Census India 1931: Birth-Place And Migration

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This article is an extract from


Report by

J. H. HUTTON, C.I.E., D.Sc., F.A.S.B.,

Corresponding Member of the Anthropologische Gesselschaft of Vienna.

Delhi: Manager of Publications


(Hutton was the Census Commissioner for India)

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Figures of Migration

The figures of migration are generally speaking not of very great importance as affecting the population of the different parts of India, as the . fact that the principal occupation of all of India is agriculture militates against any marked movement of population from one part to another. Where the migration figures are high it is generally in the case of small units.

Thus Delhi has 41% of immigrants and Ajmer-Merwara 19, while in Ajmer city itself there are nearly as many immigrants as there are native born. In both these cases the migration is the natural result of a movement of labour towards an urban . unit, the high rate shown by Delhi being the result of its new growth as a capital city. Two other provinces show a high immigration balance, Assam with 16% and Coorg with 24%. In both these provinces the high rate of immigration is due to the attraction of labourers to plantations of tea in the one case and of coffee in the other.

The next highest rate is that of Baluchistan where a large part of the population is naturally migratory. Burma gains 5% by immigrants and Bihar and Orissa loses 4% as emigrants mostly to Assam, after which the percentages fall to about 3% of emigrants in the United Provinces and Madras. It Was peinted out by Mr. Jacob in 1921 (Punjab Census Report, Chapter III) that it can be shown mathematically that the smaller the unit of population the larger the proportion of persons born elsewhere, and in estimating the significance of migration it is necessary to bear this in mind.

India containing nearly one fifth of the world's inhabitants must be expected to show proportionately low figures of migration, and accordingly we find that of the total population enumerated by birthplace, 3501 million odd, less than one million were born elsewhere. Of Indians born in India and found elsewhere at the time of the census no complete figures are of course available, as, though returns of persons of Indian extraction have been obtained from many parts of the British Empire, the number of Indian-born persons resident in foreign countries is imascertainable.

It is probable, however, that the number of emigrants from India in other countries at the time of the census amounted to about two and a half millions, the balance of migration being against India.

Nature of migration.PNG

Nature of Migration

Internal migration is of several kinds, for which the following convenient terminology has been used in previous census reports. Casual migration, involving minor movements between neighbouring villages, largely by way of marriage, only affects the Indian figures when the boundaries crossed happen to be those of provinces or states. Temporary migration is mainly due to the movement in the demand for labour e.g. on canals or public buildings, and to pilgrimages and fairs. Periodic migration is that caused by recurring seasonal demands, as for harvesters. Semi-permanent migration is that of persons who maintain their connection with their pre-migration homes, earning their living elsewhere but ultimately returning and often leaving their wives and families at home during the period of migration. Permanent migration is that in which the migrant leaves one place to settle in another for good. It is necessary also at this census to mention an additional form of migration which may be described as Daily.

Casual, Periodic and Temporary migration

As already indicated casual migration is largely associated with marriage It is neatly illustrated by the Census Superintendent for the Punjab and Delhi in the marginal table which shows the exchange of wives between Delhi and neighbouring districts in the Punjab. It might be expected that under the circumstances the volume exchanged by adjoining provinces would balance, but this is not the case since both the low ratio of women to men in the north-west and the practice of hyper gamy combined with a decrease in social status from west to east among Hindus of many castes results in a surplus movement of women westwards.

Thus whereas the numbers of both sexes born in the United Provinces and enumerated in Bihar and Orissa are of corresponding proportions the numbers born in Bihar and Orissa and enumerated in the United Provinces show a great preponderance of females. Similarly females born in the United Provinces and enumerated in Rajputana greatly outnumber the males. It does not appear, however, that the United Provinces give any excess of females to the Punjab as might be expected. There are possibly historical reasons for this. Periodic migration is particularly heavy at harvest time and also at the changes of season when traders, graziers, herdsmen and labourers from Kabul, Baluchistan, Kashmir and the hills generally move down to the plains for the winter months returning to the hills for the hot weather, when the movement is increased by the addition of plains-dwellers moving up to escape from the heat or to profit by the accumulation of people in hill stations.

