History of movemnets -36

The All-India Theistic Conference of 1911 held in Calcutta resolved on having a separate Brahma Census and directed the Standing Committee to take the necessary steps. Letters were issued in June 1912 soliciting help and co-operation from the Secretaries of all known Brahma Samajes and other Brahma gentlemen likely to be able to give assistance. Secretaries of many Samajes and several other friends very promptly replied to these letters and gave ready help in enumerating the Brahma residents of their respective centers. At the same time it has to be confessed that others from whom better things were expected, showed a deplorable indifference, causing much difficulty in taking a census of stations repre­sented by them. While in spite of repeated reminders, no returns have been received from a few stations. Thus the present census can by no means be called complete. The returns of some of the stations are not complete. This is notably the case with Calcutta, where quite a large number of families (about 100) notwithstanding repeated requests, could not be pre­vailed upon to return the forms. But though not complete, the present census will serve a very useful purpose. For the first time in the history of the Brahma Samaj we have a vast mass of useful infor­mation about our scattered community. We now not only know the exact number of Brahma families most of our important centers but we also know the names of our brethren individually, the extent and position of their families. We know definitely the extent to which education has been diffused in our community. We also know the strength of our com­munity in the more important of the ordinary professions. These valuable materials will be preserved for future reference and we hope and earnestly recom­mend that such periodical census may be taken at intervals in future.

The figures for each of the stations enumerated are shown in the annexed schedule. From this it will be seen that Calcutta (1,310) with the two Suburbs Bhavanipur (312) and Howra (94) records 1,716 Brahmas, which would have been considerably in­creased, if the returns from all families were received. Bombay comes next with a total of 349, and Dacca with 231 returns the third largest total. Of the other provincial headquarters, Madras returns 85, Lahore 177, Lucknow 71, and Shillong 58. Of other places Manga­lore with its total 214 and Giridhi 206 deserve special mention. The Khasi Hills return a total of 250 for all the congregations in the district. Similarly the total of Contai(126) include all the Brahmas of the  Subdivision.

As regards the educational position of the Brahma Samaj, it is clear from the report before us that there is practically no illiteracy in our community; while 1,953 students of a total population of 6,722 testify to a keen desire for education. The returns show a total of 489 graduates, including 97 graduates of European Universities and 34 lady graduates. Classified according to professions, there are 375 Government servants and pensioners, 373 teachers, 193 medical practitioners, 190 merchants, 124 zamindars, 131 lawyers, 65 ministers of religion, 21 journalists, 16 engineers and 9 contractors in our community. We are sorry that the results are not as complete as we would have liked them to be. But we hope that with growing communal sense, and more perfectly developed organization, similar efforts in future will yield more satisfactory results.

The following table shows the Brahma Census as compared with the Government Census.

Table 1  (For PDF click here)


General Secretary,

All India theistic Conference