EPW Commentary 24 Nov 2001


The article highlights the role of the census in the construction of mutually exclusive religious communities and their particular demographic and geographical features in furthering the communal consciousness in colonial India through the policy of divide and rule. The perpetuation of demographic religions continued in independent India's categorisation census exercises where the demographic anxieties are paramount and the planks of social justice ignored.

R B Bhagat

I Introduction
The census was started in several countries of Europe during the 18th century.1 The reason that motivated this introduction of some type of census of population was the concern over the extent of poverty and resultant poor relief necessitated by it. This led to the increasing debate on the impact of population growth on poverty. In Great Britain, this debate led a member of parliament from Cornwall called Potter to introduce in 1753 the first bill for a national census. The bill suggested the collection of information on the size of population, vita statistics, total number of poor receiving alms from parishes. The bill was however defeated because it was perceived as being potentially repressive measure.2 The debate however on population and poverty got fresh momentum with the publication of ëAn Essay on Populationí in 1798 by Thomas Malthus. Finally, the House of Common passed the ìAct for Taking Account of the Population of Great Britain and the Increase or Decrease thereofî on December 3, 1800. As a result, the first British census was conducted on March 10, 1801 and every 10 years thereafter.3 Economic issues were first predominant in the start of census in Great Britain.

On the other hand, census taking in colonial India had a different purpose altogether. The desire of the colonial government to learn all it could about the people and land under its control was the reason behind the census taking exercises during colonial India. Just few years before the first census in colonial India in 1872, the work on gazetteers was begun by W W Hunter, on the direction of Lord Mayo, which culminated years later in several volumes of Imperial Gazetteers of India. Both the gazetteers and census reports covered large number of subjects dealing with land and people of the different parts of India. As both gazetteers and census were initiated under a foreign and authoritarian government, neither public opinion nor the representative institutions existed to limit the subjects investigated either in gazetteers or in the census reports.4 As a result, the census had played a different role in the social and political life of people in home and in the colonies. The census was largely a secular institution in the collection and presentation of data in Great Britain. The census exercise in Great Britain exhibited either disinterest in religion or extreme reluctance to explore this field. In several censuses, there was no question on religion and wherever any question on religion was included, it was done with great care and restraint. Not only this, results were published separately from the census reports.5 The question on ethnicity was for the first time introduced in 1991 Census and there was pressure to include religion in 2001 Census of the Great Britain.6 American census also specifically prevents collection of data on religion.7 On the other hand, in the colonial census of India, the question on religion, caste and race was introduced since the census began in 1872, and religion was used as a fundamental category in census tabulations and data on this published without any restraint. The use of religion was found in other areas of discourse as well. This is evident from the periodisation of Indian history in terms of Hindu and Muslim periods unlike European history-ancient, medieval and modern.8 It seems that the projection of cleavages within colonial society was essential for sustaining colonial rule which used variety of texts, forms and methods to continue and promote their rule even at the cost of strained communal relationships in India.9 The likely impact of colonial census on religion in communal relations and communal politics in India has been little explored by researchers. This article attempts to understand the role of census as one of the texts in the construction of communalism in India.

II Construction of Religious Communities
A census is not a passive account of statistical tables, but also engages in reshaping the world through categories and their definitions. Categories necessitate definition and definitions impose order. Once categories are chosen and definition fixed, only then can counting begin. The definition adopted by census gives numerical weight, so that defining is not merely a matter of providing labels but also adding statistical content to a category. Thus the census imposes an order of a statistical nature. The degree of impact of census will be determined by the uses to which it is put both by the government who created it and by their subject who reacted to it.10 The categories and their definition used in colonial census in India were rooted in British perception of Indian society. Indian society was looked upon as pre-capitalist entities largely constituting primordial communities. This had also happened elsewhere. In colonial Southern Rhodesia, the African community was defined by whites in precisely the same way ó as the opposite of capitalist social relations. The African community was not examined as it actually was but defined negatively by a set of assumed contrasts with capitalism.11 They constructed the difference and categories and ordered them into hierarchies according to their view of the world. ìThe study of India was thus made part of a larger scholarly enterprise in which the Victorians, as children of the Enlightenment, sought rational principles that would provide a comprehensive and comprehensible way of fitting every thing they saw in the world around them into ordered hierarchies. The existence of empire by imparting a sense of urgency to the process spurred on this creation of knowledge and at the same time the unequal power relationships of imperialism helped shape the categories within which that knowledge was constructedî.12 As a sequel, the construction of homogeneous communities is the outcome of expanding nationalism based on capital accumulation. During the early 18th century united into a single state, the people of Great Britain began to construct a view of themselves as an integral nation, joining English, Scots and Welsh into one community set apart, as British, from others.13