As regards temporary migration the 1931 census was fortunate in avoiding coincidence with pilgrimages and fairs on a large scale, but the immigration figures of the Central India Agency are probably affected to the extent of a few hundreds by the Khajuraho fair in Chhatarpur State and the Garahet cattle fair in Khilchipur State. In Central India again there was some periodic migration on account of harvesting, which had been begun by the census date, and the same in the case of the Central Provinces. Temporary migration continues throughout the year, and some idea of its volume may be obtained from the figures of encampments in Table III. In the case of Bombay a considerable volume of temporary migration to Baroda State was political in nature and accounted for by raiyats in parts of Bombay adjoining Baroda who made an, exodus across the State boundary on account of the Civil Disobedience movement in Gujarat.

The number of these hijratis, as they were called, amounted to 26,755 persons from 244 villages in Bombay Presidency. Some formed fresh hamlets on Baroda land, some occupied vacant sites in Baroda villages and others stayed as guests in the homes of their acquaintances. Many of them (332 males and 1,339 females) had actually been born in Baroda State, and the distances covered in this hijra were of the shortest. The very great majority had returned to their villages in British territory within the year following the census.

Casual migration.PNG

Semi-permanent and permanent migration

Semi-permanent and permanent migration are of more importance and semi.pennanest are most conveniently examined by those individual provinces where the volume is considerable. The table on page 64 gives the principal figures of the balance of • migration as compared with 1921 and they are illustrated graphically in the map opposite it. Of the semi-permanent migration, between provinces the most important has been that to Burma from Madras, Bengal and the United Provinces. The non-permanent nature of this movement is shown by the small number of females as compared to males.

Before the census actually took place a very large number of the Indians in Burma returned to their own provinces on account of the anti-Indian riots in Rangoon and the general hostility long entertained towards Indians but evinced throughout Burma in, 1930 in action as well as in feeling. Even so the census showed in Burma an excess of 751,595 immigrants over emigrants, an increase of 21,000 on the 1321 figure. Of these immigrants 38% come from Madras, Bengal contributing 20%, the next highest quota, and the United Provinces 11%. Of all the immigrants to Burma less than 1 in 5 are women, thus reducing Burma's natural excess of females to a deficiency. Similarly in Assam, but to a far smaller degree, male immigrants reduce the female ratio which is however deficient to start with.

This reduction in the case of Assam is slight, since male immigrants are to female immigrants as 4 to 3 only, indicating the much more permanent nature of the movement, which leads to large numbers of tea garden coolies taking up land and settling permanently after leaving the gardens, and which is also in a great degree a migration of Muslim cultivators from Bengal who bring their families with them. Assam's excess of immigrants over emigrants is 1,335,627, of which 41% comes from Bengal, 34 from Bihar and Orissa, 2 of which are from the Bihar and Orissa States, 6 from the Central Provinces, including 1% from the Central Provinces States, 5 from the United Provinces, 4 from Madras (principally from the Agency Tracts) and 2 from Rajputana. No other province has anything approaching this figure of immigration, but Bihar and Orissa have an even larger figure of emigration, the net adverse balance being 1,248,293.

The bulk of this goes to Bengal, 65% of the gross emigration, Assam getting 27%G the Bihar and Orissa States over 10%. The United Provinces emigration figure is nearly as high as that of Bihar and Orissa, but the corresponding immigration figure is higher, and the adverse balance is 997,846, Bengal again getting 22%, Bombay 9% and the Punjab 15% of the gross emigration, which is much more evenly distributed between various provinces and states than that of most provinces with a high emigration figure. The same applies to Madras ( -868,036 net) once the higher figures of emigration to Burma, 26%, and Mysore, 26%, are excluded ; Travancore and Hyderabad come in for the next highest shares of Madras emigration with 9% and 12°/0 respectively.

The Punjab has an adverse balance, a considerable proportion of its emigrants going to Bombay. Bengal and Bombay both have high figures of migration, possibly on account of their large Presidency towns, but the balance is in their favour---899,274 in the case of Bengal and 658,267 in that of Bombay. Bengal's immigrants include some 250,000 Nepalis, and 13,557 Europeans 66% of whom were found in Calcutta ; Bombay's include 170,085 immigrants from the Nizam's Dominions, 165,477 from Baroda State, nearly 59,000 from Portuguese India, and 16,345 Europeans.

