposed to be synonymous with Assamese, 129,000; the Binds, an inoffensive race of fishermen and labourers, 121,000; the Kandaras and Pans, chiefly found as weavers and agriculturists in Orissa, each mustering about 117,000; the Chains, a boating and fishing race, 109,000; and the Kaoras, an unclean pig-keeping caste, numbering 100,000.
In the North-West Provinces the Buniyas amount to upwards of a million; the despised caste of the Chamars, or leather workers, number more than 3¾ millions; the Aheers, shepherds or cowherds, 2¼ millions; the Koormees, agriculturists, nearly a million; the Kahars, another agricultural caste, three-quarters of a million; the Jats, a brave hardy race, who are enterprising cultivators, about the same number; and the Kolees or Korees, who take the place of the Jats in the southern divisions, a little over 700,000. The devotee and religious mendicants amount to more than 240,000, divided into 24 separate tribes.
Next to the Brahmins, the most numerous castes in Oude are, as in the North- West Provinces, the Aheers, 1,170,000, the Chamars, 1,030,000, and the Koormees or Koombees, 765,000. The Pasees, who in Bengal are termed semi-Hindooised, while in the centre of India they are deemed an aboriginal tribe, and who once held a considerable portion of Western Oude, are now employed as watchmen, labourers, pig-keepers, cultivators, or hunters, and number 650,000; under the old Native Government they were chiefly thieves, thugs, and general plunderers. The Mooras, a large agricultural caste, with whom should perhaps be classed the Kisans and Malees, may also be mentioned, together numbering 460,000 persons. The Lodhas, 350,000, are inferior cultivators, and frequently mere woodcutters and labourers.
In the Punjab the Jats are by far the most numerous caste, there being 1,876,000, while no other, except the Brahmins, contains so many as half a million; the Aroras number 477,000, and the Khatrees, who hold a very high social position, 385,000. In the Central Provinces the Koormees or Koombees are again prominent, exceeding 650,000; the Dhers, 590,000, are found especially in Nagpoor, where they are the chief thread-spinners and weavers of coarse cloth, as well as village watchmen and labourers; the Telees, or oil pressers, 448,000, are also hardworking cultivators; the Aheers number 362,000; the Chamars, 300,000; the Malees, 236,000; and the Lodhees, 222,000; the most important manufacturing caste is the Dheemar, numbering 238,000. In Berar the Koombees, 681,000, and the Malees, 153,000, are the only two of numerical importance.
In Mysore the most numerous caste is that of the Wakkaleegas, or farmers, of whom there are 1,191,000, subdivided into 54 classes; the Kurubas, 371,000, are agriculturists and weavers; the Bedars, 262,000, occupy themselves in agriculture, labour, and Government service. In Coorg there are 28,000 Wakkaleegas, and 7,700 Kurubas.
In the report on Madras the castes are (as already stated) arranged in a few great classes, according to their theoretical occupation, so that the numbers cannot be compared with those of the other provinces; it must not, however, be supposed that even a majority of any particular caste now follow the occupation according to which they are thus arranged. The trading castes, or Chetties, contain nearly 715,000 persons, subdivided under about 90 different designations, one of which is said to be again divided into upwards of 100 clans. Of the agricultural castes, the farming class of Vellalar is selected as the type, and in this category are entered more than a fourth of the Hindoo population of this Presidency (7,826,000); the Vellalars proper are a Tamil-speaking race, but at least half of those returned under this title are found in the northern or Teloogoo country. The agricultural labourers, or Vunniars, number nearly 4,000,000, many of whom are serfs of the soil, though a large number have freed themselves from bondage, [S. 24] and are cultivators on their own account. The Idaiyars, or shepherd castes, number 1,730,000, subdivided into 86 classes; they are mostly found in the central districts, where the hilly waste land enables them to follow their occupation with advantage. The artisan castes, Kammalan, include 785,000 persons, ranged under 69 headings; they claim a social rank not inferior to the Brahmins; about one half of them are workers in metals, and the remainder carpenters and builders or labourers and cultivators. The writer or accountant caste is in Madras termed Kanakkan, and is small, numbering less than 108,000, and mainly confined to three or four districts, the duties having in many villages been usurped by the Brahmin and Vellalar. The weaving castes, Kaikalar, include 1,070,000; about half the males are employed in the construction of textile fabrics and dress, in which they are aided by their families; the business has for many years been in a decaying state, but, though the country has, it is said, been flooded with cheap Manchester goods, the Lancashire manufacturers do not yet produce cloth equal in strength and price to the products of the Indian handlooms. The Kusavan or potmakers are a quarter of a million; the occupation of the caste is to make bricks and tiles, as well as earthenware pots for household use. The fishing and hunting castes, named Sembadaven, include 972,000 persons, but, notwithstanding the long line of sea coast, they are most numerous in the inland districts of Bellary and Kurnool; it is a subdivision of this class, the Boees, which is so largely employed in domestic service, that the name, corrupted into the English "boy," has become the usual term for a servant in the Madras Presidency. The Shanars, or palm cultivators, number 1,665,000, and are most plentifully found in the 'Malabar Tinnevelly, South Kanara, and Godavery districts; they have the character- istics of an aboriginal tribe, and worship either devils or some local deities, but in Tinnevelly many have been converted to Christianitv. The barber castes, Ambattan, number 340,000, and are pretty equally distributed throughout the country; in addition to his duty of shaving, it is the part of the barber to collect the village news, and to be a go-between in the arrangement of marriages and other festivals. The Vannan, or washermen, are 525,000, about half of whom follow their trade occupation. Under the title of Satanee, or mixed castes, are ranged 714,000 persons who more or less ignore caste distinctions; the name is properly applied to a sect of reformers, the followers of a teacher of the fifteenth century named Chaitanya, and his disciple Sanatana, who appear to be identical with the sect of Baisnabs in Bengal. Of other castes there are 2,667,000, many of whom consist of the hill tribes in Ganjam and Vizagapatam, and the inhabitants of the mountains in the centre of the peninsula; in this number are also comprised the Koravars and other wandering tribes, and the dancing girl or prostitute castes.
There is in Southern India, both in Mysore and in the Madras Presidency, a singular division of castes into the right-hand and the left-hand faction, which frequently gives occasion to disturbance at public festivals. The origin of the distinction is lost in fable, and the separation seems very arbitrary; thus, some weavers are found in the one faction, some in the other; the fisherman sides with the right hand, whilst the hunter ranges himself with the left; and, what seems yet more remarkable, the agricultural labourers' wives attach themselves to the left-hand, while their husbands take the right-hand side, and the shoemakers fight with the former, their wives joining the latter party. Many castes, however, occupy a neutral position, and take no part in these feuds.
In the Bombay report the primitive division of the castes has been retained; 936,000 are shewn as Vaisyas, and 10,856,000 as Soodras. In British Burma', the numbers in the castes are so few as not to need special notice.
Nearly sixty different tribes are specified among the aboriginal races to be found in the provinces or. Bengal and Assam. The most numerous are the Sonthals, who are to be met with in almost every district, and of whom there are altogether nearly 850,000 under the direct British administration, exclusive of those in the Tributary Mahals. Under the generic name of Kol upwards of 300,000 are entered, principally in Choya Nagpoor; many of these are, however believed to be Mundas, of whom there are, however, believed to be Mundas, of whom there are also some 175,000 recorded, chiefly in the district of Lohardugga. Closely allied to them are the Bhumij, numbering 170,000. The Uraons or Dhangars, of whom there are upwards of 200,000 [S. 25] within British territory, are an industrious light-hearted race chiefly found in Lohardugga. The Cacharees, who are scattered throughout Assam, are reckoned at upwards of 200,000; the Cossyas at about 95,000. The numbers of the other tribes are all much less.
|Aboriginal Tribes and Semi-Hindooised Aborigines:|
|North West Provinces||377,674|
Of the 16 aboriginal tribes enumerated in the North-West Provinces, altogether comprising about 380,000 persons, 243,000 are Bhars, and 93,000 Gonds, both found mostly in the Benares division, while there are about 28,000 Kols, chiefly resident in the district of Allahabad.
The aboriginal tribes in Oude include only 90,490 persons, of whom about a third are the Bhars, believed to have once held sway in the centre and east of the province, but now nearly extinct in Oude, though numerous in the adjoining division in the North-West Provinces. The Doms have been already mentioned as numerous in Bengal; in this province there are about 15,000. The Nats, numbering 13,000, are a tribe of jugglers, who profess to be Mussulmans, but have little idea of religion.
In the Punjab nearly 960,000 persons have been placed under this head, but, with the exception of the Sansees, Bavrias, and Harnees, three tribes of professional thieves, together numbering 63,000 persons, there is no information given respecting them.
Of the 1,670,000 aborigines in the Central Provinces, seven-eighths, or 1,437,000, belong to the ancient race of the Gonds, whose sway was predominant in this portion of India before the incursions of the Mahrattas. The Koorkoos, who live on the Mahadeo hills, number 60,000, and the remainder are Marias, Kols, Bheels, and other smaller tribes. Berar contains 163,000 of these and similar aboriginal races, the Gonds again being prominent with 68,500.
