THE PEOPLE

POPULATION

Introduction.

AN INTERESTING REVELATION OF THE CHARACTER of the people and their culture in the district could be found in the historic references to the people of Khande's. Research scholars from the days of Ptolemy have discussed the currents and undercurrents which have been instrumental in moulding the fabric of the Khande's culture. The influx of people from the northern regions of Gujarat and the Muslim invasions of the region have added considerable significance to the culture of the people in this district.

The following account given in the Khande's Gazetteer [Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency, Khandesh District, Vol. XII. 1880, pp. 38-42.] of 1850, throws an interesting sidelight on the people and their culture in the district.

Few early notices of the people of Khandes have been traced. According to Lassen the Sanskrt-speaking tribes passed down the Gujarat coast and up the Tapi valley through Khande's into the Deccan. [Indische Alterthumskunde, 1, 181.] Another wave of settlers would seem to have entered by the east, as, according to local tradition, Rajputs of different tribes ruled from Asirgad as far back as the sixteenth century before Christ.

The first known historic reference to the people of Khandes [The Mahabharat (H. H. Wilson's Works, VII, 164) places, next to . he people of Vidarbha or Bedar, Khandas or Shandas who may possibly have given their name to Khandesh. Khandesh has also been thought to be the Khandav forest of the Mahabharat. which was burnt down and brought under tillage by Arjun. These identifications are doubtful.] seems to be Ptolemy's (A.D. 150) mention of the Phyllitae and Kondali or Gondali, probably the Bhils and Gonds, whom he places south of the Narmada not far from its source. [Bertius' Ptolemy, Map X. and 204, Wilson (VII 139) is of opinion that the Bhils are included under the Pulindae whom Ptolemy places further to the west. Another of Ptolemy's tribes the Tabassi have been referred to Khandesh and supposed to be the Buddhist ascetics of the Ajanta and other Satamala cave temples. Yule in hid. Ant. IV, 282.] The Bhils, still the most characteristic and one of the largest classes in Khande's, seem to show by the varieties of their dialect, Nemadi, Marathi, and Gujarati, that they have been pushed back into Khandes by later arrivals, from the east, the south, and the west. Many of the changes that have narrowed the limits of the Bhil country have taken place since Ptolemy wrote. But in his time, as at present, Khandes was probably one of the leading Bhil settlements. Of the Gonds, traces remain in a Gond tribe of herdsmen found in Calisganv and in a Gond sub-division of Mhars.

Since Ptolemy's time, the first great change in the population of Khande's seems to have been the arrival, apparently up the Tapi valley from Gujarat, of a detachment of the great tribe or nation of Ahirs. or Abhirs. [Some of the Ahirs. apparently later arrivals, came from northern India.] The origin of the Ahirs. who besides in Khande's. are found in the North-West Provinces, Bengal, Central India and the Central Provinces, in Cute and Kathiavad in Gujarat, and in Nasik. Ahmadnagar and other parts of the north Deccan, is doubtful. They have been thought to be the Abars, one of the Scythian tribes who. in the second and first centuries before Christ, entered India from the north-west, [Cunnigham's Archaeological Report, II. 23, 33.] or, and this is move likely, they are supposed to be an old Indian or half Indian race who were driven south and east before the Scythian invaders. [Compare V. de St. Martin, Geog. Grec. et Latine de l'Inde, 230; Cent. prov. Gaz. LXIII.] In either case the bulk of the nation seems to have passed south during the time of Indo-Seythian ascendancy (B.C. 200-A.D. 200) in north India. Before the Christian era. they were near the north-west frontier; [V. de St. Martin. Geo. Grec. et Lat, de l'Inde, 230.] in the second century after Christ they were in Upper Sind; [Bertius' Ptolemy (A.D. 150). Map. X.] and in the third century in Lower Sind and north Gujarat. [McCrindle's Periplus (A.D. 247), 113. The expression is 'Inland from Surastrene '.] Next they appear south of the Tapi, between the Tapi and the Konkan', or 'between the Tap! and Devgad [Purans quoted in Ward's Hindus; III. 450. and Wilford's Ax. Res. XIII, 336.] They are spoken of as settled in Khandes. [Lanylois" Harivansh, II. 401.] And an inscription in one of the Nasik Buddhist caves shows that early in the fifth century (419) the country was under an Ahir king. [ Second International Congress, 354.] The Ahir dynasty is said to have lasted for only sixty-seven years. But as local tradition centres in an early Ahir or Gavali rule, it seems probable that, as was the case in Kathiavad, the Khandes Ahirs were closely connected with the Yadavas who were in power in the eighth, and again appear as the rulers of Devagiri or Daulatabad in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Their present strength has not been ascertained. The 1872 census returns do not show any Ahirs. But a special inquiry, carried on by Mr. j. Pollen, C. S., has brought to light, besides Ahir or part Ahir husbandmen and Ahir Kolis, an Ahir branch in almost all crafts and other middle class castes, and proved them to be so large an element in the population, that Ahirani is the local name for the khande's dialect of Marathi. [Besides Ahirs proper and Abhir Brahmans, there are Ahir Sutars. Ahir lohars, Ahir Shimpis, Ahir Salis. Ahir Guravs. and Ahir Kolis.] In some of these classes, as among the carpenters, blacksmiths, and goldsmiths, the Ahir element has remained distinct. Ahir carpenters and Ahir blacksmiths marry together. but neither of them marry with the other sub-divisions of carpenters and blacksmiths. In other eases the Ahir element has merged into the general class, and Ahir has come to be little more that a surname.