Migration within india.PNG
Migration within india1.PNG


It has been pointed out that Assam's immigration is generally speaking of the permanent type. There have however been some changes and developments since 1921, particularly in respect of the volume of migration from provinces which formerly supplied the tea garden labour. Madras is the only province showing any increase in emigration to Assam, and there has been an extraordinary decrease in emigration from Bihar and Orissa to Assam, though the actual number of persons enumerated on tea gardens has increased by some 60,000. Recruitment to Assam from Bihar and Orissa and elsewhere fell off rapidly after 1921, and in the United Provinces, at any rate, it is stated that emigration to Assam has become unpopular " largely as a result of a deliberate campaign against it by non-co-operators in the early part of the decade ".

Recruitment from Bihar and Orissa began to revive however in the last half of the decade largely as a result of short-term recruitment under which a cooly is brought up to Assam for a year or so and then sent back to his home. Or to quote the Census Superintendent of Bihar and Orissa, " the increase in the number of emigrants hiom. 1927-28 onwards is attributed largely to the popularity of the system of recruitment for short terms of 6, 9 or 12 months ". The introduction of this short-term system assisted by cinema propaganda is clearly changing the permanent nature of migration to the Assam tea gardens. Moreover the need for immigrant labour is less than it was. There has been a steady increase in labour obtained locally and lost by transfer, indicating greater freedom and fluidity. During the last five years adult labour born locally has increased by over 50% and some gardens have taken to sending out motor lorries to bring in labour from the villages. On the other hand the whole complexion of the population of Assam is being altered by the permanent immigrants from Mymensingh in Bengal. This has for years been an obvious and disturbing change to all residents in the Assam Valley and it will be best to quote the Census Superintendent for Assam himself :—

" Probably the most important event in the province during the last twenty five years—an event, moreover, which seems likely to alter permanently the whole future of Assam and to destroy more surely than. did the Burmese invaders of 1820 the whole structure of Assamse culture and civilization—has been the invasion of a vast horde of land-hungry Bengali immigrants, mostly Muslims, from the districts of Eastern Bengal and in particular from Mymensingh. This invasion began sometime before 1911, and the census report of that year is the first report which makes mention of the advancing host. But, as we now know, the Bengali immigrants censuses for the first time on the char lands of Goalpara in 1911 were merely the advance guard—or rather the scouts—of a huge army following closely at their heels. By 1921 the first army corps had passed into Assam and had practically conquered the district of Goalpara."

The Assam Census Report of 1921 describes Goalpara as inhabited by these settlers to 20% of its population, and Nowgong to 14% ; and describes parties of these settlers as invading the Assam Valley by " almost every train and steamer ". Since then these settlers have not refrained from breeding and their progeny being born in Assam is not distinguishable in the Census retarns, except in so far as it is predominantly Muslim which the indigenous population is not. The rate of increase in the Muslim population of Assam since 1881 is 111%. As to the change at this census the Census Superintendent may again be quoted :-

" I have already remarked that by 1921 the first army corps of the invaders had conquered Goalpara. The second army corps which followed them in the years 1921-1931 has consolidated their position in that district and has also completed the conquest of Nowgong. The Barpeta sub-division of Kamrup has also fallen to their attack and Darrang is being invaded. Sibsagar 1-03.s so far escaped completely but the few thousand Mymensinghias in North Lakhimpur- are an outpost which may, during the next decade, prove to be a valuable basis of major operations.. Where there is waste land thither flock the Mymensinghias. In fact the way in which they have seized upon the vacant areas in the Assam Valley seems almost uncanny. Without fuss, without tumult, without undue trouble to the district revenue staffs, a population which must amount to over half a million has transplanted itself from Bengal to the Assam Valley during the last twenty-five years the only thing I can compare it to is the mass movement of a large body of ants."

In.Goalpara district there is little room left for expansion ; in the Kamrup district, where their immigration is new since 1921, there has been an enormous increase of settlers causing the population figures to increase by 69% in Barpeta sub-division since 1921. In Darrang district also they are rapidly taking up any available waste land. In Nowgong district alone Mymensinghias occupied 33,405 acres in 1920-21, and in 1929-30, 1C.2,63 acres, Muslims having 89,078 and Hindus 13,285 acres. In their anxiety to get land these settlers have at one time and another caused a good deal of friction by squatting in Government Reserves or forcibly occupying the land of local people, from which they are not evicted without difficulty. They are however excellent agriculturists and most industrious, and they spend. money freely, at any rate on litigation.

