Figures and facts: Madras Government Statistics 1880–1940

  • Christopher Baker


The British government in India generated an awesome quantity of statistics.1 Acres of grain, capital assets of banks, bullock carts, astrologers, inches of rain and insane women were all enumerated with great effort. For the small band of alien administrators, figures were a means of fathoming the vast and varied sub-continent. They were not only necessary but satisfyingly concrete.


Provincial Government Direct Taxis Local Board Census Officer South INDIA 
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  1. 15.
    See J.G. Leonard, ‘Urban Government under the Raj’ in Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 7, Pt. 2, (1973), pp. 227–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 21.
    See D. and A. Thorner ‘Agrarian Revolution by Census Redefinition’ and ‘Deindustrialisation in India 1881–1931’ in Land and Labour in India, (London, 1962).Google Scholar
  3. 45.
    S.Y. Krishnaswami, Rural Problems in Madras (Monograph), (Madras, 1947), p. 65Google Scholar

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© C. J. Baker and D. A. Washbrook 1975

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  • Christopher Baker

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