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382
[PEOPLE
INDIA

with Berar, Coorg, Eastern Bengal and Assam, Madras, North-West Frontier Province, Punjab, and the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. Each of these provinces is described under its separate name.

The native states are governed, as a rule, by native princes with the help of a political officer appointed by the British government and residing at their courts. Some of them administer the internal affairs of their states The native states. with almost complete independence; others require more assistance or a stricter control. These feudatory rulers possess revenues and armies of their own, and the more important exercise the power of life and death over their subjects; but the authority of each is limited by treaties or engagements, or recognized practice by which their subordinate dependence on the British government is determined. That government, as suzerain in India, does not allow its feudatories to form alliances with each other or with foreign states. It interferes when any chief misgoverns his people; rebukes, and if needful removes, the oppressor; protects the weak; and firmly imposes peace upon all. There are in all nearly 700 distinct units, which may be divided into the following groups.

The most important states are Hyderabad, Mysore, Baroda, Kashmir and Jammu, the Rajputana Agency, and the Central Major states. India Agency. The first four of these are single units, each under its separate ruler; but Rajputana and Central India are political groups consisting of many states, enjoying different degrees of autonomy. Rajputana is the name of a great territorial circle, containing twenty states in all; while under the Central India Agency there are grouped 148 states and petty chiefs.

Amongst the minor states, subordinate to the various provincial governments, five are controlled by Madras; 354 by Bombay, many of them being quite petty; 26 by Bengal, of Minor states. which Kuch Behar is the chief; 34 by the Punjab, amongst which the Phulkian Sikh states and Bhawalpur are the most important; 2 under Eastern Bengal and Assam; 15 under the Central Provinces; and 2 under the United Provinces. Burma contains a number of Shan states, which technically form part of British India, but are administered through their hereditary chiefs. All the most important of these native states are separately described.

In addition to the internal states, which have a fixed status, there are several frontier tracts of India, whose status is fluctuating or not strictly defined. In Baluchistan there are the native states of Kalat and Las Bela, and also Frontier states. tribal areas belonging to the Marri and Bugti tribes. On the north-west frontier, in addition to the chief ships of Chitral and Dir, there are a number of independent tribes which reside within the political frontier of British India, but over which effective control has never been exercised. The territory belonging to these tribes, of whom the chief are the Waziris, Afridis, Orakzais, Mohmands, Swatis and Bajouris, is attached to, but is not strictly within, the North-West Frontier Province. Kashmir possesses as feudatories Gilgit and a number of petty states, of which the most important are Hunza-Nagar and Chilas, but effective control over these outlying states has only been asserted in comparatively recent years for political reasons. Nepal and Bhutan, though independent, are under various commercial and other agreements with the government of India. On the north-east frontier, as on the north-west, semi-independent tribes extend across the frontier into independent country. Similarly Karenni, on the Burmese border, is not included in British territory, but the superintendent of the Shan states exercises some judicial and other powers over it.

The People

According to the census of 1901 the population of India (including Burma) was 294,361,056. But this vast mass of people does not constitute a single nationality, neither is it divided into a number of different nations of distinct blood and distinct language. They are drawn, indeed, from four well-marked elements: the non-Aryan tribes or aborigines of the country; the Aryan or Sanskrit-speaking race; the great mixed population which has grown out of a fusion of the two previous elements; and the Mahommedan invaders from the north-west. These four elements, however, have become inextricably mixed together, some predominating in one portion of the country, some in another, while all are found in every province and native state. The chief modern divisions of the population, therefore, do not follow the lines of blood and language, but of religion and caste.

Of the four elements already enumerated the oldest are the wild tribes of central India, such as the Bhils and Gonds, who probably represent the original inhabitants of the country. These number some 11,000,000. Second come the Dravidians of the south, amounting to about 54,000,000. Thirdly come the Aryans, inhabiting mainly that portion of India north of the Nerbudda which is known as Hindustan proper. Of these only the Brahmans and Rajputs, about 20,000,000, are of pure Aryan blood. The remaining 135,000,000 Hindus represent the fusion of Aryan and non-Aryan elements. Fourthly come the Mahommedans, numbering some 62,000,000. Many of them are the descendents of Arab, Afghan, Mogul and Persian invaders, and the remainder are converts made to Islam in the course of the centuries of Mahommedan rule.

The census report of 1901 divided the population of India into seven distinct racial types: the Turko-Iranian type, represented by the Baluch, Brahui and Afghans of the Baluchistan Agency and the North-West Frontier Province; the Racial types. Indo-Aryan type, occupying the Punjab, Rajputana and Kashmir, and having as its characteristic members the Rajputs, Khatris and Jats; the Scytho-Dravidian type of western India, comprising the Mahrattas; the Kunbis, and the Coorgs, probably formed by a mixture of Scythian and Dravidian elements; the Aryo-Dravidian type found in the United Provinces, in parts of Rajputana, and in Behar, represented in its upper strata by the Hindustani Brahman, and in its lower by the Chamar. This type is probably the result of the intermixture, in varying proportions, of the Indo-Aryan and Dravidian types, the former element predominating in the higher groups and the latter in the lower. The fifth type is the Mongolo-Dravidian of Bengal and Orissa, comprising the Bengal Brahmans and Kayasths, the Mahommedans of Eastern Bengal, and other groups peculiar to this part of India. It is probably a blend of Dravidian and Mongoloid elements with a strain of Indo-Aryan blood in the higher groups. The sixth type is the Mongoloid of the Himalayas, Nepal, Assam and Burma, represented by the Kanets of Lahoul and Kulu, the Lepchas of Darjeeling, the Limbus, Murmis and Gurungs of Nepal, the Bodo of Assam, and the Burmese. Seventh and last comes the Dravidian type, extending from Ceylon to the valley of the Ganges, and pervading the whole of Madras and Mysore and most of Hyderabad, the Central Provinces, Central India and Chota Nagpur. Its most characteristic representatives are the Paniyans of the south Indian hills and the Santals of Chota Nagpur. This is probably the original type of the population of India, now modified to a varying extent by the admixture of Aryan, Scythian and Mongoloid elements.

It is apparently from the differences in civilization and political power resulting from these successive strata of conquerors over the conquered that the Hindu system of caste arose. A caste is defined in the census report of 1901 as a collection Caste. of families or groups of families bearing a common name, which usually denotes or is associated with a specific occupation; claiming common descent from a mythical ancestor, human or divine, professing to follow the same calling, and regarded by those who are competent to give an opinion as forming a single homogeneous community. A caste is almost invariably endogamous, in the sense that a member of the large circle denoted by the common name may not marry outside that circle, but within the circle there are usually a number of smaller circles, each of which is also endogamous. Thus it is not enough to say at the present day that a Brahman cannot marry any woman who is not a Brahman; his wife must not only be a Brahman, but must also belong to the same endogamous division of the Brahman caste. The origin of caste was described by Sir Denzil Ibbetson in the Punjab Census Report of 1881 in the following terms: “We have the following steps in the process by which caste has been evolved in the Punjab—(1) the tribal divisions common to all primitive societies; (2) the gilds based upon hereditary occupation common to the middle life of all communities; (3) the exaltation of the priestly office to a degree unexampled in other countries; (4) the exaltation of the Levitical blood by a special insistence upon the necessarily hereditary nature of occupation; (5) the preservation and support of this principle by the elaboration from the theories of the Hindu creed or cosmogony of a purely artificial set of rules regulating marriage and intermarriage, declaring certain occupations and foods to be impure and polluting, and