" The exact number of these Eastern Bengal settlers (including their children born in Assam) who are at present living in the Assam Valley is a difficult matter to estimate. Mr. Lloyd in 1921 estimated that including children born after their arrival in this province the total number of settlers was at least 300,000 in that year. As far as I can judge the number at present must be over half a million. The number of new immigrants from Mymensingh, alone, has been 140,000 and the old settlers have undoubtedly been increasing and multiplying. As pointed out in the Census Report for 192.1 the colonists have settled by families and n( t singly. This can be seen from the fact that out of the total of 338,000 persons born in Mymensingh and censused in Assam over 152,000 are women. What of the future ?, As far as can be foreseen the invasion is by no means complete. It is sad but by no means improbable that in another thirty years Sibsagar district Wi'l lbe the only part of Assam in which an Assamese will find himself at home . Bihar and Orissa. United Provinces. There is yet a third class of immigrant h Assam, the Nepali, but the Nepali immigrant is fortunately decreasing in numbers, and the increase of Nepalis at this census has fallen from 89 to 36%. The decrease is attributed to action taken by the Nepal Government to-discourage the emigration of its subjects; At the same time they are inconveniently numerous in the Khasia Hills where " in the interests of the Khasi population some measures appear necessary to prevent any further expansion of Nepali colonization ".

Bihar and Orissa

Bihar and Orissa is among provinces the antithesis of Assam in the matter of migration. It is typical of the rest of India in the general immobility of its population, and 959 persons in every 1,000 were born in the district in which they were enumerated, while 931 in every 1,000 were enumerated in the district in which they were born; on the other hand it 'has a higher emigration figure than any other province, from which the general standard of Indian migration, or rather the absence thereof, may fairly be judged.

The net loss to the province by emigration is 1,758,000, and if British districts alone be taken the loss is considerably greater as the Feudatory States receive twice as many migrants as they send out, and their immigrants are mostly from the British districts of the same province. As in the. case of Assam however a change is taking place and the loss by emigration is considerably less than it was in the previous decade. Emigrants have decreased by 197,000 and immigrants have increased by 79,000, and to this has contributed not only the development of urban and industrial areas within the province and the consequent attraction of settlers from outside, but the economic conditions of the province, which towards the close of the decade compared favourably with the conditions in other provinces more severely affected by the industrial depression.

The latter cause has also operated to reduce the periodic emigration from the province, which is of very great volume and importance and is at its highest at the time of the census. The loss sustained by emigration therefore is not by any means a permanent loss of the volume indicated by the figures, since much of it returns when the periodic migration is over at the time of the spring harvest or at the beginning of the monsoon. Over two-thirds of the emigrants from Bihar and Orissa were enumerated in adjacent provinces and perhaps the great majority of these return ro their homes later. Of the remainder 95% are found in Assam, and here again the new system of short-term recruitment for tea-gardens involves the inference that recent emigrants belong merely to the semi-permanent class and will ultimately return to their province.

United Provinces

In the case of the United Provinces, which has the next largest volume of emigration, this volume of emigration, in contrast with that from Bihar and Orissa, instead of decreasing has increased by a net balance of 158,000. The emigrants are on the whole comparatively evenly distributed to all parts of northern and eastern India, though Bengal gets three times the share of any other province, Bombay, the Central Provinces and the Punjab standing next, while Rajputana conversely sends back more than it receives ; but the bulk of this migration is of the semi-permanent description and is described as a blessing to the province since it relieves the pressure on the soil and will be automatically absorbed within the province by any industrial expansion that takes place.


Madras, the third highest province in order of net loss by emigration, is Madras. another which calls for some separate treatment, as the bulk of its emigration differs from that of other provinces in being overseas. Here the effect of the worldwide industrial depression is seen in the foreign birthplaces returned in Madras as a result of repatriation. There has been a general increase in the number of persons born in Burma, Ceylon, Mauritius and Natal. Even so the 1931 figure shows a very marked increase in emigration to Malaya as well as in emigration to-other parts of India.

The overseas migration to Malaya and Ceylon, which is 94 to 95% Madrasi, is treated in another paragraph, but it may be pointed out here that emigration from Madras is not restricted to assisted emigration ' under the Act of 1922, which controls the departure of any persons from British India who are assisted by any person other than a relative, that is of persons recruited by agencies, but also of a considerable quantity of the natural migration of persons who go and return as they please, and in this connection the Census Superintendent points out that " it is possible for an emigration habit to arise not necessarily connected with financial or seasonal stress at home. This undoubtedly exists in South India and the Circars coast touching the emigration movement to Ceylon, Malaya and Burma ".

