Monday, November 21, 2022

MYSTERY: Do you know population of Brahmins in India in crores, extrapolate on Census data

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Do you know what's the exact percentage of Brahmins in the country?

Among the Upper Castes, Brahmins are the biggest group, numerous. In crores. But how many?

Last census that recorded it was in 1931. Extrapolation? 

Some say even Bhumihars got themselves recorded in 1931 census as Brahmins in Bihar. 

India is huge. Now almost 140 crore.

Over last 90 years some communities have grown faster, others grew slower.

We've statistics but only question is that is the Brahmin population of India more than population of Spain or just less than Germany's population.

Any guess--5 or 8 crore? Actually, it is not at all tough to come to a figure. Just statisticians can find out and take us. Extrapolating the Census figures and the population data that is available in public domain, it is easy to find that it is nearly 6.5 crore.

The Caste Census never took place though exercise on similar lines took place in Karnataka but findings and files are biting dust. Also, Madhya Pradesh had a sort of enumeration recently. Bihar has also decided to go ahead with Caste Census.

The count of Bhumihars has to be taken apart. The population and percentage of increase has to be studied. The other communities in Savarna or Forward Caste or Upper Caste groups include Vaishya i.e. Bania [Baniya or Banias] and Thakur or Rajput. 

Kayastha community is less than one percent now. Kayasthas origin and their place in varna system has many theories. However, as far as Pundits or Brahmins are concerned, the safe figure is just a bit less than six crores, and Uttar Pradesh [UP] having highest population of Brahmins compared to other states.

Some feel that Brahmins are not doing as good. However, the reality is that of early movers' advantage. Brahmins were ahead and hence it is very difficult for a community to keep growing always when they are already advanced, because other groups too move ahead and there is upward mobility.

Ours is a complex society. But it is not that Brahmins are doing badly either. The population of Brahmins, their numbers are also significant in India. Besides, they are still many times more in higher positions, than other social groups. So it’s not that easy to term it as doing too great or bad. It's in between.