While numerous communities existed in India, these communities in terms of castes, religions, and groups have existed as ëfuzzyí communities from time immemorial, but their congealing into distinct, discrete and mutually antagonistic communities was certainly aided to a great extent by the counting of heads.14 The ëfuzzyí communities were indistinct groups with neither internal cohesion nor well known externalities and as such, were communities without overt communication. The group did not know how far it extended and what was its strength in numbers, therefore, had less accurate and less aggressive self-awareness.15 The ëfuzzyí communities also did not require any developed theory of ëothernessí.16

Colonialism changed this blissful state of social ignorance through census. Enumeration and categorisation for reasons of state had a deep social impact. It is in this context that the very concept of majority and minority in religious terms is an outcome of a modern consciousness of population numeracy, in particular of the census exercises that were taken in the 19th century.17 Numbers became a political tool as Hindus were told that they constituted a majority and an effort was made to persuade them to act as a uniform community regardless of sect, caste or class affiliation. Before head counts of people were announced, it was neither possible nor necessary for communities across the land to identify themselves with any degree of preciseness and to seek similarities or differences with others outside their immediate kin. There was, thus no general ëHinduí community and people defined themselves with reference to their specific modes of worship as localised Shaivites (worshippers of Shiva) or Shakts (Worshippers of the Mother Goddess) or Vaishnavas (worshippers of various incarnations ó Ram, Krishna, etc, of Vishnu ) and so on.

Indeed, in the pre-modern periods, it is doubtful if even the Muslim ëummahí (global community) had any more than a symbolic meaning. The censuses however, not only counted people but also pigeonholed them and made it possible for them to seek self-definition in terms that were set for them by external enumerations.18
There is a little historical evidence of sustained communal hatred operating at the popular level prior to colonial rule.19 The ëfuzzyí communities have been turned into enumerated communities and further into political communities by the colonialists. Divide et impera was the foundation of British rule suggested for adoption as early as 1821 and the application of this maxim was first tried out in the reorganisation of the Indian army after the great revolt of 1857. At this juncture of history, the census counts first tried out in 1872 aided in the articulation of the cleavages of majority and minority, a handmaiden in creating communal consciousness in the early 20th century.20

The census figures also provided the geographical distribution of religious communities. Both size of religious communities and their distribution was used to widen the rift between religious communities particularly between Hindus and Muslims. Numerous such examples are found with the intent to perpetuate divisions in Indian society along caste, religion and linguistic lines.21 The division of Bengal based on religion in 1905 was the most glaring example of fomenting communalism by the British policy of divide and rule. A new province of East Bengal and Assam was created with predominance of Muslims in East Bengal in 1905. In Dacca in February 1904, Curzon spoke of offering the East Bengal Muslims the prospect of unity which they have not enjoyed since the days of the old Musalman viceroys and kings.22 Therefore, the census exercise during colonial rule instilled a geographical and demographic consciousness among religious communities ó an awareness of their geographical concentration as well as their demographic strength. The new communal consciousness was further perpetuated through the political instrument of separate electorates wherein religious minorities were given separate seats in the legislative bodies according to their proportion of population in the provinces. Mushirul Hasan believes that the roots of communal competition can be traced to the Morley-Minto Reforms, which extended communal electorate to the local bodies. Even the seats in government medical college Lahore was distributed in the ratio of 40: 40: 20 amongst Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs in Punjab.23 As a result communal antagonism in the country was sharpened. Hindus and Muslims practically organised themselves against each other in hostile camps. It exacerbated Hindu-Muslim divisions and fostered the spirit of political exclusiveness. The impact was particularly marked on Muslims who saw the advantage of pressing for special safeguards and concessions in accordance with numerical strength, social status, local influence and social requirement of their community.24
Therefore, the Indian nationalism and Hindu and Muslim communalism are in fact both essentially a modern phenomena as communal riots do seem to have been significantly rare down to the 1880s.2 5

