Census Policy in British India: A Brief Historical Evaluation

in Published Volumes


Ashim Biswas
Assistant Professor,
Department of History
Subarnarekha Mahavidyalaya,
Gopiballavpur, Jhargram,West Bengal

Email: sriashim.biswas@gmail.com

Abstract:: Indian census has been the basis of partition of India (1947), Linguistic Reorganisation of the States(1956), identification of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (1935) and later the ‘other backward castes’ by the Mandal Commission. Indian census has origin in the colonial past to strengthen British control over the country rather than to improve the administration. British used the census to counter the emerging nationalism and to pursue their policy of divide and rule. The British administration used census findings to institutionalize divisions amongst of India. This policy was changed by the passing census act, 1948. In the context of this discussion, in my paper I have tried to shed light on the legal aspects of census policy followed by the British in colonial India.

Key Words:British, Colonial, Census Policy, Partition, Demographic, Linguistic etc.