The area that supplies Assam and Burma is generally speaking not the same as that from which emigration to Malaya and Ceylon takes place. The latter is a Tamil movement; the emigrants to Burma are Telugus " the Burmese emigration is largely a Circars phenomenon and ...... Burmese development has had a profound influence on the Telugu coastal districts ". To this the presence of 297,543 Madrasis in Burma at the time of the census testifies in spite of the largely increased number who had returned as a result of the anti-Indian riots in May 1930, after which the volume of return continued so steadily that in May 1931 it was still 40% above that of the year before. Emigration to Assam again is neither Tamil nor Telugu but mainly Sawara from the Vizagapatam Agency tracts, and showed a great increase from 1925-27 as a result of the enforcement in the Sawara maliahs of a policy of forest reservation. Later when the application was mitigated emigration decreased, and recruitment is now of the short-term variety, repatriation after two years being guaranteed.

Daily Migraties

In the Central Provinces the Census Superintendent detects the growth of what may be described.as Daily Migration. In England and Wales a column to show the place of work was included in the schedule in 1921, but though such a daily migration is familiar enough in Bombay and in Calcutta where 26,000 living outside the city travel in daily by train alone, to say nothing of those who use cars, buses or trams, in India generally the conditions under which the residence of the worker and the place at which he works are so far apart as to form different census units have hardly yet arisen to an extent to justify a column in the schedule.

Nevertheless in some industrial areas it is already becoming a common practice for persons to live outside the place of employment and to visit it every day. This is apparent in Nagpur, for instance, where in some cases clerks live even 25 to 30 miles away at Ramtek 'and come in by train to their work every morning. Similarly industrial settlements outside the town provide workmen who come in daily. The ' buses run to neighbouring villages for labour by Assam tea gardens have already been mentioned.

The Census Commissioner for Travancore State reports that daily migration is now a common feature of important towns like Trivandrum, Nagercoil, Quilon and Alleppey, and the Census Superintendent for Delhi estimates the average volume of daily migration throughout the year between Shandara and Delhi city, a matter of 3 or 4 miles only; at 1,500 persons.

British India and States

In 1921 the balance of migration as between British and State territory was against the States and in favour of British India, but this position has been reversed during tile decade, possibly on account of the increasing pressure on the less thickly populated areas which are mostly in State territory.

Whereas the net loss to the states in 1921 was 124,000 (in 1911 it had been 132,000), in 1931 the states gained 490,935 from British India. In spite of this there has been very little change in the direction of migration between the States and British territory, since all those states which gained on the balance in 1921 have continued to do so except Gwalior, where the Census Commissioner of the State attributes " to the dislocation in trade and the general financial stringency " the choking up of the " migratory streams of business men and labourers," which flowed in former years.

On the other hand of those that lost in 1921 only the Central India Agency and Baroda show a gain at this census, though the Bombay States, included in 1921 with what is now the Western India States Agency, a losing unit, show a gain this time treated separately. Indeed the net losses of the Rajputana Agency and Jammu and Kashmir State have considerably increased since 1921, but these increased losses have been far more than balanced by such large net increases as that of the Punjab States which, +84,000 in 1921, were +187,000 in 1931. Although Rajputana as a whole has a migration balance against it, Bikaner State, in which there has been during the decade a great extension of irrigation, has a heavy balance in its favour, in population is due to immigration.

It will be seen from the marginal table that Bikaner has drawn considerable numbers not only from the other Rajputana States and from British districts of the Punjab, but even from the Punjab States, which otherwise absorb rather than extrude emigrants.

Moreover, it is clear that this tendency is not new, though the- feature of the decade is the proportion of immigrants drawn from the British Punjab. Whereas much of the emigration from Rajputana generally must be regarded as probably of a semi-permanent nature only, it is clear 'that the immigration to Bikaner is of a permanent nature. Contrariwise the emigration is largely of the semi-permanent variety, and of the 846,811 persons born in Raj putana and emumerated elsewhere the majority, in all probability, come from Marwar, Bikaner, Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Mewar, but above all from Mar war and Jaipur, and consist of those traders, with their dependants, who are known indiscriminately as Marwaris and play such an ubiquitous and important part in commerce and banking throughout India. One rather unexpected migration item between British territory and the States is the flow of migration to Cochin and Travancore which already have the densest populations in India and the highest natural rate -of increc se.