III On Defining the Religious Communities
The British census officials on the basis being aware of the resistance put up by Indian people defended the inclusion on the basis of religion in latter censuses. The census commissioner of 1931 census wrote the following:

India is the most religious country in the world, and must be regarded as the justification for the importance attached to religion in census of India as compared for example with that of US of Americas where culture is comparatively independent of religion.26

This statement glosses over the fact that religion is even a too controversial subject to be incorporated in the census of the western world marked by history of religious conflicts. The census commissioner of 1931 Census was also aware about the role of census statistics on religion flaring up communal divisions in the country. Thus, he wrote, ìIt has been argued that the census statistics of religion tend to perpetuate communal divisions: the census can not, however, hide its head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich but must record as accurately as possible facts as they exist and there is no question of the existence of communal differences which are reflected at present in political constituencies.27

The above justification, however did not conform to the social reality of India that existed during colonial time. The comments of the census commissioner of 1911 census are very pertinent.

In India the line of cleavage is social rather than religious, and tendency of the people themselves is to classify their neighbours, not according to their beliefs, but according to their social status and manner of living. No one is interested in what his neighbour believes, but he is very much interested in knowing whether he can eat with or take water from his hands.28
Since racism dominated the mind of colonialists, it was used as first order classification of Indian population followed by religion and caste/sects. The following is the scheme of classification adopted in Indian censuses during the colonial rule.

I Indo-Aryan

A Hindu: (a) Hindu Brahmanic, (b) Hindu ( Arya-Vedic Theists), and (c) Hindu (Brahmo-Eclectic Theists) B Sikh
C Jain
D Buddhist
II Iranian
A Zorosastrian (Parsi)
III Semitic
A Musalman
B Christians
C Jews
IV Primitive
A Animistic
V Miscellaneous
In spite of several difficulties, census officials took great pains to classify the Indian population in terms of homogeneous and mutually exclusive religious communities. In each of the classification mentioned above, census officials encountered enormous difficulties. The census reports of each of the provinces as well as the all-India report mention a plethora of such instances where the scheme of census classification could not be applied due to the interwoven nature of social structure. The Hindus were defined as, ìa native of India who is not of European, Armenian, Moghul, Persian or other foreign descent, who is a member of a recognised caste, who acknowledges the spiritual authority of brahmans, who venerates or at least refuses to kill or harm kine, and does not profess any creed or religion which the brahman forbids him to profess.2 9 Further, Hindus have been defined in relation to Muslims. Quoting George Grierson, the census superintendent of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh mentions that ëHindi means any native of India, whilst Hindu means a non-Musalman native of Indiaí.30 The census had not only tried to define Hindus but it had gone further to identify ëgenuine Hindusí. In the census of 1911, the provincial superintendents were asked to enumerate the caste and tribe returned or classed as Hindu separately who did not conform to the following criteria: (i) deny the supremacy of the brahmans; (ii) do not receive the mantra from a brahmans or other recognised Hindu guru; (iii) deny the authority of the Vedas; (iv) do not worship the great Hindu gods; (v) are not served by good Brahmans as family priests; (vi) have no Brahman priests at all; (vii) are denied access to the interior of ordinary Hindu temples; (viii) cause pollution by (a) by touch (b) within certain distance; (ix) bury their dead; and (x) eat beef and do not revere the cow

The extent to which these qualifications are satisfied varies in different parts of India. In the Central Provinces and Berar, a quarter of the persons classed as Hindus denied the supremacy of the brahmans and the authority of the Vedas; more than half did not receive the mantras from a recognised Hindu guru, a quarter did not worship the great Hindu gods, and were not served by good Brahmans priests; a third were denied access to temple; a quarter caused pollution by touch, a seventh always buried their dead, while a half did not regard cremation as obligatory and two-fifths ate beef.31 In Bengal and Bihar and Orissa, there were 59 castes including seven with a strength of a million and upwards who did not conform to some of the 10 tests and there were 14 beef eating castes all of whom were denied access to temple.32 These groups were called not genuine Hindus or partly assimilated Hindus. This shows that the so-called Hindus were not homogeneous groups and among them variety of practices existed. The census superintendent of Madras census 1881, thus rightly objected to the use of word Hindus as a religious category for the population of southern India.33