Of the 89,000 aborigines in Mysore, the bulk are comprised in two wandering tribes, the Roracha or Korama, 36,600, and the Lambana, 33,000. About 42,500 persons have been placed in this class in Coorg, of whom rather more than 26,000 are the Coorgs or Kodagas who have given name to the territory, a compact body of mountaineers who from time immemorial have been lords of the soil.
In British Burma there are, besides the Burmese proper, who number a million and a half, one million persons belonging to the various indigenous tribes. Of these the most numerous are the people of Arakan, differing very slightly from the Burmese of Pegu, from which country they probably migrated in past days; they exceed 330,000 in number. The Talaings or Muns, who in the last century ruled in Pegu and Martaban, are a little over 180,000; after the first Burmese war, in which they rendered cordial assistance to the English, they were cruelly treated after our retirement from the country, and their language has become nearly extinct; they are chiefly found in the Tenasserim division, and in Amherst and the town of Moulmein form a majority of the population. By far the most important of the hill tribes is that of the Karens, whose traditions have a very singular Jewish tinge, and who have afforded to the American Baptist and French Roman Catholic missionaries a most successful field of labour; they are divided into two classes,—those in the hills above the Sittang and Salween rivers, numbering 100,000, living in a desultory roving fashion,—and those who have long been settled in the plains of Pegu, where they cultivate rice after the example of their Burmese neighbours, amounting to some 230,000. There are 36,000 Shans, most of whom are immigrants from their Native land since the British occupation of the province; the Toungthoos, numbering 25,000, and found chiefly in Amherst, are an isolated race, resembling the Shans in dress, but differing in most respects from the surrounding people, and having no written language. The Khyens, of whom there are upwards of 50,000, are an important tribe inhabiting the Yoma mountains which separate Pegu from Arakan. The Kwamies, or Dog-tails, are 19,000 in number, of whom three-fourths are still in the hills, and the remainder have settled in the plains of Akyab. Eight or nine other tribes are also mentioned, but they are too small in number to require special notice.
The report for Madras does not separate the hill tribes from the unclassified castes. They are chiefly the Khonds and Sowras in the mountainous country to the north of the Godavery; the Yenadies, Yerakalas, and Chentsoos, south of the Kistna; the Malayalies in Salem; the Mulcers and Kaders in Coimbatoor, Malabar, and Kanara; and the Badaghers of the Neilgherry hills; all over the plains also wandering tribes are met with, such as the Brinjaries and Lambadies, whose principal occupation is the carrying of produce from the coast into the interior, and others who practise juggling, snake-charming, bird-catching, or basket-making. [S. 26]
About 712,000 aborigines are shown in the return for Bombay, of whom three-fourths are more or less Hindooised, and the remainder would properly be ranked with the Mahomedans. There are some 163,000 Bheels in Khandesh and Nassick, 68,000 Kolees in the latter district, and 73,000 Dooblas, 46,000 Dhodias, 19,000 Chobras, and 30,000 others, in Surat; in Sind, nearly 39,000 Beloochees (a race which in the Punjab is classed with the Mahomedan tribes), 42,000 Sindees, and 70,000 "low caste Sindees," are included in this category.
Under the head of Out-castes, or those not recognizing caste, there are 8¾ millions of persons, of whom about 2½ millions are Buddhists and Jains, who as a rule have been ranked in this class, though in some provinces they have been included elsewhere.
|Out-castes, or not recognizing caste:|
|Assam - -||22,067|
|Punjab - -||36,190|
|Central Provinces -||407,939|
|Berar - -||301,379|
|Mysore - -||813,975|
|Coorg - -||34,100|
|British Burma -||1,585,532|
|Madras - -||4,782,757|
|Bombay - -||78, 582|
Omitting the Native Christians (who have been placed separately), and the Buddhists, those who in Bengal have rejected the trammels of caste are almost entirely composed of the sect of the Baisnabs, Baishtabs, or Bairagees, who profess to be followers of Vishnoo, and should, according to the teaching of their founder, lead a life of asceticism and celibacy; they number 540,000, and are principally found in Lower Bengal, particularly in the district of Midnapoor. In the Central Provinces there are two remarkable sects, the Sutnamees, numbering 266,000, and the Kubeerpunthees, 134,000. The former arose about half a century ago, when Ghasee Doss, a Chamar of Chutteesgurh, withdrew himself for six months into the wilderness, and returned with a message to his people to renounce idols and worship only Sut Nam, the True One; he died in 1850, and his son, who succeeded to the office of high-priest, having offended the Rajpoots, was murdered in 1860, when his place was taken nominally by Ms son, but actually by his brother Agur Doss, who is now virtually high-priest, the sect is split up into two great factions, the smokers and the non-smokers, the former of whom assert that, although Ghasee Doss originally prohibited the use of liquor and tobacco, he, in consequence of a subsequent revelation, withdrew the prohibition of the latter article. The Kubeerpunthees are Hindoos who disregard caste, and believe in a deity named Kubeer, said to have dwelt on earth from the year 1060 to 1472, and to be destined to return again after an absence of some 1,100 years; the chief apostle, Purgutnam Sahib, resides at Kawarda, in Bilaspoor; they are met with in other parts of India, but are said to retain nothing good of the original teaching of their founder. In Berar the out-castes consist of 18 or 20 Hindoo tribes who fall under no caste classification, the large majority being Mhars, who are sometimes taken to he the same as the Dher caste already mentioned. Of those in Mysore and Coorg nothing is said, except that they may possibly be menial servants for whom no accurate designation could be found. The large number returned for British Burma is almost entirely composed of the Burmese; the remainder of the Buddhists in that province appear among the aboriginal tribes. In Madras, besides some 21,000 Buddhists, there is a very large population of Pariahs, reckoned at 4,760,000, who live on the outskirts of the villages, and endure the hatred and contempt of the higher classes; they are a laborious, frugal, pleasure-loving people, omnivorous in diet, and capable of much hard work, and, notwithstanding their common classification as out-castes, they have been entered under upwards of 200 different subdivisions. Only 78,000 Hindoos are returned in Bombay as not recognizing caste; they are chiefly found in the districts of Tanna, Kanara, and Hyderabad.
The number of Native Christians recorded in India is not quite 600,000, of whom very nearly five-sixths are in Madras, where they number more than 490,000, or 1½ per cent, of the whole population of the Presidency; they are also numerous in the French territory, and in the Native States of Travancore, Cochin, and Poodoocotta.
|North West Provinces||7,648|
|British Burma (exclud ing Karens)||2,304|
In the British districts they are mostly resident in the extreme south, one-fifth of the number being in Tinnevelly, while there are many converts in Madura, Tanjore, Trichinopoly, South Kanara, and Malabar; the Roman Catholic Church claims 397,071, while 93,228 are Protestants. The ancient rulers of Western India are believed to have encouraged settlements of Persians or Manichaeans [S. 27] for centimes before the Portuguese established themselves on the coast, but under the rule of the latter the Syrian or Nestorian church suffered great depression and persecution. Its disciples now flourish chiefly in Cochin and Travancore, and in the south of Malabar, where there are 13,763 "Nazaranies." The Mussulman population contributes very few converts to Christianity; the bulk of them belong to the Pariahs or to the agricultural and cultivating castes, and that of the Shanars, or toddy-drawers. There are about 3,700 Brahmin and perhaps, 3,000 Kshatriya Christians in Madras.
In Bengal, there are about 48,000 Native converts, who are chiefly found in the Presidency and Dacca divisions, and in Chota Nagpoor, where the preaching of the Gospel has been attended with much success among the rude tribes in Lohardugga; there are several missions in the neighbourhood of Calcutta, but only about 3,000 Native Christians are returned in the city itself. There is a Roman Catholic colony at Bettiah in Chumparun, and a mission of the same church at Patna; a Lutheran mission works in Tirhoot, and there are other missions in Bhaugulpoor and the Sonthal Pergunnahs. In Mysore the number of Native Christians is 18,000, of whom nine-tenths are Roman Catholics, while of the 2,000 in Coorg, no less than 1,900 belong to that church. Those recorded in the Bombay Presidency are chiefly found in the districts of Tanna, Belgaum, Rutnagherry, and Dharwar, and the island of Bombay.
In Berar about 900 Christians are enumerated, but the Natives are not separated from Europeans or Eurasians. In British Burma the numerous Karen converts are not specified in the Census Report, and only 2,300 Native Christians have been entered; there are, however, 52,000 Christians in the province, and in the Administration Export the total number of Native Christians is stated to be 34,310. The Oude report does not distinguish between Native Christians and Europeans or Eurasians.
A society was founded at Calcutta in 1830 by Rammohun Roy, with the view of reclaiming Hindoos from idolatry, and establishing a pure monotheism; in 1859 Keshub Chunder Sen was enrolled a member, and in 1866 he seceded from the original society, and formed a separate sect entitled the Brahmo Somaj, or, as the members call themselves in the Bombay Presidency, the Prathana Somaj. Very few persons have returned themselves as Brahmos in Bengal, and only 92 in Calcutta, where there is a considerable community of them; they are, however, believed to have congregations in most of the districts. In the Bombay Presidency 221 Brahmos were enumerated, of whom 196 were in the district of Nassick.