The next recorded addition to the population of Khande's is the arrival. partly direct up the Tapi valley, and partly it would seem through Malva and the Central Provinces, of the great body of Gujarat kunbis who now hold the bulk of the cultivated land to the north of the Tapi. According to the chronicles of the Reve Kunbis. they arrived about the eleventh century in a large body, in whose vanguard alone were 2000 carts. It seems not unlikely that this account is correct, and that the Kunbis were forced to leave Gujarat by the encroachments of Rajput tribes; driven south before the early Musalman invaders of north India. About this time, and till the arrival of the Musalmans (1310). it seems probable that while the Devagiri Yadavas held Khande's, the southern castes, of whose arrival no tradition remains but who are still known to have come from the south, first settled in the district. [Rane or Maratha Rajputs.] During the latter part of the fourteenth century, by the establishment (1370) of line of Arab kings, a new foreign element was introduced into Khandes. About the same time the district was visited by so severe a famine that, according to Ferista, its whole people, except a few Bhils and kolis. disappeared. [Two great khandesh famines are reported, one about 1370. the other the great Durga-Devi famine from 1396 to 1407. As he makes no mention of the Durga-Devi famine, it seems probable that Ferishta's 1370 famine should be placed some thirty years later.] Under the Faruqi kings, Khande's rose to much wealth and prosperity, and its population received many additions both of neighbouring Hindus and of foreign Musalmans.

When on January 6, 1601 it passed to the Emperor Akbar, parts of Khandes were highly tilled and well peopled, and its Bhils, Gonds, and Kunbis were specially noticed as hard workers and dutiful subjects. [Gladwin's Ain-i-Akbari. II. 54.] Under the Moghals. during the seventeenth century, prosperity continued. The disturbances in the Deccan, that ended with the fall of Ahmadnagar and Bijapur, must have driven numbers into the more peaceful district of Khande's, and during the reign of Aurangzeb Musalmans were flocking from north India into Khandes.

Under the Marathas (1760-1817) the Hindus again rose to importance. But any additions from the south must have been more than met by the losses in the disturbances that marked the close of the eighteenth century. The terrible famine of 1803 laid the district waste, leaving for the time but a few Bhils and Kolis. When the famine was over some of the old inhabitants returned. But so disturbed were all, except some favoured parts of the district, that numbers still staid away. [The present special prosperity and populousness of Savda is believed to be owing to the protection afforded at this time (1803-1818) by [he power of the Nimbalkar and Raste. Bomb. Gov. Sel. XCIII, 203.] In those troubled times three bodies of foreign mercenaries rose to importance; Arabs, north India or Pardesi Brahmans, and Mysore or Karnatak troops, apparently partly Hindu, partly Musalman. With the establishment of British power (1817-1820) these three classes of mercenaries disappeared. Part of the Arabs were sent to Arabia, and the rest found their way to Hyderabad in the Deccan; almost all the Karnatak troops returned to their own land; and most of the Pardesi Brahmans settled as husbandmen. [Compare Capt. Briggs (182) in MS. Sel. 157 (1821-1829).] On the establishment of order, the old inhabitants returned in numbers from Berar and Gujarat, and crowds of strangers flocked from the Nizam's and Sinde's dominions. [Mr. Chaplin's Report, 20th August 1822; East India Papers, IV, 515.] Still the country was very empty. The 1821 Census showed a population of only 4,18,021 souls or 31 to the square mile. In 1837 it was still 'miserably populated ', large tracts being held by Bhils. The population was estimated at 4,78,457 souls, about 60,000 more than in 1821, and it was calculated that, of the whole number, Brahmans represented 5.40 per cent, Rajputs 3.47, Sudras and Marathas 69-58, low and depressed tribes 14.72 and Musalmans 6.38. [Col. Sykes in Rept. of Brit. Assoc. (1837), 258, 264.] Fifteen years later (1852) a fresh Census showed a total strength of 6,86,003 souls, or an increase, since 1837, of nearly forty per cent. [Bom. Gov. Sel. I. 4.] Still great part of the district was empty, and five-sixths of its arable land lay waste. An attempt was made to supply the want of people by bringing settlers from crowded Ratnagiri. But the most liberal offers of rent-free land and money to buy bullocks and tools, failed to tempt a single settler. [Bom. Gov. Sel. I. 13; Mr. A. T. Davidson, Superintendent of Survey (1861), Bom Gov. Sel. XCIII, 432.] Still population was steadily increasing, and with the rise of produce prices (1856), the introduction of a lighter and more even assessment (1860-1866), and the opening of the railway (1863), large numbers came to Khandes. Compared with those of 1852, partly no doubt because they were more complete, the Census returns for 1872 showed a total of 1,028.042 souls, or an increase in twenty years of nearly fifty per cent. Since 1872, though Khandes has passed through several trying years, the population is known to have considerably increased. The east and centre are populous, but the south is thinly peopled, and in the west great arable tracts are still empty. In spite of recent increase, Khande's remains one of the thinnest peopled parts of the Bombay Presidency.

