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Jervoise Athelstane Baines , ( 1893 ), General report on the Census of India, 1891 , London , Her Majesty's Stationery Office , p. 1


 

P R E FA C E.

Some portions of the materials for this work were so late in their arrival that advantage was taken of the delay to compress as far as possible the review of the rest to within moderate dimensions. I have thus deprived myself of the opportunity, of which my predecessor, Sir William Plowden, so freely and gracefully availed himself of showing my appreciation of the work of my colleagues, the Superintendent of the provincial census, by incorporating in my own review copious extracts from theirs. I am none the less under obligations to them for the help they have given me throughout the operations, and for which I now tender my best thanks. Rather than draw comparisons here, I prefer to leave their work to be judged by those who are in a position to view it from a standpoint less partial than that of one who has had so strong and intimate an interest in it and its authors as I have had during the last two years. I may nevertheless be allowed the personal gratification of summarising, in a few instances, what will be found expressed in a more diffuse form in the review to which these lines are a prelude.

Mr. O'Donnell's work stands by itself, as in no other case has so large a population been enumerated in such detail on the responsibility of a single and practically unaided Superintendent. That his administration was statistically and financially successful is greatly due to the unsparing personal supervision he exercised on the operations from first to last. His analysis of the movement of the population, district by district, is very valuable, and his interesting iconoclastic excursions into the domain of ethnology are by no means without justification in the information he collected. Mr. Stuart was equally successful in his handling of the Madras census, and his review of the results shows a specially keen statistical scent, if the expression be allowed, in following certain paths where one has to walk circumspectly amongst dangerously fragile premises. Messrs. Gait and Maclagan have shown throughout their work the best characteristics of that most valuable speciality of India, the district officer, namely, tact, energy and knowledge of the people. Their returns were the first to be completed, and their review, especially where they respectively tread on fresh ground, which both had good opportunities of doing, are full of remarks worth reading Mr. Bales, too, has written a very valuable account of the census of one of the most interesting portions of the Empire, the two divisions of Burma. Mr. Drew shares with Messrs. Gait and Maclagan the honours of punctuality, and his work on Bombay was the first to reach me in its completed form. As I superintended the Bombay census of 1881, I naturally feel more than ordinary interest in this part of the operations, and must frankly acknowledge that, in my opinion, Mr. Drew managed his tabulation better than I did, though in the matter of the review, I confess a preference for my own bantling. The Central Provinces wore enumerated by a Superintendent who, before he went to take up the census work, had never set foot in the Province in his life. The great reduction in the cost, and the amount of information collected in the review, speak for themselves in Mr. Robertson's favour, both as administrator and reporter. Messrs. Egerton and Hastings, too, worked well in Ajmér and Berar. Among the pleasant recollections of the census, is the cordial co-operation of the officials of some of the native States, and I must specially mention the names of Mr. V. Narsinghayangar, the Superintendent of the Mysore census, whose work was one of the first to be received by me in the Simla office, and the late Mr. Bhatwadekar, and his successor, Mr. Mulshankar, in Baroda. I have also to thank, for their interest in getting the preliminary arrangements set in proper train, Mr. Tucker,