The caste system is, perhaps, almost as prevalent among the Mahomedans as among those professing the Hindoo religion, from which a large part of their number are probably converts, but it partakes rather of the nature of a tribal classification than of the exclusive character of what is commonly termed caste.
|Others, or unspecified||32,674,800|
The subdivisions, moreover, are by no means so numerous, and the returns have, as a rule, been prepared so as to show only the numbers of the four chief branches, the others being all classes together The figures do not, on most of the provinces, correspond with those shewn as Mahomedans under the heading of Religion, some of the tribes being classed among those who are not natives of India, while the Christians and others of Mahomedan origin, but not professing that religion, have in some cases been included in the statement according to nationality and catse, Taking the whole of India, the Syuds number 791,000, and are chiefly found in the Punjab, Bombay, and the North-West Provinces; the Sheikhs amount to 4,700,000, of whom upwards of two millions are in the North-West Provinces, one million in Bengal, and rather over half a million in each of the Presidencies of Madras and Bombay; the Pathans number 1,842,000, and the Moghuls 220,000, both classes being found chiefly in the North-West Provinces, the Punjab, and Oude. Of the unspecified castes, there are nearly 32¾ millions, of whom 18¼ millions are in Bengal, 8 millions in the Punjab, 1,712,000 in Bombay, 1,333,000 in the North-West Provinces, 1,190,000 in Madras, and 1,100,000 in Assam. The Julaha or weaving caste is a very numerous one in Lower Bengal, and in Chota Nagpoor, where they comprise not much less than [S. 28] half the whole number of Mussulmans in the division. The Mahomedan Rajpoots in the North-West Provinces number nearly 22,000, and are chiefly found in the Saharunpoor and Boolundshuhur districts. In Oude 35 of the lower castes have been specially enumerated, the most numerous being the Julahas and other weavers, the Dhuniyas or cotton cleaners, the Durzees or tailors, the Ghosees or milkmen, the Kunjras or greengrocers, the Manihars or bangle-makers, and the Kasaees or butchers.
In the Punjab the Pathans are subdivided into many tribes, of whom the- largest are the Yoosoofzyes, residing chiefly in the Peshawur District, the Loohanees in Bunnoo, and the Khuttuks in Bunnoo and Kohat; the Mahomedan Rajpoots somewhat exceed 700,000, their two largest tribes being the Bhuttees, in the centre of the province, and the Ranghars, in the Delhi and Hissar divisions and the Umballa district; of the other tribes, the Jats are the most numerous, being upwards of 1,300,000, the Goojuns number 424,000, the Cashmerees 231,000, and the Meos 130,000, chiefly resident in Goorgaon. In Berar 28 subdivisions are mentioned, but, with the exception of nearly 1,900 Fakeers, none of them are of numerical importance.
Of the 209,000 Mahomedans in Mysore, 198,000 are classed as Deccan Mussulmans, the remainder being Labbays or Moplas (an Arab race recruited by converts from Hindooism, under the persecutions of Hyder Ali and Tippoo), Pindarees, and Pinjarees or cotton-cleaners. The same classification has been adopted in Coorg, where there are 7,000 Deccan Mussulmans, and 4,000 Labbays or Moplas. In Madras the Labbays and Moplas are very numerous, there being 312,000 of the former and 613,000 of the latter. The Moplas are almost entirely confined to Malabar and South Kanara; they are a hard-working frugal people, but entirely uneducated and very fanatical, and their religious excitement has occasionally led to very serious outbreaks. The Labbays are found in most of the districts of Madras, and are numerous in Tanjore, Madura, Tinnevelly, and North Arcot, where they are sailors, fishermen, and traders. The Mussulman population of the city of Madras has not been at all subdivided. In Bombay three additional castes are specified,—Memon, of which there are 49,000, three-fourths of them being in Sind,—Borah, 86,000, chiefly in Guzerat,—and Khojah, nearly 18,000, of whom about half are in the city of Bombay.
The Asiatics who are not natives of India amount to 541,000, but it may be a question whether two-thirds of this number ought not rather to be reckoned among the Mahomedan Indian population, being the Beloochees, who number 235,000 in the Punjab, where they are chiefly found in the Derajat, and 145,000 in Bombay, where they are confined almost entirely to the Hyderabad and Thur and Parkur districts of Sind. Deducting these, there remain of Asiatic foreigners, about 161,000. The most numerous class is the Parsees, 69,000, of whom 44,000 reside in the island of Bombay and 23,500 in other parts of that Presidency. Of immigrants from the border nations, there are (besides the Beloochees already mentioned) 31,000 Nepalese, principally found in the district of Darjeeling; 339 Bhooteas, almost all in Assam; 12,000 Munipoorees in the same province, and 137 Cashmerees in the North-West Provinces and Bombay, but neither of these races is really foreign to India, and indeed the latter have in the Punjab been classed among the Mahomedan residents; 3,200 Afghans, mostly in Bombay, none being returned under this title in the Punjab; nearly 5,300 Mekranees, almost all of whom are in the Kurrachee district; and 845 Brahooees, in Kurrachee and Hyderabad. Of Jews 7,600 have been enumerated, and of Turks 920, both being found principally in Bombay; there are upwards of 3,500 Persians, of whom five-sixths are in Bombay, while the remainder include 150 Irakees in Oude, and 2 Khorassanees in the North-West Provinces. There are 8,300 Arabs, of whom 6,100 are in Bombay (principally in Bombay Island and Hyderabad), and 2,100 in Madras; 90 Abyssinians in Oude; 1,250 Armenians, chiefly in Calcutta, Dacca, and Rangoon; 13,300 Chinese, of whom -11/12ths are in British Burma, but only 3 Japanese, who are in Bombay; there are 69 Syrians, all but one of whom are in that Presidency; 58 Siamese, and 1,500 Malays, of whom only 40 are met with out of British Burma.
There are 108,000 of mixed race, such as Eurasians and Indo-Portuguese. Of the 20,000 who are resident in Bengal, many are descended from the Portu- guese, whose head-quarters were in Dacca and Chittagong. In the minor pro- vinces very few have been returned, they having probably preferred to enrol [S. 29] themselves as Europeans. Of the 26,000 in the Madras Presidency, about half are found in the Madras and Malabar districts. Bombay contains about 48,000, three-fourths of whom are in the island of Bombay or the neighbouring district of Tanna; the number of Eurasians in the Presidency is not quite 3,700, while there are 30,000 Indo-Portuguese, and 14,000 who are entered as "others," without any description of the race to which they belong.
It is a little remarkable that the census of the European population appears to be the least accurate portion of the whole inquiry. The errors apparent in the returns for the city of Calcutta have led to their condemnation as quite untrust worthy; and, generally, the statistics of the great towns which were taken through the agency of the municipal authorities are deemed less complete than those over which the supervision was more directly exercised by the Government officers entrusted with the compilation of the general census.
In June 1871, an enumeration was made of the British-born subjects, excluding the army and navy, which showed that there were then resident in India not quite 59,000.
According to the general census, the number of persons other than those of Asiatic birth, enumerated throughout India, is 121,000, of whom 75,700 are British, and 30,400 others of European blood, the nationality being unspecified; 8,000 are returned as belonging to continental Europe, and 7,000 to America, Africa, or Australia. Of the above number specified as British residents in India, 23,000 are English, 3,700 Scotch, 7,000 Irish, and 200 Welsh, while the 41,700 in the Punjab and Bombay are merely styled British. Of the 8,000 subjects of continental Europe, the nationality of only 2,628 has been shown; these comprise 755 Germans (including Prussians, Saxons, Austrians, and Hungarians), 631 French, 426 Portuguese, 282 Italians, 127 Greeks, 73 Swedes, 72 Russians (including Poles and Finlanders), 70 Dutch, 58 Norwegians, 45 Danes, 32 Spaniards, 20 Belgians, 19 Swiss, and 18 Turks. It is, however, only in Bengal, Assam, the North-West Provinces, and British Burma, that so detailed a classification has been attempted. The Americans number 3,190, but of these some 2,250 are "West Indians" resident in Calcutta, and Mr. Beverley's inquiries led him to think that they were merely immigrants into that city from the west of India. The number of Africans recorded is 3,692, of whom no less than 3,550 are in the Bombay Presidency, chiefly in the capital city and in Hyderabad. There are 79 residents in India who are natives of Australia or the neighbouring islands.
The number of persons whose nationality is entirely unspecified is not quite 435,000. Of these 170,000 are the rude inhabitants of the Bhootan Dooars in the Julpigoree district of Bengal and the Garo Hills in Assam; about 130,000 are mendicants and 19,000 travellers in Oude; and 96,000 are returned as" Others" in Bombay, of whom no information is given.
In an earlier part of this memorandum reference was made to the great excess in certain provinces of males over females, and boys over girls; and it will now be interesting to examine the chief religious and caste divisions with regard to the proportions of the respective sexes and ages.
|Religion.||No. of Females to 100 Males.||No. of Children to 100 Adults.||No. of Girls to 100 Boys|
|Sikhs in Punjab||75.74||51.72||77.93|
Throughout India, the population professing the Hindoo religion shows a proportion of 94¾ females to 100 males, 53¼ chil -dren to 100 adults, and 88 girls to 100 boys; among the Sikhs in the Punjab, however, there are only found 75¾ females to 100 males, 51¾ children to 100 adults, and 78 girls to 100 boys. Taking the Mahomedans, we have not quite 94 females to 100 males, 56¾ children to 100 adults, and 83½ girls to 100 boys. The Buddhists have 93 females to 100 males, 56 children to 100 adults, and 95½ girls to 100 boys. And, finally, among the Christians, there are 735/8 females to 100 males, 445/8 children to 100 adults, and 93¾ girls to 100 boys. To whatever causes, then, is to be attributed the unusual disparity between males and females, or between boys and girls, and in some cases between [S. 30] adults and children, the matter does not appear explicable solely by differ-ence or religion, for the Hindoos show the greatest proportion of females, the Mahomedans the largest percentage of children, and the Buddhists and Christians the highest relative number of girls.