In India social and cultural practices of Hindus and Muslims are inseparable. There are many so called Hindus whose religion has a strong Muhammadan flavour. Notable amongst these are the followers of strange ëpanchpiriyaí cult, who worship five Mohammadan saints of uncertain name and identity and sacrifice poultry in their honour and employ for the purpose as their priest ó a Muhammadan ëdafali fakirí.34 In Gujarat there are several similar communities such as ëmatia kunbisí who call in brahmans for their chief ceremonies, but are followers of the Pirana saint Imam Shah and his successors, and bury their dead as do the Muhammadans, the ëSheikhadasí, who at their wedding employ both a Hindu and a Muhammadan priest, and the ëMomnasí who practice circumcision, bury their dead and read Gujarati Koran, but in other respects follow Hindu customs and ceremonial. The boundary line between Hindus on the one hand and Sikhs and Jains on the other is even more indeterminate. Even the census commissioner had reiterated ëreligions of India as we have already seen are by no means mutually exclusive.35 However, the practical difficulty in classifying the Indian population in terms of religious categories was solved by the census officials in their own way. The enumerators were asked to record all persons who said they were Hindus, Musalman or Christians, etc, and those who did not profess to belong to any recognised religion were entered under the name of their caste or tribe. In the course of tabulation all such persons were treated as Hindu if they belonged to a recognised Hindu caste however low it might be.36

Thus it is clear that the census made all efforts to reconstruct religious categories designed according to the notion of race and religion of the colonialists. The reconstruction of homogeneous and mutually exclusive communities was the main clutch through which divide and rule was possible. This was necessary for the sustenance of colonialism in India.
Demographic Data
Socio-economic Data

Year Size and Growth Fertility Education Occupation
2001** Size by sex, rural urban, marital status and five-year age group Number of births during last one year to currently married women and children ever born and surviving related to ever married women Level of education Workers/Non-workers
1991 Size by sex and rural/urban Number of births during last one year to currently married women and children ever born and surviving related to ever married women __ __
1981 Size by sex and rural/urban Number of births during last one year to currently married women and children ever born and surviving related to ever married women. __ __
1971 Size by sex and rural/urban Number of births during last one year to currently married women. __ __
1961 Size by sex and rural/urban __ __ __
1951 Size by sex __ __ __
1941* __ __ __ __
1931 Size by sex, age, civil condition and population of towns by religion Average size of family Literacy by age and religion Occupation of selected castes, tribes and races
1921 Size by sex, age, civil condition and population of towns by religion __ Literacy by age and religion Occupation of selected castes, tribes and races
1911 Size by sex, age, cilvil condition and population of towns by religion __ Education by selected castes, tribes or race Occupation by tribes and religion
1901 Size by age, sex, and civil condition __ Education by selected castes, tribes or race Castes, tribes and race by tradition and actual occupation
Notes: * Data could not be published due to Britain's involvement in Second World War.
**Census 2001 has not published data on religion and related aspects as yet. This is based on draft tabulation plan.
Source: Compiled from different census reports and tables. See also S c Srivastava (1983), Indian Census in Perspective, Monograph No 1, Office of Register General India, New Delhi.

IV Demographic Basis of Communal Consciousness
The census data on religion not only brought to the fore the majority-minority cleavage, but also sparked off a communal debate on the size and growth of population of different religious communities. In 1909, U N Mukherji of Calcutta published a series of articles in the ëBengaleeí, which was later published as a pamphlet, Hindus: A Dying Race. On the basis of census figures of 1901 Census. Mukherji drew attention towards the declining proportion of Hindus in the total population.37 In 1912 he also raised the phobia of Hindus being swallowed up in next 420 years in a personal meeting with Swami Shradhanand who became convinced enough to begin the work of reconversion of Hindus from Mohammedan and Christianity. Swami Shradhanand wrote an influential book entitled, Hindu Sangsthan: Saviour of Dying Race in 1926.38 As such, the idea of demographic decline became entrenched as a core feature of Hindu communalism. The colonialists left no stone unturned to exploit the situation arising in the wake of new demographic scenario. H H Risley, a powerful British official who also proposed the partition of Bengal declared, ìcan the figures of the last census (1901) be regarded in any sense the forerunner of an Islamic or Christian revival which will threaten the citadel of Hinduism or will Hinduism hold its own in the future as it has done through the long ages of the pastî.39These assertions were made knowing the fact that these could arouse tremendous communal antagonism. This raises the question of responsibility of colonial census in India.40