Of the immigrants under British rule, exclusive of those who came back on the first establishment of order (1817-1820), the chief classes are, among traders, Marvadi Vanis, Bhatias, and Bohoras; among craftsmen, Rangaris and Telis; and among husbandmen and labourers, Marathas and Kunbis.

At present the most interesting section of the population are the Vanjaris, the owners of pack-bullocks, who since cart roads have been opened to the coast (1834), and still more since they have had to compete with the railway, have been forced to give up their old wandering ways and settle in fixed villages. [Another older division of Vanjaris is established as a regular part of the Kunbis.] Their leaders, men of capital who always did some trafficking on their own account, have started as traders, and the bulk of the people, who have probably always been in the habit of raising crops during their long halts in the rainy season, have taken to tillage. Some still earn their living as carriers. But none have taken to the practice of crafts, probably because, as they travelled with bullocks and with no carts, they had no need of the services of carpenters or blacksmiths.

This Vanjari and Ahir element in the Khandes people has the high value of showing, what can hardly be traced in most parts of the country, the chief process by which the bulk of the present Hindu population was probably formed. A succession of tribes of northern herdsmen have been driven south, and by changes in the government or trade of the country, have been forced to settle. Among their leaders would be men of capital if not trained traders; the mass of the people would have a rough knowledge of tillage; and as many tribes travelled with carts and sheep, some among them would be familiar with carpentry, smithwork, and weaving. When they settled the leaders would become traders and landholders, the bulk of the people would start as husbandmen, and of the rest, some would take to the practice of crafts and others would continue as herdsmen or carriers. Among the husbandmen, some of the poorer or lower sort, forced to take up lands in the outskirts of the settlement, cut off to some extent from their own people and straitened from want of labour, would associate with the earlier tribes, and taking their women as wives or slaves, would raise a mixed class. As the new tribe settled many of their special beliefs and practices would cease, peculiarities of dress would be given up, and if they had not them before, they would engage Brahmans, to conduct their ceremonies. In time sameness of work would become a closer bond than a common origin. Husbandmen would begin to marry with the older settled husbandmen and other craftsmen with men of their own calling [This is the probable explanation of the large number of sub-divisions among the craftsmen classes in Khandesh. Many of them, the Telis, Salis and Koshtis, Lohars, Rangaris, Nhavis and Mhars have the stock number twelve and a half, the half being apparently a mixed or inferior class.]. Each division would come to be known by name of its calling, and the tribal title would sink to the name of a sub-division or to a surname. Of the old tribe the only apparent traces would be those who had kept to the original calling of herdsmen or carriers: the offspring of the low class women proud of their strain of higher blood; and perhaps the Brahmans, who known among their caste fellows by their patrons' name, had come to form a distinct subdivision.

Growth of Population.

Growth of population is determined by three factors, viz., births, deaths and migration. The following paragraphs give the trends in population growth and movement of population over the last few decades. The pattern of growth of the general population has also been analysed.

The following table gives the variation in population and percentage of decade variation in the district from 1901 to 1961:―

TABLE No. 1

VARIATION IN POPULATION DURING SIXTY YEARS,
DHULIA DISTRICT

 

Year

Persons

Males

Females

Decade Variation

Percentage Decade Variation

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

DISTRICT TOTAL

1901

4,48,432

2,26,497

2,21,935

--

--

1911

5,59,519

2,81,839

2,76,680

+ 1,11,087

+ 24.77

1921

5,94,191

3,00,717

2,93,474

+ 34,672

+ 6.20

1931

7,14,998

3,63,073

3,51,925

+ 1,20,807

+ 20.33

1941

8,45,766

4,29,560

4,16,206

+ 1,30,768

+ 18.29

1951

10,60,278

5,38,226

5,22,052

+ 2,14,512

+ 25.36

1961

13,51,236

6,85,942

6,64,294

+ 2,90,958

+ 27.44

Akrani Maha

1951

22,517

11,477

11,040

--

--

1961

34,967

1 7,972

16,995

+12,450

+ 55.29

Akkalkuva Taluka

1951

42,976

22,073

20,903

--

--

1901

57,357

29,270

28,087

+ 14,381

+ 3J.46

Taloda Taluka

1951

56,004

28,206

27,798

--

--

1961

63,720

31,888

31,832

+ 7,716

+ 13.73

Shahada Taluka

1951

1,34,552

67,650

66,902

--

--

1961

1,55,472

78,322

77,150

+ 20,920

+ 15.55

Nandurbar Taluka

1951

1,17,958

59,891

58,067

--

--

1961

1,52,927

77,401

75,526

+ 34,969

+ 29-65

TABLE No. 1-contd.