Number of Females to 100 Males
|Punjab (excluding Sikhs)||81.66||85.99|
|Average for British India||94.74||93.86|
In Bengal there is a general equality of the sexes, and it is found that to every 100 males there are of the Hindoo religion l00¾ females, and of the Mahomedan upwards of 99. In Assam the excess of males over females, attributable to immigration of labourers, exists in both religions, there being 921 Hindoo and 94½ Ma- homedan females to each 100 of the male sex. Madras reverses the proportions found in Bengal, there being 991/3 Hindoo and 1001/3 Mahomedan females to 100 males of either religion. In the North-West Provinces and the Punjab the proportion of the females among the Hindoos is much less, there being only 867/8 in the former and 815/8 in the latter to each 100 males, while among the Sikhs there are but 75¾ per cent, of females; but, in these provinces, the Mahomedan males also outnumber the females in no less a proportion than 100 to 92 and 86 respectively. In Oude the Mahomedan female population is but two per cent, less than the male, while there are only 92¼ Hindoo females to 100 males. In the Central Provinces the Hindoos show a better proportion than the Mahomedans, there being nearly 96 females of the former and only 931/8 of the latter religion to the 100 males; and in Bombay the result is similar, 93 females being recorded to 100 male Hindoos, and only 84 females to 100 males among the Mahomedan population. In British Burma the excessively low percentage of females, less than 27 among the Hindoos, and 66¾ among the Mahomedans, is attributable to the circumstance, already mentioned, that many of both religions, more particularly the former, are aliens resident away from their families. The position of Coorg is affected in a similar manner by the temporary addition of foreign labour.
For the proportion of girls to boys it seems equally difficult to lay down any rule founded on a comparison of the two main religions of India.
Number of Girls to 100 Boys.
|Assam . .||86.13||82.38|
|North.West Provinces .||82.66||87.00|
|Oude . .||34.13||85.96|
|Mysore . .||97.37||90.98|
|British Burma .||72.95||90.76|
|Bombay . . .||91.13||82.22|
|Average for British India .||87.95||83.44|
In Bengal, Assam, Mysore, Coorg, Madras, and Bombay, the ratio is from 3 to 9 per cent, better among the Hindoos than among the Mahomedans. In the Central Provinces the proportions are nearly equal. In the North-West Provinces, Oude, and the Punjab, the Mahomedan proportion is the best, though the superiority is less marked, varying from 17/8 to 41/3 per cent. The Sikh proportion is very low, there being less than 78 girls to 100 boys. Of the Buddhist population nearly nine-tenths are in British Burma, in regard to which province it has already been explained that the excess of males over females is in a great degree due to immigration; and, as many of the new-comers are Buddhists from Upper Burma, the same remark will apply to the low percentage of females of that religion, 94¼. The proportion of children is very high, 57½ to 100 adults, and there are 96½ girls to 100 boys. Among the Buddhists in India proper, the females are in a great minority, little exceeding 85 to each 100 males, while there are about 87½ girls to 100 boys. The Christian population contains 73¾ females to every 100 males, Mysore showing the largest percentage of the former, nearly 90, and Oude the lowest, only 39. The proportion of girls is strikingly large in the North-West Provinces, Oude, and the Central Provinces, varying from 102¾ to 105½ to each 100 boys; [S. 31] the average throughout India is 93¾. The number of children is 445/8 for each 100 adults. The circumstances of this class are, however, so peculiar that no useful conclusions can be drawn from the general proportions.
Since, then, the analysis of the numbers professing the several religions does not lead to any definite result, it becomes necessary to pass on to the tables of caste, and observe the inferences to be thence deduced. It will be seen that, setting aside British Burma, Assam, and Coorg, on account of the extent to which the averages are affected by immigration, and Ajmere, on the figures for which little reliance can be placed, the provinces resolve themselves into three groups, according to the relative proportion of females; first come Bengal, Mysore, Madras, and -the Central Provinces, in which the sexes are nearly on an equality, there being from 1001/8 to 96½ females to every 100 males; then we have Berar, Oude, and Bombay, where there are from 93½ to 91 females to 100 males; and lastly the North-West Provinces and the Punjab, where the percentage is as low as 87½ and 83½ respectively.
Now, taking the provinces in this order, the following table shows the pro- portion which the higher castes of Hindoos bear to the whole population having a Hindoo origin:—
|Percentage of higher Castes among Hindoos.|
From these figures it seems that, so far as regards the Hindoo religion, in proportion as there is a small percentage of high* caste people, so will the discrepancy between the male and female sexes be small, and where the Brahmins, and more particularly the Rajpoots, are numerous, there will the female population be in a great minority. The Presidency of Bombay appears to be an exception to the rule, and indeed, as regards the percentage of females, she would hold a better place, were it not for the large Mahomedan population in Sind, which contains only 80 to each 100 males; it is probable that, in Sind as well as in the Punjab, the same influences which pervade the high-caste Hindoo families may be felt among the Rajpoot tribes professing the Mahomedan religion.
The conclusions, then, to which the figures point are the following:—That there is nothing in the Indian climate which should lead to any very great excess of male over female births, and that among the larger part of the population there is no undue proportion of living males compared with females; that in certain provinces there is a great excess of males; that it is not found among Hindoos more than among Mahomedans, but that, as a general rule, it exists where the higher castes are in the greatest proportion. We are thus led to the inquiry whether there is any special cause prevailing in the north and west of India among the higher castes, whether of Hindoos or of Mahomedans sharing Hindoo prejudices; and this consideration at once points us to the custom of female infanticide.
Owing to the necessity which a Rajpoot feels for duly marrying his daughter to a man of high caste, and the heavy expenses attendant on the ceremony, female children are regarded with dislike and dread; in the words of the writer of the report on the census taken at Lahore, "as one after another is born," the father "despairs of ever being able to bear the heavy burthen, and he hopes that "the infants may die; very moderate ill treatment is sufficient to secure him his "wish." For generations the practice has prevailed of reducing, by more or less violent means, the unwelcome moiety of the population, and its effects are now plainly perceptible in the reduced number of women and girls. Efforts to check the barbarous habit have been made by the British Officers, in various ways, for the last seventy years, one of the points particularly aimed at being the curtailment of the expenses of marriage; but, though these endeavours have been to a great degree successful, the practice is still so rife that in 1870 it was found necessary to pass an Act for the application of special regulations to districts or villages suspected of the practice. Of the need for such a law an instance is given in the North-West Provinces, [S. 32] where, in one tribe in a village in Meerut, only 8 girls under twelve years of age were found to 80 boys. The Act being put in force where- ever the number of girls is less than 35 per cent, of the total number of children, or, in other words, where there are less than 54 girls to every 100 boys, it may be hoped that in time a much closer approximation will be made to the natural equality of the sexes; but the girls whose lives are now being saved must grow up, and in their turn bear a fair proportion of female children, before the losses already sustained will be repaired.
The statement showing the classification of the people according to occupation is in some provinces limited to that of male adults; in some, the whole popula- tion has been returned under the occupations of the respective heads of families; and, in others, the women have been occasionally entered under that of their absent or deceased husbands. It thus becomes impossible to show the aggregate number of persons employed" in any particular kind of occupation.
As an estimate in round numbers, the following proportions may, perhaps, be accepted for the adult males of the principal classes into which the population is divided:—
|Per cent.||Estimated Number of Adult Males, in round numbers.|
|Professional, including Government Service||3.6||2,232,000|
|Independent and non-productive||3.4||2,108,000|
In dealing with the figures actually recorded, however, it must be borne in mind that the total enumerated exceeds by 4½ millions the actual number of adult males, in consequence mainly of the inclusion of all male children in the Punjab and Ajmere, and of many women or boys under 12 in British Burma, Mysore and Coorg, Madras and Bombay. In addition to these causes for exaggeration, other inaccuracies are evident, arising from the intrinsic difficulty of classification. A very elaborate system (based on that used in the English census) was adopted, too elaborate perhaps for the untrained enumerators; and it has been found impossible, in compiling the returns, to say whether persons "in service" were in the employment of the Government or in domestic situations; whether an "engineer" or "overseer" was engaged on a Government work, or not; whether "sepoys" belonged to the Army, or were only retainers of the Native gentry; whether "accountants" were village officers, or clerks to persons in a private capacity,—and so forth.