In the wake of communal polarisation, the scientific explanations of higher population growth among Muslims could find little space. Census reports mentioned reasons of higher population growth among Muslims. These include their nourishing diet, fewer marriage restrictions, widow remarriage and uncommon early marriages among them. But these scientific explanations were overshadowed by popular, stereotype explanations of higher Muslim fertility as Muslims could marry four times and there is a religious proclivity to reproduce more number of children. It was reported in 1911 Census report that a Muhammadan may have four wives but he also in practice is generally monogamous.41 A study (1971) shows that percentage incidence of polygynous marriages (where a man has more than one wife) is 5.80 per cent among Hindus. The incidence among Muslim is in fact slightly lower at 5.73 per cent. The incidence of polygynous marriages is highest among certain tribes (15.25 per cent) followed by Buddhists (7.97) and Jain (6.72 per cent).42 Moreover, polygyny cannot lead to higher fertility as more than one female marrying one male is not likely to increase fertility; on the contrary, it is likely to decrease the fertility. Similarly, there is no truth in the assertion that Islam forbids the acceptance of family planning. It is mentioned that Koran does not forbid family planning. What Islam forbids is abortion and even this is permitted on health grounds.43 The growth of population results not only from fertility but mortality also. Among the Muslims survivals have been better than Hindus.44 This is also evident in lower infant and child mortality in recent times.45 In a situation of communal antagonism these facts are glossed over to popular communal discourses. The responsibility of population scientists lies in exposing them and in constructing a human relationship based on scientific facts.

V Census in Independent India and Communalism
The demographic communalism aided by instruments of census and perpetuated through the policy of divide and rule was perpetuated in independent India. Census exercises that rather publish only demographic data by religioned and withheld publication of educational and employment data until 1991 Census (table) helped in the promotion of stereotype explanations with regard to Hindu-Muslim population growth and fertility differentials in the country. The demographic anxiety of Hindus being outnumbered continued in Independent India.46 Such anxiety was expressed more in view of the nature of electoral politics in the country.47 For a layman this could be a serious concern, whereas some rational men could think about the role of educational and socio-economic deprivations affecting population growth and fertility differentials among Hindus and Muslims.48 Then, the question is raised (i) why the census in independent India continued the inclusion of categorisation on the basis as to on religion in the census and, (ii) published only demographic data of size and growth of religious communities?

There are justifications for the first question, whereas there is hardly any justification for the second one. Independent India has adopted a constitution based on the principles of secularism and democracy. Considering the spirit of constitution, the government of India in view of the first census after independence in 1951 decided as a matter of policy that census should not record any personís caste or race except to the extent necessary for providing information relating to certain disadvantaged groups referred to in the constitution such as the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes.49 As the constitution enjoins that no person professing a religion other than Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism shall be deemed a member of scheduled caste, it was imperative on the part of the census to ask a question on religion in order to determine the scheduled caste status of a person. Therefore, the census has the pretext for including a question on religion in the name of social justice. But the delivery of social justice has been denied insofar as the religious groups are concerned. Independent India thus has very narrow concept of social justice based on caste within the frame of Hinduism. The availability of socio-economic information is very vital for planning and implementation of the goals of social justice. There is also no alternative to a census exercise as it covers the complete enumeration of population and does not suffer from the shortcomings of sample surveys. Census operations by not publishing the socio-economic data on religion for the last five censuses and publishing the demographic data on the other hand has helped in perpetuating the British legacy of demographic communalism. Censuses since 1971 has further expanded the volume of demographic data by including a question on fertility by religion. A number of fertility tables have been published since 1971 Census. Systematic efforts are also being made through census enumeration and publication of data to project homogeneity of the religious communities. The publication of data on smaller religious groups like Parsis, Jews and other tribal religions have been discontinued since 1961 Census.50 Through census India is projected as a country of six major religious groups, viz, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists concealing the fact that diversity of faiths and practices exist within each of the religious groups of India.51 Therefore, the process of homogenisation of religious communities and religious consolidation continues subtly in independent India. The president of India himself has to confront this process in the just concluded Census of 2001. The president could not be recorded as scheduled caste although he belonged to it because enumerators had to record the scheduled caste status of person according to the list supplied to them, which differs from state to state.52 The president is a scheduled caste in Kerala, but he is not a scheduled caste in Delhi. But, he could be recorded as Hindu in Kerala and also a Hindu in Delhi. This process of homogenisation is happening in respect with large number of migrants belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes who could be deprived of the benefits guaranteed in the constitution in the wake of their migration from their home areas.

