MANOHAR PUBLISHERS AND DISTRIBUTORS
|Number of Pages||252 Pages|
The censuses are a most important source of material on social, economic and political issues concerning nineteenth and twentieth century India.
Initiated for informational purposes in mid-nineteenth century, the census became regularized and evolved as an institution, growing and changing each decade. And because British concerns varied with time and region, the information elicited from the decennial census operation also shifted in emphasis. Ethnography and religion, for instance, were thought to be essential elements in the earlier censuses, giving way in the twentieth century to interest in economic and industrial matters. The personality and perspective of individual census commissioner also stamped the material. Taken as a whole, the census covers a panorama of Indian life.
The census material has been made wide use of by scholars from different disciplines. Yet the presence of bias, misunderstanding, and conscious distortion in them and the important problems they raise regarding the value and extent of their use have not received due attention.
In 1977 the Association for Asian Studies at its New York Conference went into this issue. This volume consists of papers read at the Conference and revised later, and includes other contributions also.