Taking the statements, then, for what they are worth, it will be seen that the first class includes 2,405,000 persons, who may be divided into two main bodies, those employed under authority, and those practising professions on their own account. In the first category there are, of men engaged in the defence of the country, 223,000, of police and village watchmen, 442,000, and of those in the civil administratration, including Government servants and persons under municipal or other local authority, and also the village officers in most of the provinces, 571,000, making 1,236,000 people employed under a public authority of one kind or other. The number of the military forces thus shown cannot be accepted as a complete statement of the army in India, for the force stationed in the territories of the feudatory chiefs is not reckoned in the census, and the enumeration returns in the North-West Provinces included no soldiers except five persons in the Jounpoor district, while, on the other hand; the private retainers in Oude entered in this category have swelled the military element in the province ninefold, and the Punjab force is also increased by the addition of a number of boys under twelve years of age. Of the 571,000 employed in the general administration, 196,000 are in the Punjab, where a very wide interpretation seems to have been given to the title "village officers," a class which does not appear to be included under this head in Bengal. In Ajmere, Mysore, and Coorg, the military and police have not been separated from the other servants of the Government.
There are 1,168,000 persons employed in professions, of whom considerably more than half, namely, 629,000, are engaged in religious or charitable occupations, the [S. 33] number of priests and other religious teachers being 515,000, including 849 ministers, missionaries, and preachers, presumably of the Christian religion; among those who have been placed in this class are 12,000 servants and attendants (chiefly in Madras), 30,000 pilgrims, devotees, and religious mendicants, (mostly in Bombay, but the line between these and other beggars is probably very loosely drawn), and some 10,000 astrologers, 5 wizards, and 465 devil-drivers (in the south of India); there are 37,000 persons in Mysore and Coorg, whose religious avocations are not specified, and, in Madras, 18,000 are simply described as engaged in sacred pursuits or studies.
The number of people occupied in education, literature, and science is 189,000, of whom 90,000 are schoolmasters or teachers, and 51,000 are pundits or moulvees, that is, persons learned in Sanscrit or Arabic literature; 20,000 students and scholars in Bengal are included, a circumstance which may account for the excess of persons in this province classified as engaged in occupations over the total number of adult males; 636 authors are mentioned, including 518 poets and 1 dramatist in Madras, 1 speech-maker in the North-West Provinces, and 87 editors in Madras, Calcutta, and Dacca. In literature and science, 118 persons are engaged in British Burma and 3,249 in Bombay, while there are 130 astronomers, 5 librarians, and 4 taxidermists in Madras. The list is completed by a set of persons who might perhaps be, with more propriety, transferred to the non-productive division, namely the almanac or pedigree makers and fortune-tellers, who exceed 23,000 in number, nearly all being entered in the Madras census under the designation of Calendar Brahmins.
Of the 33,000 persons engaged in law, there are 105 barristers, and 13,000 attorneys and pleaders, 17,000 clerks and writers of deeds or petitions, and 2,200 vendors of stamps. Medicine occupies 75,000 persons, of whom 61,500 are described as surgeons, doctors, or medical practitioners; there are 5 oculists (all at Benares), 3 dentists, 2,200 apothecaries, hospital assistants, compounders, and leechmen (including 275 circumcisers in Bengal), 7,200 accoucheurs, 1,600 vaccinators, and 260 inoculators (the last being specified only in Bengal), 7 veterinary surgeons, and 300 cow-doctors; in Mysore and Coorg no details are given.
The fine arts are recorded as engaging the attention of 218,000 persons, in- cluding nearly 8,000 painters, sculptors, and photographers. Almost all the rest are votaries of music in some shape, though their claim to be artists is very doubtful; of musicians, singers, and dancers, there are 167,000; of actors, jugglers, and acrobats, 38,600, including 74 showmen, 75 jesters, 29 mimics, and 3 charmers, all these classes being specified in the North-West Provinces alone, 221 wrestlers in Bengal and the North-west Provinces, 15 buffoons in Bengal, 15 monkey dancers in Madras, and upwards of 1,000 snake charmers; of bards there are 4,400, chiefly in the North-West Provinces and the Punjab.
In miscellaneous professions 23,700 persons are classed, civil engineering, architecture, and surveying, being followed by nearly 6,200; 1,178, in Berar, are described as engaged in the learned professions, without further detail, and some 13,000 are occupied in Madras as accountants and bill collectors.
The second great division, that of domestic service, comprises 4,137,000 persons. Of these, nearly 1,937,000 are returned as servants; there are 594,000 barbers, including 287 in the North-West Provinces who are specially designated as earcleaners; the number of washermen is 467,000, of sweepers nearly 409,000, and of water-carriers 152,000, but these two classes have in most of the provinces been included among the domestic servants; there are 555,000 others or unspecified, among whom in Oude and Bombay are 1,116 makers of caste-marks, and in Madras 1,243 worshippers, that is, Brahmins whose duty it is daily to attend at private houses for the purpose of washing the idols and making the offerings of flowers. To these must be added some 22,000 innkeepers and managers of places of entertainment.
The third and by far the largest class is that of persons engaged in agriculture, including those tending or dealing in animals. The number of persons returned under this head is nearly 37½ millions, and forms three-fifths of the entire population classified in the list of occupations; and it must be remembered that the actual number of persons engaged in tilling the soil is not limited to the number of male agricultural adults, as considerable assistance is given by women and boys, while many artisans and tradesmen own plots of land which they cultivate with the aid of younger members of their family. There are considerable difficulties in the agriculturists according to the nature of the tenure under which they [S. 34] hold their land; but in Northern India they may be broadly classed as proprietors, cultivators, farm servants, and persons engaged with animals. Adopting this division, we find the number of proprietors throughout Bengal, Assam, the North West Provinces, Oude, the Punjab, and the Central Provinces, to be 4,341,000. Among the 271,000 proprietors in Bengal there is a great variety of tenure, but far the greater number are either zemindars, of whom there are 147,000, talookdars, of whom there are nearly 73,000, or lakhirajdars, who are 30,000 in number; there are some 8,000 mukarrareedars, and about 13,000 others are enumerated under the various designations of ghantidars, putneedars, jagheerdars, aymadars, ghatwals, khureedadars, and ihtimamdars. Of the 35,000 landed proprietors in Assam, one half are talookdars, 9,000 are lakhirajdars, and 6,000 zemindars; the remainder are mukarrareedars, and putneedars, with a very few ghantidars. The tenant-farmers, &c., in Bengal, number 10,422,000, of whom 10,376,000 are simply termed "cultivators," but this title ill conveys the idea of the claims which an Indian ryot has in many instances to certain rights of property in the land he tills; of the remaining 46,000, there are 18,000 jotdars, 9,000 howladars, 7,000 occupancy ryots, 4,400 ticcadars, 4,200 ijaradars, and about 2,100 mahaldars, mustajirs, tenants at will, and chakladars. In Assam there are 857,000 cultivators entered as such, besides about 300 ticceadars, mouzadars, howladars, and ijaradars.
In the North-West Provinces there are 693,000 proprietors and 5,180,000 cul- tivators, among whom are included 551 water-nut growers, 235 indigo-planters, and 70 tea-planters. Mr. Plowden draws attention to the fact, that, while 60 per cent, of Hindoos in these provinces are agriculturists, only 35 per cent, of Mahomedans follow that occupation. In Ajmere 132,700 cultivators are recorded. In Oude there are 82,000 proprietors or zemindars, and 2,076,000 cultivators; in the Punjab, 3,195,000 proprietors, and 1,765,000 tenants, have been enumerated. In the Central Provinces there are 64,000 proprietors, who are divided into 3,400 zemindars, jagheerdars, &c., 33,700 superior proprietors, 26,000 inferior proprietors, and 1,200 rent-free holders; the number of tenants is about 827,500, of whom 71,00,0 are said to hold on "absolute occupancy," 177,500 on "occupancy," and 579,000 to be tenants-at-will. In Berar, Mysore, and Coorg, no attempt has been made to subdivide the number of persons engaged in agriculture, of whom there are about 440,000 in the first, 1,035,000 in the second, and 21,000 in the third province. In British Burma 554,000 proprietors are recorded, and less than 35,000 cultivators.
In the Madras Presidency the number so occupied is about 5¼ millions, of whom there are enumerated as landed proprietors 24,000, besides 668 zemindars, 61,000 inamdars, that is, holders of land exempt from payment of the Government revenue, nearly 73,000 rnirasidars or holders of hereditary lands, 787 kudi-mirasidars, or village proprietors with similar rights, and 220 jagheerdars. The number of cultivators or ryots is nearly 4,879,000, including about 30,000 entered under the titles of agriculturists, farmers, gardeners, and irrigators, with 167 coffee gardeners. It must be remembered, however, that, in Madras, while the State has a right every where to sell up any proprietor of land if the tax thereon, fixed by the Government at discretion but in accordance with certain principles, is not paid, and also possesses a right to all land not held and paid for by farmers, except on permanently settled estates or where the ancient mirasi system, or hereditary lien on the village area, is in force,—nevertheless, throughout four-fifths of the Presidency the State collects its tax direct from the cultivator, who is practically a peasant proprietor with an indefeasible right of property on his land so long as he pays the tax. In Bombay a distinction has been drawn, in the returns, between the proprietors not cultivating, of whom there are 84,000, and those cultivating, who number 1,473,000; there are also 1,137,000 tenants.
The number of farm servants and labourers enumerated in British India is 989,000, but these are almost all in the Punjab, Bombay, and the Central Pro- vinces, and doubtless a large number of agricultural servants are contained in the list of labourers which forms the sixth great class of occupations.