The census exercise in colonial India introduced the concepts and categories of religion according to colonial perception of Indian society as primordial pre-capitalist entities. The boundary line between different communities in India was obscure and communal consciousness lacking. These were called as ëfuzzyí communities. The ëfuzzyí communities were turned into enumerated communities through census and later into political communities by the instruments and mechanism of colonial policy of divide and rule. As such the demographic divide was brought to the centre stage of communal politics. Independent India has inherited this legacy and to a large extent continued the agenda of the construction of religious communities and the consolidation of demographic communalism. The census of independent India until 1991 Census hides more than it reveals. It is now obvious that the Census of 2001 is more conscious of this fact and intends to publish the socio-economic data along with demographic data on religion. This will certainly weaken the force of demographic communalism in the country in the long run.

[The author would like to thank the anonymous referee for his suggestions and his colleague Bhupinder Yadav for his help and encouragement. Thanks are also due to Suraj Bhan and Sayeed Unisa for their critical comments on the paper. However, the author alone is responsible for the ideas and thoughts of the paper.]
1 In Europe the first modern census was conducted in Iceland in 1703, followed by Sweden in 1750, Great Britain in 1801, Norway in 1815, Austria in 1818, Greece in 1826, and Italy in 1861. The census in United States was held earlier in 1790. See Encyclopaedia Americana, American Corporation, New York, 1829.
2 Jones, K W (1981), ëReligious Identity and Indian Censusíin N G Barrier (ed), The Census in British India: New Perspectives, Manohar, New Delhi, p 76.
3 Ibid, p 77.
4 Ibid, p 77.
5 Ibid, pp 76-77.
6 Peach, C (1999) ëSocial Geographyí, Progress in Human Geography, Vol 32, No 2, p 284.
7 Preach, C (2000) ëDiscovering White Ethnicity and Parachuted Pluralityí, Progress in Human Geography, Vol 24, no 4, p 623.
8 Pandey, G (1989) ëThe Colonial Construction of Communalism: British Writings on Banaras in the 19th Centuryí in Ranjit Guha (ed), Subaltern Studies VI: Writings on South Asian History and Society, Oxford University Press, Delhi, p 132.
9 Datta, P K (1993) ëDying Hindus: Production of Hindu Communal Common Sense in Early 20th Century Bengal í, Economic and Political Weekly, June 19, pp 1305-19; See also, G Pandey (1989 ) op cit and G Pandey (1990), The Construction of Communalism in Colonial India, Oxford University Press, Delhi.
10 Jones, K W, op cit, pp 74-75.
11 Ranger, T (1993) ëPower, Religion and Community: The Matobo Caseí in Partha Chatterjee and G Pandey (eds), Subaltern Studies VII, Writings on South Asian History and Society, Oxford University Press, Delhi, pp 221-40.
12 Metcalf, T R (1998) The New Cambridge History of India III.4, Ideologies of the Raj, Cambridge University Press, New Delhi, p 67.
13 Ibid, p 3.
14 Das, Arvind, N (1994) India Invented: A Nation in the Making, Manohar, New Delhi, p 201.
15 Ibid, pp 8-9.
16 Kaviraj, S (1993) ëThe Imaginary Institution of Indiaí in Partha Chatterjee and G Pandey (1993) op cit, p 20.
17 Das, Arvind, N (1994) op cit, p 114.
18 Ibid, pp 114-15.
19 Ibid, p 117.
20 Ibid, pp 114-17.
21 Sarkar, S (1973) The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal 1903-1908, Peoples Publishing House, New Delhi, pp 15-20.
22 Sarkar, S (1983) Modern India 1885-1947, MacMillan India, p 106.
23 Hasan, Mushirul (1980) ëCommunalisation in the Provinces: A Case Study of Bengal and Punjab, 1922-26, Economic and Political Weekly, August 16, pp 1395-1407.
24 Ibid, p 1396.
25 Sarkar, S (1983) op cit, p 59.