 

Year

Persons

Males

Females

Decade Variation

Percentage Decade Variation

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

Shirpur Taluka

1951

1,00,347

50,855

49,492

--

--

1961

1,23,780

63,079

60,701

+ 23,433

+ 23.35

Sindkhed Taluka

1951

1,42,469

72,333

70,136

--

--

1961

1,72,333

87,305

85,028

+ 29,864

+ 20.96

Navapur Taluka

1951

81,336

41,435

39,901

--

--

1961

1,05,728

53,757

51,971

+ 24,392

+ 29.099

Sakri Taluka

1951

1,31,510

66,798

64,712

--

--

1961

1,85,417

94,099

91,318

+ 53,907

+ 40.099

Dhulia Taluka

1951

2,30,609

1,17,508

1,13,101

--

--

1961

2,99,535

1,53,849

1,45,686

+ 68,926

+ 29.89

The decade 1901 [" West Khandesh shows the largest increase of any district in the Province. With a fertile soil it used to be a populous country but was devastated by Holkar's Army in 1802 and became over-grown with jungle. With the advent of British rule and the keeping in check of marauding Bhils, it had steadily risen and the opening of the Tapti Valley Railway in 1900, combined with the reaction after famine (during which over a quarter of a million were on relief works), has resulted in a large expansion of cultivation. Immigration has risen 70 per cent since 1901 ", Census of India, 1911, Vol. VII, Part I, Bombay.]-11 witnessed a rise of 27.77 per cent in the population of Dhulia district. The extensive epidemic of influenza during the subsequent decade resulted in the reduction of the rate of variation to 6.20 per cent. The rate of variation however kept up a faster pace after 1921. The rising rate witnessed a slight decrease in 1941, while the 1961 census recorded the highest growth rate of 27.44.

There are wide variations in the rates of growth in different talukas of Dhulia district.

The rates of variation of population in the various talukas during the decade 1951-61 are given below:―

Taluka or Mahal

Percentage variation during 1951-61

Akkalkuva

+ 33.46

Akrani

+ 55.29

Taloda

+ 13.78

Sahada

+ 15.55

Nandurbar

+ 29.65

Sirpur

+ 23.35

Sindkhed

+ 20.96

Navapur

+ 29.99

Sakri

+ 40.99

Dhulia

+ 29.89

The highest rate of growth (55.29) has been recorded in Akrani mahal. This rate is more than double that of the district average. The central talukas of Taloda, Sahada, Sirpur and Sindkhed which have the most fertile lands and the highest density of population in the district have recorded lower rates of growth than the district average. The hilly and forest areas however have recorded very high rates of growth.

The population of the district witnessed a net increase of 201.32 per cent between 1901 and 1961, and 127.41 per cent between 1921 and 1961. Thus, during the last 60 years the population has trebled.

TABLE No. 2

AREA AND POPULATION, DHULIA DISTRICT, IN 1961

 

Total Rural Urban

Area in

Population per sq. mile

Population

Sq. miles

Sq. km.

Persons

Males

Females

(1)

(2)

(3-a)

(3-b)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

District

Total

4,850.3

12,562.3

279

1,351,236

686,942

664.294

Rural

4,791.7

12,410.4

237

1,135,380

574,127

561,253

Urban

58.6

151.9

3,682

215,856

112,815

103,041

Akrani Mahal

Total

232.0

600.9

151

34,967

17,972

16,995

Rural

232.0

600.0

151

34.967

17,972

16,995

Urban

--

--

--

--

--

--

Akkalkuwa Taluka

Total

320.0

828.8

179

57,357

29,270

28,087

Rural

320.0

828.8

179

57,357

29,270

28,087

Urban

--

--

--

--

--

--

Taloda Taluka

Total

143.8

372.4

143

63,720

31,888

31,832

Rural

135.0

349.6

364

49,079

24,367

24,712

Urban

8.8

22.8

1,666

14,641

7,521

7,120

Shahada Taluka

Total

446.6

1,156.7

348

15,472

78.322

77,150

Rural

441.6

1,143.8

322

142,134

71,336

70,798

Urban

5.0

12.9

2,684

13,338

6,986

6,352

Nandurbar Taluka

Total

424.7

1,100.0

360

152,927

77,401

75,526

Rural

411.0

1,064.5

272

111,872

56,290

55,582

Urban

13.7

35.5

2,995

41,055

21,111

19,944

Shirpur Taluka

Total

756.0

1,958.0

164

123,780

63,079

60,701

Rural

750.3

1,943.2

137

102,934

52,294

50,640

Urban

5.7

14.8

3.638

20,846

10,785

10,061

Sindkhed Taluka.

Total

494.3

1,280.2

349

172,333

87,305

85,028

Rural

485.0

1,256.1

323

156,755

79,239

77,516

Urban

9.3

24.1

1,677

15,578

8,066

7,521

Nawapur Taluka.

Total

355.1

919.7

298

105,728

53,757

51,971

Rural

349.3

904.7

250

94,223

47,761

46,462

Urban

5.8

15.0

1,980

11,505

5,996

5,509

Sakri Taluka

Total

926.2

2,398.9

200

185,417

94,099

91,318

Rural

926.2

2,398.9

200

185417

94,099

91,318

Urban

--

--

--

--

--

--

Dhulia Taluka

Total

751.6

1,946.7

399

299,535

153,849

145,686

Rural

741.3

1,919.9

271

200,642

101,499

99,143

Urban

10.3

26.8

9,573

98,893

52,350

46,543

According to the 1961 census, the density of population for Dhulia district is 279 as compared to the corresponding figure for the entire-State which stands at 334. The following statement gives the exclusively for all the talukas in the district in 1951 and 1961.