In Cochin this is probably to be accounted Mr by the fact that most of the migration is of the ' casual ' type, while in Travancore it consists of Tamil labourers on plantations in the highlands marching with British territory. Here communications with the Tamilnad have in the past been easier than with the coast, but with the opening up of good roads and easy communication between the estates in the hills and the populated plains, it is likely that Travancore State will tend more and more to replace Tamil by indigenous labour.

French and Portuguese India

As between British India and the French and Portuguese settlements the balance of migration is greatly in favour of British India, from which 82,271 persons are received, the very great majority, their figure is estimated at 68,000 at least, from the Portuguese settlements, and the greater part of that going to Bombay. In the case of the French settlements, politics plays a unexpected hand. • North Arcot district in Madras was found to contain a remarkable increase in the number of persons born in French India. Enquiry showed that they represented the party defeated in recent elections in Pondicherry, who found it healthier to withdraw to British territory than to remain at home during the executive arbitrament and jurisdictional domination of their political adversaries.

External Migration

Outside India the balance is the other way, in spite of the fact that circumstances are against emigration from India. Early marriage, which is almost universal, is a great deterrent at one end and immigration restrictions at the other. There are in India altogether 730,546 persons of foreign birth of whom 595,078 are of Asiatic birth, 118,089 of European birth and 17,379 others.

Their distribution by origin is shown in the marginal table. On the other hand it has been stated above that there were about 21 million Indians resident out of India at the census, giving a grand migration balance of -14 million. Nearly all of these are resident in other parts of the British Empire, but it should be made clear that this total is intended to include all Indians resident outside India, those who have emigrated during the decade being estimated at 1,000,000 only.

A marginal table shows such figures as it has been possible to collect from the different parts of the British Empire. It represents of course the position in 1931, when the repatriation of Indians from Malaya had already taken effect since the depression in rubber production had led to a reduction of wages and employment as early as the end of 1929 both in Malaya and Ceylon; from the former some 78,000 Indians including infants had been repatriated by the end of 1930, and a further 56,000 followed in 1931, while from Ceylon 11,000 were repatriated in 1931. There are over 75,000 Indians in Fiji, an increase of about 14,500 since 1921, against repatriations to the extent of 11,351 of which 4,435 were Madrasis.

Distribution of foreign.PNG
Imigration of foreign.PNG

Emigrants from the United Provinces, have increased and the increase is still more marked in the case of Punjabis (mostly Sikhs), whose number has quadrupled in the decade-it was 450 in 1921, and of traders from Bombay and the Western India States, whose ratio of increase has been much the same. These were approximately 325 in 1921. Precise numbers are not available as the census due in the Fiji Islands in 1930 did not take place. The Bombay traders travel backwards and forwards more often and bring a higher proportion of women than other immigrants.

Probably more than two-thirds of the Indians in the Fiji Islands depend on the sugar industry, holding some 63,000 acres, either as tenants of the sugar company or otherwise, and producing annually cane worth fifty or sixty lakhs of rupees. Demands for repatriation have declined very markedly, having fallen from 1,180 in 1926 to 502 in 1930. During the decade under review Indian emigration has been controlled by the Emigration Act of 1922 under which the emigration of unskilled labour is prohibited except to such countries and under such conditions as may be specified by the Governor-General in Council, whose notification under the Act must be approved by both chambers of the legislature. The quantity of skilled labour which emigrates is very small and is indicated by the partial figures in the accompanying table.

Labour emigrate.PNG

The effect of the Emigration Act has been to put an end to the emigration of unskilled labour to any place outside the Indian Empire except Ceylon and Malaya. Even to British Guiana, where the climate is not unlike that of Ceylon, and where the officer (Sir Maharaj Singh) deputed to report on conditions found that the conditions of education, of medical assistance and of the standard of living generally were higher than those of rural India and that no political disabilities of any kind attached to Indian settlers, emigration, stopped on account of mortality on the voyage many years ago, has not been renewed.

From South Africa the tendency has been rather for a return to India, which is assisted by the Union Government by a bonus of £20 per adult and £10 per child, with free passage and free railway fares at each end of it. Thus while 791 emigrants from S. Africa returned to Madras and Calcutta in 1930, 1,707 returned to these ports in 1931. The total number of Indians returning from S. Africa to India in 1931 was 1,961 more than half (988) of whom were colonial born. The general position therefore is that in spite of a rapid and heavy increase in population during the decade there has been even less relief by emigration than in previous periods.