26 Census of India 1931, Vol I, India, Report, (with complete survey of tribal life and system) by J H Hutton (reprinted by Gian Publishing House, Delhi, 1989), p 379.
27 Ibid, p 379.
28 Census of India 1911, Vol 1, India, Report, by E A Gait, Superintendent Government Printing India, Calcutta (reprinted by Usha, Delhi, 1987).
29 Census of India 1911, Vol XV, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, Report by E A H Blunt, Government Press, Allahabad (reprinted by Usha Publication, New Delhi, 1987), p 119.
30 Ibid, p 280.
31 Census of India 1911, Vol X, Central Provinces and Berar, Part 1, Report, Superintendent Government Printing, Calcutta.
32 Census of India 1911, Vol 1, op cit, p 116.
33 Ibid, p 114.
34 Ibid, p 118.
35 Ibid, p 129.
36 Census of India 1911, Vol 1, India, Part II, Tables (By E A Gait, Superintendent Goernment Printing, India, Calcutta, reprinted by Usha Publication, Delhi).
37 U N Mukherji (1909) Hindus ó A Dying Race, M Bannerjee, Calcutta. See P K Datta (1993) op cit, p1303.
38 Shradhranand, S (1926) Hindu Sangsthan: Saviour of the Dying Race, Arjun Press, and Delhi. See also J Zavos (2000) Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, p 109.
39 Datta, P K (1993) op cit, p 1306.
40 Ibid, p 1306.
41 Census of India 1911, Vol 1, op cit, p 246.
42 Census of India 1971, ëPolygynous Marriages in India ó A Surveyí, Miscellaneous Studies, Monograph No 4, Registrar General and Census Commissioner, New Delhi.
43 Khan, M E (1978) Birth Control Amongst Muslims in India, Manohar Publications, New Delhi. Further some past and recent jurists (ëFaqihsí) have mentioned some of the reasons that permit married couples to plan their families. These include to keep away from illegal income, protecting the health of wife and to provide children all material and spiritual needs. There is a Hadith which says that it is better to leave your children rich than leave them poor like beggars, see M S Tantawai (1988) ëBirth Planning and Religious Point of Viewî, Population Science, Vol 8, 1-14.
44 Census of India 1911, Vol XV, op cit, p 109.
45 Rajan, I and Mohanachandran (2000) ëInfant and Child Mortality Estimates from 1991 Census by Religion, Occupation and Level of Educationí, Economic and Political Weekly, December 16-22, pp 4541-88.
46 Prakash, Indu (1979) They Count their Gains- We Calculate Our Losses, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, New Delhi.
47 Panandiker, V A P and P K Umashankere (1994) ëFertility Control and Politics in Indiaí, Population and Development Review, a supplement to Vol 29, pp 89-104.
48 Mahmood, A (1998) ëFertility and Mortality Differentials Among Hindus and Muslims in Indiaí in M H Qureshi (ed), Muslims in India since Independence: A Regional Perspective, Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi, p 61.
49 Mahatme, A (1985) Concepts and Procedures in Indian Census: A Reappraisal, Criteria, and New Delhi.
50 Kanitkar, T (1998) ëMinority Religious Communities in Indiaí in M H Qureshi (ed), op cit, p 10.
51 The largest religious group after Hindus, the Muslims are divided into Asrafs and Ajlafs. Asrafs are the noble sections who trace their origin from foreign immigrants consist of Sayyad, Shaik, Moghul and Pathan. The Ajlaf groups are mainly the converts constitute several occupation groups and untouchables ó like Julaha (weaver), Darzi (tailor) Quassab (butcher), Nai or Hajjam (barber) Mirasi (musician) and Bhangi (sweeper), etc, see Ansari, Ghaus (1959) Muslims Caste in Uttar Pradesh, An Ethnographic and Folk Culture Publication, Lucknow, and Ahmad, I (1978) Caste and Social Stratification among Muslims in India, Manohar, Delhi; Ahamad, A (1999) Social Geography, Rawat, Jaipur.
52 Pinto, A (2001) ëThe Great Forgeryí, Mainstream, March 2001, pp 15-16.

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