 

Density per square mile

Percentage of district population in 1961

1951

1961

Dhulia District

219

279

100

1. Akrani Mahal

97

151

2.59

2. Akkalkuva Taluka

134

179

4.21

3. Taloda Taluka

389

443

4.72

4. Sahada Taluka

301

348

11.51

5. Nandurbar Taluka

278

360

11.32

6. Sirpur Taluka

133

164

9.16

7. Sindkhed Taluka

288

349

12.75

8. Nawapur Taluka

229

298

7.82

9. Sakri Taluka.

142

200

13.72

10. Dhulia Taluka

307

399

22.17

The population per square mile in Dhulia district increased from 219 in 1951 to 279 in 1961. Taloda having a very fertile and prosperous land has the highest density of 443 persons per square mile and Akrani mahal has the lowest viz., 151. Akrani mahal, Akkalkuva, Sirpur and Sakri talukas have lower densities than that of the district as a whole. This is attributable to (i) the rural character of these talukas, and (ii) the very high proportion of forest and barren land. "A glance at the spatial distribution of population will reveal that talukas with high densities of population have higher proportions of the district population. Taloda taluka which has the highest density of 443 in the district is an exception to this ".

Urban Population.

For the purpose of this chapter urban population has been defined as the population returned from towns which have a municipality, cantonment, or a population over 5000 and at least km of male population dependent on non-agricultural pursuits. In the context of this definition, Dhulia district is less urbanised in comparison to the whole of the State. This can be seen from the following table which gives the urban population, the decade variation in population, and the percentage of decade variation from 1901 to 1961.

TABLE No. 3

VARIATION IN URBAN POPULATION FROM 1901 TO 1961,
DHULIA DISTRICT

Year

Area

Males

Females

Persons

Decade variation

Percentage Decade variation

Sq. miles

Sq. km.

1901

--

--

37,489

36,198

73,687

--

--

1911

--

--

40,235

39,010

79,245

+ 5.558

+7.54

1021

--

--

15.995

36,206

73,201

–6.044

–7.63

1931

--

--

51,575

47,990

99.565

+ 26.364

+36.02

1941

--

--

68,489

65,028

133,517

+33,952

+34.10

1951

--

--

100,624

94,847

195,471

+ 61,954

+46.40

1961

58.6

151.9

112,815

103,041

215,856

+20,385

+10.43

There was a decline in the rate of variation in urban population in the district in 1921 Census which recorded a loss of 6,044 persons in the urban areas. The proportion of urban to total population, however, registered a gradual rise in 1921, and reached an all-time high percentage in 1951. The last decade showed a decrease in the percentage of urban population due to the redefinition of urban areas in 1961.

The rates of variation in urban population have however never followed any trend. Urban population of the district increased by 7.54 per cent in the decade 1901-11. In the following decade it decreased by 7.63 per cent possibly because, firstly, Songir and Prakase were not treated as towns, and secondly, the influenza epidemic of 1918-19 affected the urban population more than the rural population. In the successive decades it continued to vary at moderately high rates till 1951. The highest rate of growth   (46.40) of urban population was recorded during the decade 1941-51. In the last decade the urban population increased by only 10.43 per cent. The lower rate is due to the redefinition of urban areas in 1961 as a result of which five towns in the district have been declassified as rural in 1961, viz. (1) Thalner, (2) Sindkhed, (3) Pimpalner, (4) Ranala and (5) Betavad. No new town has been added in 1961. The population of the declassified towns in 1951 was 29,679. It is recorded to be 35,473 in 1961. Had those towns been retained in 1961 the urban population would have increased by 28.58 per cent and it would have made 18.60 per cent of the district population-

Dhulia and Nandurbar are two big towns in the district. The population of Dhulia, which is fast approaching the one lakh mark has increased by 299.96 per cent since 1901 and 235.26 per cent since 1921. The population of Nandurbar has increased by 275.89 per cent since 1901 and 202.99 per cent since 1921. Except Navapur all the towns in the district have municipalities."

The following statement gives the number of towns, the rate of decade variation in urban population and the percentage of urban to total population at each Census since 1901 for Dhulia district.

Year

No. of towns

Rate of variation in urban population

Percentage of urban to total population

1901

9

--

16.43

1911

9

+7.54

14.16

1921

7

–7.63

12.32

1931

8

+36.02

13.93

1941

9

+34.10

15.79

1951

12

+46.40

18.44

1961

7

+10.43

15.97

The net growth in urban population of the district over that of 1901 is 192-91 per cent as against 246.96 per cent for Maharastra State as a whole.

This substantiates the statement made earlier in the section.

Towns arc classified on the basis of population. The following table gives the population statistics pertaining to the towns in the district in 1951 and 1961:―

TABLE No. 4

TOWNS CLASSIFIED BY POPULATION WITH VARIATION DURING 1951 AND 1961.