In Bengal and Assam there are about 105,000 managers of estates, bailiffs, and servants of the landholders; in the other provinces such persons have probably been included among those in domestic service, or possibly in that of the Government.
The number of persons recorded as being engaged about animals is 950,000, of whom 809,000 are herdsmen and shepherds, besides 21,000 cattle dealers and [S. 35] nearly 8,000 dealers in sheep and goats; the chief grazing pastures are in the centre of India and the Punjab. Elephants and camels occupy the attention of somewhat over 4,000 persons, of whom two-thirds are in the Central Provinces and Bengal. About 32,000 people are returned as being engaged with horses, mules, or asses, of whom 8,700 are dealers, jockeys, breakers, and farriers, 18,800 are syces or grooms, and 4,800 grass-cutters; only in one or two provinces, however, have any of the two latter classes been mentioned, and they have probably in the other returns been included among domestic servants. The statements show about 3,000 pig dealers and 10,500 swineherds, but the latter are almost entirely confined to Oude, and they have probably in other cases been classed with herdsmen. Some 5,000 poultry feeders and bird dealers are recorded, chiefly in British Burma, and 10,000 persons gain their living as hunters, trappers, or fowlers. Of Berar, Mysore, and Coorg, which contain 46,000 persons occupied with animals, details are not given, but probably three-fourths of these are engaged in tending cattle or sheep.
Of the two next great divisions, it was intended that the commercial class should include all engaged in the carrying trade, whether of commodities or of passengers, and all merchants who make their profit from buying and selling, without effecting any change in the character of the goods in which they deal; while in the industrial class would be comprised artisans or makers, whose work- manship fashions the commodities and raw products into the fabrics and articles demanded by the wants of the public. In a country, however, where there are hardly any manufactories and a large number of manufacturers, and where the original suppliers are frequently also the sellers of the goods to the public, it is evident that the difference between occupations placed under one class and those under the other will often be difficult to define. An attempt has been made to revise the tables, but in so many cases have the "makers and sellers" been intermingled that it was found hopeless to execute the task with precision.
Taking the figures as shown in the Appendix, it will be seen that the fourth or commercial class numbers 3,441,000, of whom 1,029,000 are engaged in the conveyance either of persons or of goods, and 2,412,000 are occupied in trade. In the former division are enumerated 21,000 persons employed in connexion with railways, though none are so recorded in the North-West Provinces, the Punjab, or Berar; 161,000 are concerned in transport by carriage or cart, 178,000 in the conveyance of articles on the backs of animals, 125,000 as palkee-bearers, and 103,000 as messengers and porters, though in some of the provinces these classes have been all thrown together without distinction; 396,000 are connected with boats or ships, a large majority of these being boatmen plying their trade on the numerous rivers in Bengal; there are 2,000 shipping or emigration agents, mostly recorded in Calcutta, and 28,000 are engaged as keepers of screws or presses, weighmen, or packers; there are also 13,000 carriers of one kind or other in Berar.
The traders are divided into the bankers and others dealing in money, of whom there are 250,000, the general merchants and shopkeepers, of whom 1,837,000 are enumerated, and the hawkers and petty dealers, numbering 56,000; there are also 159,000 accountants, clerks, and shopmen, and 52,000 brokers, agents, and auctioneers, while no details are given of the 58,000 persons of this class in Berar, Mysore, and Coorg.
Next comes the great industrial and artisan class, amounting to 8,747,000. As already mentioned, the distinction between the makers and the dealers cannot be clearly drawn, and the same may be said of the manufacturers and other "makers;" weavers, for instance, whose occupation is perhaps the principal manufacture of India, have,as a rule, been placed in the category of those dealing with fabrics. According to the classification shewn in the Appendix (which, it is feared, is very imperfect), there are 376,000 persons engaged in manufactures, and 790,000 in constructive art; 1,373,000 are workers or dealers in metals and minerals, including the large class of potters; 207,000 are occupied in fashioning other household utensils and furniture; 3,246,000 in making fabrics and articles of dress; 23,000 in the printing and preparation of books; 936,000 are dealers in vegetable food, and 811,000 in articles of animal food; 228,000 in the manufacture or sale of drinks, including the numerous toddy sellers and drawers in Madras; 122,000 deal in stimulants; 78,000 in perfumes, drugs, and chemicals in which class have been placed druggists, sellers of salt and saltpetre, &c.; 110,000 are dealers in vegetable substances, such as string, firewood, and [S. 36] charcoal, and in fuel generally; and 330,000 in animal substances, as leather, hides, and horn. There are 5,000 artisans and 71,000 dealers in Mysore and Coorg, of whom no more details are given; and 39,000 persons in Madras are stated to be engaged in "caste occupations."
It has been necessary, as a general rule, to arrange labourers by themselves, as in several provinces no distinction has been made between those working as agriculturists, and those engaged in other occupations; but in the Punjab, the Central Provinces, and Bombay, the farm labourers have been placed by themselves. The number undistinguished is 8,175,000, of whom 2½ millions are in Bengal, 2 millions in Madras, and 1½ millions in the North-West Provinces.
The last class is that termed indefinite and non-productive, which comprises 2,265,000 people, of whom 34,000 are house or market owners or persons of inde- pendent means, and 35,000 are in receipt of pensions for military service or as members of dethroned houses; 103,000 are merely described as travellers or guests, and 1,754 as apprentices or dependants. There are 20 professed gamblers in Bengal and 2 in the North-West Provinces, 5 pigeon-fliers in Patna, and 49 spies in Monghyr. The number of eunuchs and keepers of brothels recorded is 3,581, mostly in Oude, and the remainder in Bengal and the North-West Pro- vinces. There are 351 professional thieves in Calcutta and 10 in Maunbhoom, and in the North-West Provinces 30 budmashes or bad characters; prisoners have only been enumerated in the North-West Provinces, where there are 1,343, chiefly at Allahabad and Meerut, and in Madras, where 422 are entered. Besides the religious mendicants, who have been transferred to the first division, there are 1,053,000 beggars or paupers; and the list is closed with a column of 1,032,000 persons who are either specifically stated to be following no occupation, or are altogether omitted from the returns.
The total of these seven classes is more than 66,631,000, which is about 4¾ millions in excess of the number of adult males recorded in British India. The difference is due to the inclusion, in some of the returns, of women or children. In Bengal 11,500 are so counted, who may perhaps be traced among the students (in number exceeding 20,000) returned from almost every district in Bengal. In Ajmere the total of adult males is not given, but the excess of nearly 38,000 over the males of all ages is doubtless mainly due to the women engaged in agriculture being enumerated. In the Punjab a reduction of nearly 3½ millions has to be made for the male children who have all been classed under the occupations of their parents. Similar allowance, but to a smaller extent, must be made in Mysore (254,000) and Coorg (14,500), Madras (271,000), and Bombay (183,000). In British Burma the excess is 400,000, and is attributed to the inclusion of women in the occupation statements.
Very little information is given in the Census reports respecting the occupations of the women in British India. In most cases they have either been omitted from the returns, or included with the men in such a manner that the two classes cannot be separated. In the reports for Bengal (including Assam) and Bombay the details are given, and of these a statement has been prepared. The information, however, appears untrustworthy in some respects, as in the case of the 325 women said to be employed in the Bombay police, and is altogether of little value. According to the figures, however, out of a little more than 27 millions of adult females in the three provinces dealt with, 24¾ millions, or nine-tenths, are returned as without any employment, or are simply described as wives. Of those whose occupations are specified, numbering 2,864,000, the professional class includes 28,000, among whom are 647 police and other Government servants in Bombay; religious ministrations occupy 13,800, of whom 33 are missionaries and 108 nuns, 12,000 priestesses, and 6 astrologers; 3,600 are said to be occupied in education, but 2,900 of them are students; medicine engages the attention of nearly 5,900, of whom 780 are medical practitioners, 50 hospital attendants, 4,900 nurses and midwives, and 140 vaccinators, inoculators, and cow-doctors; while there are 4,100 engaged in art, 900 being painters and sculptors, 1,000 musicians and singers, and 2,200 dancers or jugglers.
The domestic class includes 142,000, of whom 108,000 are servants in private houses and attendants on the ladies of the zenana; there are 5,200 barbers, 17,000 washerwomen, 5,400 sweepers, 1,300 water-carriers, and some 4,900 others, of whom 160 are keepers of inns and places of entertainment. The agricultural class comprises 966,000, of whom 407,000 are described as proprietors, 421,000 as cultivators, 128,000 as farm labourers (only mentioned in Bombay), and 10,000 as [S. 37] engaged in dealing in or taking care of animals. The commercial class numbers 75,000, one-third of whom are employed as palanquin-bearers, or are owners of carriages or otherwise engaged in the transport of people and merchandise; 5,100 are bankers and dealers in money, 44,000 are traders and shopkeepers, and 1,900 are shopwomen, pedlars, or brokers.
Industrial occupations employ 934,000, about nine-tenths being engaged in weaving and spinning, or dealing in fabrics and articles of dress, and in the preparation and sale of food. The number of labourers, in addition to those specifically described as employed in agriculture, is 515,000. There are about 2,700 persons of independent means, and 1,700 pensioners, 3 witches, 82 brothel- keepers, and nearly 59,000 prostitutes, while 140,000 are beggars and paupers, with no ostensible mode of employment.