Malaya and Ceylo

The two most important countries for Indian emigration at present are Malaya and Ceylon, as indicated above. Recruiting of Indian labour to Malaya was stopped in August 190 on account of the fall in tin and rubber, and the considerable repatriations have been already mentioned. None the less the 1931 census of British Malaya found 624,009 Indians in that country details of which by sex, by religion and by age are given in the margin. Of this population 222,839 (153,408 males and 69,431 females) were engaged in agricultural pursuits, 30,214 (29,596 males and 618 females) in coramercial pursuits and 19,415 (18,280 males and 1,135 females) in industry.

The remainder were of miscellaneous, including administrative, personal or professional service (133,898 males and 11,845 females), or of non-productive occupations (85,846 males and 119,952 females). In the case of Ceylon recruitment of Indian labour for rubber estates was stopped in 1930, but otherwise emigration continued, though it appears that the absorption of Indian labour in that country has nearly reached the saturation point.

The marginal table shows the net figures of Indian immigration into Ceylon, that is the balance of arrivals over departures, from 1923-1931.

A complete census of Ceylon was not taken in 1931, but the figures available show " natives of India " for Colombo, and to these must be added nearly 300 others who are obviously of Indian races including " Afghans ", a term used in Ceylon for Balochis, and about 50 Burmans. Enumeration by religion was likewise incomplete, even for such figures of Indians as we have, but it is easy to allot the different classes of Indians to their main religions with a fair certainty of accuracy, and the , result according to religion is shown in the marginal table.

The most important Indian elements in Ceylon after the Tamil labour population are Malayalis, of whom Cochin and Travancore States contribute some 2,500 and 4,000 respectively, Nattu kottai Chettiyars, Bohras,. Baluchis, Map-pillas and Memons, about 500 Bengalis, and 200 Parsis, but 95% of the whole Indian population in Ceylon are Tamils, in round numbers 739,000.

Net emigration.PNG
Indian in cyclon.PNG

Some idea of the economic value to India of the emigration to Malaya may be gathered from the fact that land held by Indians in the Straits Settlements alone was estimated as worth Rs. 2,45,01,059 ; Savings Bank deposits held by India in Malaya amounted at the end of 1931 to the equivalent in dollars of Rs. 35,58,614 an average of Rs. 146 per depositor, while remittances by Indians from Malaya to India during 1931 came to a total of Rs. 38,83,065-an average of Rs. 69 per remittance. In Ceylon however the indebtedness of Indian labour is a troublesome problem still unsolved.

Emigrants returning in 1929 from Fiji, Mauritius and Trinidad combined brought back a total of Rs. 5,11,147 between 2,174 men, women and children, working out at over Rs. 234 per head, children included.

Indians on the High Seas

An attempt was made at this census to obtain a return of Indians on the High Seas outside Indian waters through the masters of the vessels on which they were passengers. A census of persons on ships is a familiar undertaking to most masters, and the Port officers at the larger ports were given special forms with instructions to issue them to all vessels shipping crews in Indian ports within the six months before the census, and the masters were requested to return the schedules from the first port touched after February 26th, 1931. The numbers ultimately returned in this way to the ports of Rangoon, Calcutta, Bombay, Karachi and Aden amounted to 12,540 of which 122 represented females. The returns received in Madras proved to come entirely from Indian waters and were therefore not treated separately from the port population.

In Bombay and Karachi returns came from outside Indian waters, but were amalgamated in the provincial totals. The majority of the returns were received through Calcutta and Rangoon ; they were not amalgamated in the provincial totals and do not appear as part of the population of India but are given separately here together with the returns that came through Bombay, Karachi and Aden, which should, strictly speaking, have likewise been separately treated. These returns will be found in Appendix II to the Tables Volume where they have been arranged in a series of forms corresponding to the Imperial Tables.

The following points are worth notice. Nearly half the Indians enumerated on the High Seas came from Bengal and nearly a quarter from Assam ; the remaining quarter or more represented the United Provinces, Bombay, Punjab and other provinces in that order, but as a matter of fact the numbers hailing from French and Portuguese India, mostly of course Goanese, totalled rather more than those who came from the Punjab. Figures for age and civil condition were available only on the Calcutta and Rangoon schedules, and a great majority were naturally aged from 20-40. A majority of them were married, but, as might be expected, even among those over 20 marriage was much less universal than on land.