Class

Name of Town

Year

Area

Persons

Males

Females

Decade variation

Percentage variation

Sq. mile

Sq. km

Class 11 50.000 to 99,999

Dhulia

1951

--

--

76,880

36,951

36,929

+ 23,572

+ 44.22

1961

10.35

26.75

98,893

52,350

46,543

+ 22,013

+ 28.63

Class III 20,000 to 49,999

Nandurbar

1951

--

--

30,144

15,531

14,613

+ 8,005

+ 36.16

1961

13.71

35.51

41,055

21,111

19,944

+ 10,911

+ 36.20

Shirpur

1951

--

--

16,332

8,353

7,979

+ 3,503

+ 27.31

1961

5.73

14.84

20,846

10,785

10.061

+ 4,514

+ 27.74

Class IV, 10,000 to 19,999

Dondaicha

1951

--

--

10,920

5,647

5,273

+ 4,119

+ 60.56

1961

9.29

24.06

15,578

8,o66

7,512

+ 4,658

+ 42.66

Taloda

1951

--

--

12,091

6.195

5,896

+ 1,118

+ 10.19

1961

8.79

22.77

14,641

7,521

7,120

+ 2,550

+ 21.09

Shahada

1951

--

--

10.437

5,391

5,046

+ 1,345

+ 14.79

1961

4.97

12.87

13,338

6,986

6,352

+ 2,901

+ 27.80

Navapur

1951

--

--

8,988

4,614

4,374

+ 2.257

+ 33.53

1961

5.81

15.05

11,505

5,996

5,509

+ 2,517

+ 28.00

Of the nine towns in the district, Dhulia is a Class II town, Nandurbar and Sirpur are grouped under Class III whereas Dondaica, Taloda, Sahada and Navapur belong to Class IV. Dhulia is approaching the one lakh mark, and has developed a more urban character during the last about lour decades. The population of this town was 24,726 in 1901; 30,341 in 1911; 29,497 in 1921; 39,656 in 1931; 53,308 in 1941; 76,880 in.1951 and 98,893 in 1961.

Rural Population.

The rural population (11,35,380) which is spread over 1,360 inhabited villages forms about 84.03 per cent of the total population of the district. The population pattern of the district exhibits its predominantly rural character. Table No. 5 below give the talukawise distribution of rural population in 1961; whereas Table No. 6 gives rates of growth and percentage of rural population to total population in the district since 1901 to 1961.

TABLE No. 5

RURAL POPULATION IN DHULIA DISTRICT IN 1961

Taluka

Persons

Males

Females

Akrani

34,967

17,972

16,995

Akkalkuwa

57.357

29,270

28,087

Taloda

49,079

24,367

24,712

Shahada

142,134

71,336

70.798

Nandurbar

111,872

56,290

55,582

Shirpur

102,934

52,294

50,640

Sindkhed

156,755

79,239

77,516

Navapur

94,233

47,76

46,462

Sakri

185,417

94,099

91,318

Dhulia

200,642

101,499

99,143

District Total

1,135,380

574,127

561,253

TABLE No. 6

VARIATION IN RURAL POPULATION IN DHULIA DISTRICT DURING 1901 TO 1961.

 

Rate of variation in rural population

Percentage of rural to urban population

1901

--

83.57

19I1

+ 28.16

85.84

1921

+8.48

87.68

1931

+18.13

86.07

1941

+ 15.73

84.21

1951

+ 21.42

81.56

1961

+ 31.29

84.03

The rural population of the district increased by 202.97 per cent over that of 1901 and 117.93 per cent over that of 1921. The corresponding rates of increase in the rural population of Maharastra State are 75.53 per cent and 67.08 per cent.

The proportion of rural population to total population of the district increased from 83.57 per cent in 1901 to 87.68 per cent in 1921. it then gradually decreased to 81.56 per cent in 1951. The proportion witnessed an increase to 84.03 per cent in 1961. This increase is attributable to the redefinition of urban areas, and the consequent declassification of some towns to rural areas in the Census of 1961, which brought about an increase in the rural population by 35,473 persons.

The Census returns show that the rates of variation in rural population of Dhulia have always been higher than the corresponding rates for the State. The lowest rate of growth was recorded during the decade 1911-21, during which the rural population showed an increase of 8.48 per cent. only. Even this rate of growth compared favourably with the rate for the State as the rural population ol the State had actually suffered a loss of 6.77 per cent during that decade.

The pattern of rural population is revealed in the Frequency. distribution of villages on the basis of population. The table which follows, gives the number of villages with various groups of population.

TABLE No. 7

VARIATION IN RURAL POPULATION IN DHULIA DISTRICT DHULIA DISTRICT IN 1961.

 

Total Number of inhabited Villages

Villages with less than 2,000 population

Villages with population of 2.000-9,000

Villages population of 10,000 and above

less than 200

200-499

500-999

1.000-1.999

2.000-4,999

5.000-9.999

District Total

1,360

270

364

361

257

94

12

2

Akrani Mahal

150

85

52

11

2

--

--

--

Akkalkuwa

164

71

63

21

7

2

--

--

Taloda

86

25

28

23

10

2

--

--

Shahada

180

26

54

52

36

11

1

--

Shirpur

115

12

29

35

31

7

1

--

Sindkhed

142

13

29

46

34

18

1

1

Navapur

88

5

25

26

26

5

--

1

Sakri

155

12

25

59

35

20

4

--

Dhulia

155

11

20

40

50

20

4

--

Nandurbar

125

12

29

48

26

9

1

--

It is very interesting to note that a large number of villages, viz. 73.16 per cent of the total have a population of less than 1,000. These villages account for 36.57 per cent of the district rural population as against the average of 40.73 per cent of the rural population for the State. However, a large concentration of population is found in the villages with a population of 1.000 and more. Villages with a population of more than 2,000 which account For 7.94 per cent of the total number covered 32.46 per cent of the district rural population.