The statistics regarding persons afflicted with infirmities cannot be accepted as of much value. For one or two of the provinces hardly any details have been received. The distinction between insane persons and idiots has not been under- stood by the enumerators, and the inmates of lunatic asylums have in many cases been returned under the latter title; and the number of males afflicted is in most instances so largely in excess of the females, that it seems probable that information about the latter has been withheld. The number of insane and idiotic persons who have been enumerated is about 67,000 out of some 180 millions, or 1 in 2,700, a proportion which is not one-eighth of that prevailing in England and Wales. While, however, the figures cannot be viewed as accurate, valid reasons may be assigned for the comparative immunity of the Indian population from diseases of the brain, in the general absence of predisposing causes in the shape of over-work, excitement, and intoxication. On the other hand, owing to the very low physical condition of the peasantry, and the absence of nutritive elements in their food, many of them may be said to be in a state of chronic starvation, which prevents the brain from receiving adequate nourishment.
The deaf-and-dumb number 134,000, or 1 in 1,340, a proportion about half as great again as that in England, but only two-thirds of the ratio existing in Ireland. The Registrar General assigns the prevalence of zymotic diseases, and the neglect of sanitary science, as the most frequent causes of deaf-mutism; and these are certainly not less prevalent in India than in England.
The number of blind persons is 354,000, or rather less than 1 in 500, a pro- portion which is nearly double the English rate, and which is doubtless principally to be attributed to small-pox, while poverty of food, over-crowding, malarial fever, leprosy, intense sun-light, and irritating smoke from cow-dung, the common fuel of the country, are all exciting causes of eye disease.
The number of lepers recorded is nearly 96,000, or 1 in 1875 of the population, about half the proportion existing in Norway.
It was intended that the census should show the number of persons able to read and write, or under instruction; but in Bengal the information was not sought except in the case of a few municipal towns. In the North-West Provinces, also, the information is known to be very imperfect, partly from omissions, and partly from the failure to put into the return a column for females, owing to which women and girls have in almost all cases been excluded. For Oude the returns give no particulars except the number of boys and girls at school; and for Ajmere and Berar there are no details. Seeing how imperfect the statistics must be, it is not worth while to analyse them minutely; but it may be observed that, in the nine provinces for which returns have been made, there are, among the 123 millions of people inhabiting them, only 4 millions who are returned as able to read and write, or as being under instruction; in other words, scarcely one person in thirty has received the barest rudiments of education.
In some of the Census Reports is a statement showing the extent of culti- vation and the incidence of the land revenue and local cesses on each adult male agriculturist, and each acre of land cultivated or capable of cultivation. Unfortunately the machinery for collecting such statistics is deficient in the large portion of Bengal in which a permanent settlement of the land revenue was made by Lord Cornwallis; and in Madras also and the unsurveyed parts of Bombay the returns are very defective, though there does not appear to be any reason why they should not have been compiled as directed, in the former of these two Presidencies. [S. 38]
The great extent to which the population of India is directly interested in agriculture has already been mentioned, hut the precise percentage cannot he statedwith accuracy, owing to the impossibility, in most cases, of saying what proportion of the labourers is engaged in farming operations. The age, too, at which a lad is considered to be adult has in some instances been taken at 20 and in others at 15, while for the general purposes of the census the line was drawn at 12 years of age.
Area in Square miles
|North-West Provinces -||26,727||12,109||42,174||393||81,403|
With regard to the proportion of area under cultivation, it seems desirable to limit the remarks to those provinces in which the returns have been made with at least apparent accuracy. In that portion, then, of British India which remains after deducting the whole of Bengal, Assam, Ajmere, Madras, and Bombay, or, in other words, in the eight provinces mentioned in the mar- gin, together com- prising 427,000 square miles, or rather less than half the total area under British administration, we find 191,000 square miles, or 44.6 per cent., incapable of cultivation, 103,000 square miles, or 24.3 per cent., capable of culti- vation but uncultivated, and 131,000, or 30.6 per cent., cultivated, no particulars being given of the remaining 2,000 square miles, or .5 per cent. Thus, of the 234,000 square miles of land available to the cultivator throughout these provinces, 131,000, or 55.8 per cent., are cultivated, and 103,000, or 44.2 per cent., uncultivated.
In the North-West Provinces, the proportion which the land under cultivation bears to the whole area capable of tillage is 77.7 per cent.; in Oude, the per- centage is 7.4; in Berar, 69.3; in Mysore, 67.3; in the Punjab, 59.3; in Coorg, 57.2; in the Central Provinces, 37.7; and in British Burma only 8.9, a fact which shows in a striking manner the scope afforded in that province for the surplus population of the Gangetic Valley, if they can be induced to continue the system of emigration recently set on foot by the Government to relieve the pressureof the famine in Behar.
No information is given with respect to the portion of territory in Berar which is subject to the payment of dues to the Government in the shape of land revenue, quit rent, or tribute; of the other seven pro- vinces, 53 per cent, is subject to some assess- ment of that nature, 44 per cent, is free, and of the remaining 3 percent., chiefly consisting of the waste land in Kumaon, particulars are not fur- nished.
Area in Square Miles
Paying Government Revenue, &c.
Not paying Government Revenue, &c.
The proportion exempt is only 9 per cent. in the North-West Provinces, 25 per cent, in the Central Provinces where it is almost all forest land appropriated to State purposes, 27 per cent, in Oude, 54 per cent, in the Punjab and Mysore (of which nearly nine-tenths in the one case, and three-fourths in the other, is incapable of cultivation), and 86 per cent, in Coorg and British Burma, in the former it being almost entirely barren hill, while in the latter more than two-fifths of the waste land is fit for tillage. In papers recently received from India, the amount of the local rates and cesses levied on land, for the maintenance of roads, schools, and watchmen, and for similar purposes, is shewn in the chief Provinces; and, by adding these figures to the amount of Ordinary Land revenue, a statement is obtained of the total dues levied on agriculture, [S. 39] excluding any pay- ments for municipal objects. The local rates are, rela- tively, highest in Madras and the North-West Provinces, where they amount to 13¼ and 14¼ per cent, on the revenue, and lowest in Bengal and Assam, where the percentage is only 1¾. The average number of persons dependent on each adult male agriculturist is singularly irregular, being less than 3 in the North- West Provinces, 4 in the Central Provinces, a little over 7 in Mysore and British Burma, and 12½ in Coorg. The average number of acres cultivated by each such person also varies greatly, the proportion being shewn as 4½ in the North-West Provinces, 5 in British Burma, 7½ in Mysore and Coorg, 10½ in Berar, 17¾ in Bombay, and 19¾ in the Central Provinces.
Ordinary Land Revenue
Local Rates and Cesses on Land
Total Payments for Ordinary Land Revenue,
and for Local Rates on Land.
|Bengal and Assam||3,881,367||64,922||3,946,289|
The average incidence of the total payments for ordinary land revenue and local rates, on each acre of the gross area, varies from less than 3 d. in the Central Provinces to 1s. 10d. in the North-West Provinces and Oude, the average being 9½d. On each acre of ground ca- pable of cultivation, whether tilled or not, the payments fall with an incidence varying from 5½d in the Central Provinces to 2s. 11½. in the North-West Provinces and Mysore, and 3s. 3½d. in Coorg, the average being 1s. 9d. On each acre of land actually cultivated the ave- rage is again the lowest in the Central Provinces, namely, l0¾d., while in Mysore, Oude, and the North-West Provinces, it is from 3s. 3d. to 3s. 9¾d., in British Burma 4s. 3d., and in Coorg 5s. 7d., the average being 2s. 8d.
Average Incidence of Payments for Ordinary Land Revenue, and for Local Rates and Cesses, per Acre of
Revenue-paying cultivable, including cultivated, Area.
Revenue-paying cultivated Area.
|Bengal and Assam||0 7.0||-||-|
|North-West Provinces||1 10.0||2 11.3||3 9.8|
|Oude||1 10.0||2 6.9||3 6.4|
|Punjab||0 7.8||1 4.4||2 4.1|
|Central Provinces||0 2.8||0 5.5||0 10.8|
|Mysore||0 10.4||2 11.7||3 3.1|
|Coorg||0 5.3||3 3.4||5 7.3|
|British Burma||0 1.9||2 2.6||4 3.1|
|Bombay||0 9.5||1 9.4||2 3.1|
|Average||0 9.4||1 9.1||2 8.0|
The number of male agriculturists above the age of 20 has been returned in most of the provinces, and a table is given in the margin, shewing the average incidence of the payments made for ordinary land re- venue, and local rates and cesses, on each male adult occupied in agri- culture, and also on each head of the population. In the former case the lowest rates are 6s. 7d. in Bengal and Assam; in the North-West Provinces the average is about 16s. 2d., in the Central Provinces 17s., in Mysore 21s. 9½d, in British Burma 23s. 7½d., in Berar 23s. l0¾d, in Bombay 35s. 5½d, and in Coorg not less than 40s.4d. Calculated on the total population, the incidence is lowest in Bengal and Assam 1s. 2¾d., and [S. 40] the Central Provinces ls. 6¾d., and highest in Bombay 3s. 10½d., and Berar 4s. 9½d.