In the matter of occupation they were mostly of course shown under the heading ' Transport by Water ', but the large numbers having a subsidiary occupation in cultivation are noteworthy. Most of them, of course, are lascars, who are also cultivators in Bengal or Assam. Well over a quarter of the total are literate, but less than 1 per cent. are literate in English. In languages more than half have Bengali as their mother-tongue and the next most predominant language is Hindustani, and these two languages also predominate among the subsidiary languages spoken. Returns of language, however, are only available, as also in the case of literacy, from the Calcutta and Rangoon schedules. In religion a great majority are Muslims from whatever port the return is obtained. Among Hindus the predominant caste is that of Kharva, a sea-faring caste in Cutch and the neighbourhood.

Indians Overseas

As will be already clear the Indian communities in other parts of the British. Empire are no longer reinforced by any emigrants from India except the very small numbers of skilled workmen who come and go to them. Strictly, therefore they are outside the scope of Indian emigration as well as of the India census. But as their numbers are likely to be of interest to their fellow country-men such figures as are available—mostly from British Colonial census returns of 1930 or 1931—have been tabulated in the appendix to the India Tables. In the Union of S. Africa there are about 165,500 Indians of whom 142,979 are found in Natal.

In Kenya there are 26,759 Indians ; the other overseas Indian communities in order of size are Mauritius, 268,870, Trinidad and Tobago 138,667, British Guiana 130,540, Fiji 75,117, Tanganyika 23,422, Jamaica 17,599, Zanzibar 15,246, Uganda 11,613 and Hong Kong 4,745, no other British colony containing as many as 2,000 Indians. There are about 11,000 Indians scattered in numbers of under 2,000 in various other parts of the British Empire and probably about 9,000 in the British Isles. Ferenczi (International Migrations, II page 592) gives 74,000 as the number of Indians in England. and Wales and 8,000 in Scotland, but it is clear from the Census Report of England and Wales for 1921 that this represents the number of persons born in. India-most of them probably British. The increase in that number since 1911, viz., 11,000, though far from being purely Indian is more likely to be indicative of the number of actual Indians, which may conveniently be estimated at 9,243 ; there are reported to be at least 2,000 Indian students alone at different universities in England and. Scotland, and the census of England and Wales returned 7,128 Indians of Asiatic origin in those countries in 1931, and one in the Isle of Man.

This makes a total for the whole of the Empire outside India of approximately 2,300,000. Outside the Empire there are about 104,000 distributed as follows :- About 5,000 in the U. S. A.; in. Surinam (Dutch Guiana) there are probably about 35,000 ; in the Netherlands Indies the number of British Indians is estimated at 25,000, while the French possessions of Madagascar and Reunion contain about 7,500 Indians. There are or were within the decade some 3,900 in. Persia, some 5,000 in.

Portuguese East Africa, 2,362 in Iraq, and at least another 20,000 must be allowed for Afghanistan, the continent of Europe and elsewhere. Apart from students and travellers the Census Commissioner for Baroda State actually reports the presence in Spain of some 200 Bohras from Baroda doing business in Bilbao, Malaga and in other towns. The Imperial Indian Citizenship Association records approximately 20,000 Indians resident outside the British Empire in addition to the foreign countries for which details are given here. It will therefore probably be safe enough to say 20,238 for elsewhere, making a total of Indians resident overseas of approximately 2,404,000, so that a rough statement of two and a half million is not likely to be far from the truth. Emigration has a perceptible influence socially on Indian emigrants. The Fiji Indians and often the South African are found to have abandoned caste restrictions, and owi g to the paucity of women among them inter-caste marriages are frequent, and social relations generally freer than in India.

" Family repatriation is commonest with the Madrasi, who is reported to retain longest his connection with his home country and ancestral lands Emigration has no observable effect on religion. The Madrasi abroad has sufficient of his own kind around him to be able to continue unaltered in a new country such religious practices' as he favours at home Caste rigidity undoubtedly weakens, but so largely homogeneous are the contributions that here too the effect is less than might be expected. Also no Madrasi emigrant severs his ties of community with the home country, and on his return he seeks to take a normal place within it Effects on occupation are less than might be expected. The great mass go forth to carry out in their new countries the agricultural occupations they inherited at home. The contribution to domestic service is by classes contributing to it in India. The traders are those who in India would probably also have traded. The Madrasi emigrant takes his own world with him and sets it down in his new surroundings ".

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