The 1961 Census returns show that the average population per inhabited village is 835 in the district. This average for the various talukas is as under. Akrani mahal (233). Akkalkuva taluka. (350). Taloda taluka (371). Sahada taluka (790), Nandurbar taluka (895). Sindkhed taluka (1104). Navapur taluka (1071), Sakri taluka (1196) and Dhulia taluka (1294). There are 28 villages per 100 square miles of rural area in the district. The forest areas have small hut closely located villages.

Marital Status.

The marital status of persons belonging to various age-groups is Marital Status, given in the table that follows.

TABLE No. 8

AGE AND MARITAL STATUS

 

Total Population

Marital Status

Persons

Males

Females

Never Married

Married

Widowed

Males

Females

Males

Females

Males

Females

All ages

1,351,236

686,942

624,294

371,072

2917803

297,414

306,000

15,731

61,994

0-9

440,261

223,180

217,081

223,180

217,081

--

--

--

--

10-14

153,380

82,101

71,279

80.073

58.486

1,998

12,650

16

72

15-19

112,138

56,660

55,478

44,234

12,701

12,229

41,755

85

372

20-24

115,279

54.040

61,239

15,927

2,029

37,275

57,410

386

818

25-29

110,555

54,539

56,016

4,163

611

49,100

53,209

702

1.448

30-34

91,658

47,126

44,532

1,317

263

44,536

41,229

801

2,468

35-39

79,043

41,503

37,540

648

141

39,575

33,235

983

3,644

40-44

63,188

32,595

30,593

400

119

30,633

24,491

1,299

5,618

45-49

56,808

30,244

26,564

316

83

28,075

16,603

1,676

7,639

50-54

41,107

21,378

19,729

198

90

19,149

10,956

1,903

8,522

55-59

29,533

15,967

13,566

150

23

13,941

6,078

1,795

7,380

60 64

25,682

12,365

13,317

99

21

10,173

3,577

2,016

9,666

65 69

13,774

6,663

7,111

37

16

5,168

1,468

1,420

5.600

70 +

18,505

8.3S3

10,122

138

27

5,556

1.329

2,649

8.742

Age not stated

325

198

127

192

112

6

10

--

5

continued..

 

Total Population

Marital Status

Persons

Males

Females

Divorced or separated

Unspecified status

Males

Females

Males

Females

All ages

1,351,236

686,942

624,294

2,627

4,402

98

96

0-9

440,261

223,180

217,081

--

--

--

--

10-14

153,380

82,101

71,279

5

61

9

10

15-19

112,138

56,660

55,478

106

635

6

15

20-24

115,279

54.040

61,239

444

967

8

15

25-29

110,555

54,539

56,016

561

741

13

7

30-34

91,658

47,126

44,532

452

560

20

12

35-39

79,043

41,503

37,540

288

504

9

16

40-44

63,188

32,595

30,593

258

360

5

5

45-49

56,808

30,244

26,564

167

235

10

4

50-54

41,107

21,378

19,729

120

110

8

1

55-59

29,533

15,967

13,566

77

83

4

2

60 64

25,682

12,365

13,317

74

50

3

3

65 69

13,774

6,663

7,111

37

26

1

1

70 +

18,505

8.3S3

10,122

38

20

2

--

Age not stated

325

198

127

--

--

--

--

The census returns show that the percentage of never married persons increased from 51.09 in 1951 to 54.03 in 1961 in the case of males, and from 43.11 to 43.93 for females. The decade witnessed a decrease in the proportion of widowed persons, both males and females. There has been some increase in the proportion of divorced or separated persons. Consequently there has been a decrease in the proportion of married males, while the proportion of married females has increased slightly.

The distribution of marital status by age-groups shows that there is an increase in marriageable age in the district. The proportion of married in the age-group 0-14 shows considerable reduction, both for males and females, over the last decade. The proportion of never married decreased with increase in age whereas the proportion of widowed increased with increasing age. The proportion of divorced or separated persons is the highest in age-group 15-34, both for males and females.

Migration.

The incidence of migration of population is an important aspect in the study of population of a district. The rate and extent of migration depends on economic and social factors, such as employment, education, occupational pattern, marriage, etc. In this context it is essential to study the proportions of population enumerated at the place of birth and other places. The findings of the 1961 census in this respect are given in the following table:

TABLE No. 9

PROPORTIONS OF POPULATION BY PLACES OF BIRTH IN DHULIA DISTRICT IN 1961.

 

Total Population

In place of enumeration

Elsewhere in the district

Outside district but in Maharashtra

Outside Maharashtra

Persons

13,51,236

8,11.669

3,83,132

1,11,064

45,213

Males

8,68,942

4,85,016

1,38.224

42,326

21,283

Females

6,64,294

3,26,653

2,44,908

68,738

23,930

Percentage to total population―

Persons

100

60.07

28.36

8.22

3.35

Males

100

70.62

20.12

6.16

3.10

Females

100

49.18

36.87

10.35

3.60

Thus, 60.07 per cent of the total population is enumerated at the place of birth, whereas 28.36 per cent persons have their place of birth elsewhere in the district. This shows the movement of the population within the district. As compared to the movement within the district, the movement of population from other districts of the State and from outside he State seems to be inconsequential. Only 8.22 per cent of the population is enumerated as having migrated from other districts of Maharastra and 3.35 per cent from outside Maharastra. Some of the probable causes of migration are explained by the distribution of males and females by place of birth. The percentage of females enumerated at place of birth is much less than that for males, whereas the percentage of females enumerated to have born elsewhere than the place of enumeration is much higher than that for males. This is mainly the result of marriage migration.