Average Incidence of Payments for Ordinary Land Revenue, and for Local Rates &c., per Head of
Adult Male Agriculturists
£ s d
£ s d
|Bengal and Assam||0 6 6.9||0 1 2.7|
|North-West Provinces||0 16 2.4||0 3 1.2|
|Ajmere||-||0 2 6.3|
|Oude||-||0 2 6.1|
|Punjab||-||0 2 4.7|
|Central Provinces||0 16 11.8||0 1 6.8|
|Berar||1 3 10.7||0 4 9.6|
|Mysore||1 1 9.4||0 2 11.5|
|Coorg||2 0 4.2||0 3 4.4|
|British Burma||1 3 7.5||0 3 3.2|
|Madras||-||0 3 1.8|
|Bombay||1 15 5.5||0 3 10.4|
|Average||-||0 2 4.7|
Before this memorandum is concluded, it is desirable that some notice should be taken of the manner in which the great work of enumerating the people of British India was effected. The census was not carried out in the various pro- vinces on one uniform system. In Bengal, owing to the want of administrative machinery, to the great expense anticipated to supply this need, and to the vast extent of sparsely populated territory in Assam (which was then still under Bengal), in Cooch Behar, and in Chota Nagpoor, it was determined to make no attempt to obtain a synchronous enumeration of the people, or to deal with the precise condition in all respects of every individual. The general plan adopted in this province was to have lists prepared of the villages and hamlets, which were made over to the police for supervision; in each village two or more residents were selected, who, in complimentary letters, were requested to act as enumerators, and to submit lists of the houses in their villages, with the name of the principal occupant of each, the correctness of a certain number of these lists being tested by the police. Though the enumerators would, doubtless, have preferred to be paid for their trouble, it was found that the office was, for the most part, coveted as an honourable distinction, and the cases in which legal measures had to be adopted to enforce them to complete the task they had undertaken were altogether exceptional and were confined to two districts. In one thannah in Hooghly, however, the names set down as enumerators were found to be those of persons unable to read or write, the educated people having threatened to beat the watch- men if they put in their names, and the men having accordingly entered those of persons of whom they were not afraid. There is some reason to think that the enumerators, in a few cases, used their power to extort a small tax from the people, but no great amount of oppression appears to have been practised. In a large number of villages difficulty arose from there being no resident able to read; in such cases, and generally in the less civilized districts, paid enumerators had to be employed, or the work was undertaken by the police. The census in towns was, as a rule, effected by the municipal authorities. The large floating population on the various rivers was counted by a census of the boats at each landing place. Travellers by land were reckoned at the several serais or halting- places. In the hill tracts of Chittagong and in the Khasia Hills each Chief took the census of his own clan. In the Sonthal pergunnahs the people were enume- rated by their national method of counting, knots being tied in a number of strings of different colours, to distinguish males from females and children from adults. In some parts of Orissa the agents employed could only write in the customary manner, with an iron style on strips of palm leaves, from which the returns had to be afterwards copied out on printed forms. On the tea planta- tions of Darjeeling and Assam the census was taken by the planters. None was attempted in the Garo Hills, or in the wilder parts of the Naga Hills and Luckimpoor.
For three years the people were instructed in the object of the census, and experimental enumerations were made, so as to familiarize their minds with the idea and allay any fears they might entertain. In most instances the forms were filled up beforehand, and only corrected on the night on which the actual enumeration was taken. Over very large tracts of country the final counting took place in a single night; in the Rajashahye and Dacca divisions (together, as large as England) on the 15th, and in the Patna division on the 25th of January; and, so far as the regulation districts are concerned, it might probably be hereafter effected in one day without difficulty. In the non-regulation divisions of Chota Nagpoor and Assam, however, the enumerators, who were sent out in November, did not return from their work till February, March, or April.
Of the anxiety of the people to obtain accuracy, some striking instances are given. One village consisted of two hamlets, two miles apart; the enumerator having only visited one of them, two residents of the omitted hamlet came a dozen miles to report the circumstance. In another case, an enumerator went eight or nine miles to mention that a washerman had been absent from his home on the day of the census, and therefore had not been counted. In the Sonthal per- gunnahs, some villages having been accidentally passed over at the junction of the supervisors' beats, the residents came to ask what fault they had committed that their houses had not been numbered. On the whole, the census is believed to have been taken with a very fair approach to accuracy, though, in the non- regulation districts especially, omissions have occurred.
[S. 41] To the circumstance that, as a general rule, the enumeration was effected by the people themselves, is attributed its success, both in general accuracy, and in the quietness with which it was almost universally carried out. In the single instance where the uneasiness led to a serious riot the agency employed was that of paid enumerators. The idea that the Government would incur the labour and expense of such an undertaking without having in view some direct pecuniary profit was foreign to the native mind. A poll-tax was the form in which the imposition was in general anticipated, and the census paper went by the name of the "tax- ticket"; but in Orissa, where it was rumoured that the Government intended to reimburse to itself the cost of the famine, it was variously supposed that the tax would fall on those who trod on the village-path, who swung an arm, who carried an umbrella, or who fed Brahmins. One man objected to enter his brothers' names, saying that "it will be very hard to make four brothers pay when the tax comes;" and another withheld the entry of a baby on the ground that it was too young to be taxed. The prevalent feeling that the population would be found excessive led in many instances to a belief that recourse would be had to com- pulsory emigration, either to Mauritius or Assam, in order to reduce the numbers; in Moorshedabad it was stated that the surplus population was to be blown away from guns; in Chittagong it was thought that a certain number of heads were required to pacify the Looshai Chiefs, or that coolies were needed for the Looshai campaign, or soldiers to fight the Russians; in other instances it was the women who were wanted to supply wives for the troops, and at Noakhally the report ran that all the females of a certain age were to be sent to Calcutta for "the General Sahib" to see. The idea of compulsory vaccination seized some minds; in one village forcible conversion to Christianity was feared; and many were kept at home on the night of the census by the belief (fostered by the enumerators to save themselves trouble) that an ill wind would cripple all who stirred abroad. In the census of Berar taken in 1867, the motive of the "Sircar" in counting the people at night had been found to be altogether beyond their comprehension.
In the North-West Provinces, where the people had been enumerated on two previous occasions, they were to some extent familiarized with the idea of a census, and their willing co-operation made the payment of enumerators the exception rather than the rule. The names of all males were entered, not merely that of the head of the household; and, where it could be done without offence, the names of the females also were recorded. As in Bengal, a preliminary enumeration was made in the autumn; but the final correction of the papers was effected in a single night, namely, on the 18th of January.
The only difficulty thrown in the way of the officers was in the district of Benares, where some travellers, returning from a pilgrimage, declared that they did not belong to those parts, and objected to have their names and ages recorded. There was, however, a general opinion among the lower orders that the measure was a preliminary to some new mode of taxation; and in Mynpoory the rumour ran that there was to be a forced conscription to assist in fighting the Afghans and Russians if they should invade the Punjab.
Similar fears prevailed in Oude in 1869, when it was rumoured that one male from each family, or every fourth man, was to be taken as a recruit, an emigrant, or a labourer on the roads or to build an enormous fort, or that women were wanted for the European soldiers; while one report was that England had suddenly become so hot that the Queen had desired that two virgins might be sent from each village to fan her night and day, and that the census was merely a subterfuge for the purpose of carrying'out Her Majesty's orders. In particular districts there is little doubt that concealment of girls took place to some extent, through dread of the result of the census.
In Mysore, rumours of a similar character were afloat in one or two of the remoter villages, but, as a rule, the people treated the whole business with in- difference, and as a Government order not to be avoided. As testifying to the accuracy of the census, it is stated that, after the returns had been compiled, the list of villages was compared with the revenue records, and it was discovered that a single village containing 40 inhabitants had been omitted. In a few instances the enumerators were found, in their zeal to give complete returns, to have entered the idols, with all particulars of sex, age, &c.
In British Burma it was found that November was ill-suited for obtaining a true representation of the condition of the province, as the greater part of the people would be absent from their villages, trading, fishing, and timber-cutting, [S. 42] while there would be a large additional temporary population. The census was, accordingly, postponed till the 15th of August 1872, on which day it was taken throughout the province, except in a few out-of-the-way hill places, for which an approximate calculation had to he accepted; the probable error, however, arising from this is held to be inappreciable in the enumeration of the total population. There was a general absence of bribery or extortion on the part of the agency employed, and the people were too well accustomed to the annual capitation returns to be alarmed at the more detailed census. The results showed an almost universal increase of from 2 to 5 per cent, on the figures of the revenue officers' enumeration, which is what might be expected from the inclusion of the floating population in the more complete compilation.
The following is a statement of the cost of taking the census in 1871-72, as given in the several reports:—
including that of Feudatory States,
Bengal and Assam
The average expense was, therefore, rather less than half a farthing per head. The delay which has occurred in the elucidation of the results of the census in some of the provinces is to be regretted; the report for Bombay was not received in England till May 1875, nor that for British Burma till the 21st of June last.
Statistics and Commerce Department,
India Office, 13th July 1875
Zu: 2. Zum Beispiel: Ethnology and caste / The Imperial gazetteer of India, 1907 - 1909 <Auszug>