The proportion of migrants in this district is very large. Majority of the immigrants are from the adjoining areas of Jalganv. and Nasik districts and from Gujarat and Rajasthan States. Intermarriages have also contributed considerably to the high proportion of immigration.

Scheduled Castes.

The 1961 Census has returned ten Scheduled Castes in Dhulia District, viz; (1) Bhangi, (2) Cambhar, (3) Dhor. (4) Garoda. (5) Halsar. (6) Holar, (7) Mahar. (8) Mang, (9) Mang Garudi, and (10) Tirgar. Besides these, 14 castes are notified as Scheduled Castes for which no one was returned in the district in 1961. They are as follows: (1) Ager, (2) Baked (3) Calvadi (4) Cenna Dasar. (5) Halleer. (6) Holaya, (7) Lingader. (S) Mahyavansi. (9) Meghval, (10) Mukri, (11) Nadia. (12) Pasi, (13) Senva and (14) Turi. The following table gives the population details about the ten Scheduled Castes in the district enumerated in the 1961 Census.

TABLE No. 10

Name of Scheduled Caste

Population

Percentage to total population of the district

Percentage of each Scheduled Caste population in

Males

Females

Rural Areas

Urban Area

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

*All Scheduled Castes

24,230

23,824

3. 56

75.81

24.19

(1) Bhangi

752

666

0.10

30.99

66.01

(2) Chambhar

6,854

6,750

1.01

64.89

35.11

(3) Dhor

41

40

0.01

12. 35

87.65

(4) Garoda

3

2

N

100.00

--

(5) Halsar

3

7

N

100. 00

--

(6) Holar

273

287

0.04

69.46

30.54

(7) Mahar

13,617

13,373

2.00

86.41

13.59

(8) Mang

2,687

2,697

0.40

62.82

37.18

(9) Mang Garudi

(Included in Mang)

(10) Tirgar

--

2

N

100. 00

--

* Inclusive of persons from the Scheduled Castes who have not reported their individual caste. N=Negligible.

Mahars who are reported from Dhulia, Sindkhed, Sirpur, Sakri. Sahada and Navapur talukas form the largest number among the Scheduled Castes. The second largest group is of Cambhars who are reported from Dhulia. Sindkhed and Sakri talukas. Mangs are third and Bhangis form the fourth as regards population. Mangs are found mainly in Dhulia, Sindkhed and Sakri talukas. while Bhangis are returned from Dhulia, Akkalkuva and Sindkhed talukas. Bhangis and Dhors are concentrated in urban areas which may be attributed to the scavenging, sweeping and tanning of hides and skins with which they are associated traditionally. Scheduled Castes formed 5.76 per cent of the population in 1951 while the 1961. Census records their percentage at 3.56. This reduction is attributable to the conversion of a large number of Mahars to Neo-Buddhism. But for the change of religion, the total population of the Scheduled Castes would have made about 6 per cent of the population in 1961.

The 1961 census enumerates that 19.71 per cent of the people belonging to the Scheduled Castes arc literate, the district average being 21.46. '"Both males and females of the Scheduled Castes appear to have almost come up in education to the levels of the general population. They seem to be taking full advantage of the educational facilities and concessions available to them and the gap between them and the district average is considerably reduced now. Cambhars and Mahars appear to be more advanced in literacy. In fact their literacy rates for males are higher than the corresponding average rates for the general population in rural areas."'

Scheduled Tribes.

Dhulia accounts for the highest percentage of Scheduled Tribes population in the Stale. Scheduled Tribes accounting for 5,13,344 persons out of a total population of 13,51,236 form 37.99 per cent of the total. The talukas of Navapur, Akkalkuva and Akrani are predominantly tribal areas. There is a considerably large tribal population in Nandurbar, Taloda. Sakri, Sahada and Sirpur talukas as well. The principal Scheduled Tribes in the district are Bhils, Dhanka, Gamit, Kokna, Naikda and Pardhi. They are concentrated in the Satpuda ranges in the north and the areas flanked by the ranges of the Sahyadri in the south and south-west.

The following table gives the statistics of Scheduled Tribes in the district in 1961:―

TABLE No. 11

Name of Scheduled Tribe

Population

Percentage to total population of the district

Percentage of each Scheduled Tribe population in

Males

Females

Rural areas

Urban areas

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

*All Scheduled Tribes

258,749

254,595

37.99

96.91

3.09

(1) Barda

217

212

0.03

100.00

--

(2) Bhil

 151,591

148,508

22.21

96.65

3.35

*Inclusive of persons from the Scheduled Tribes who have not reported their individual tribes.

TABLE No. 11-contd.

Name of Scheduled Tribe

Population

Percentage to total population of the district

 Percentage of each Scheduled Tribe population in

Males

Females

Rural areas

Urban arras

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(3) Codhara

38

26

N

100. 00

--

(4) Dhanka

21,570

21,596

3.19

98.73

1.27

(5) Dhodia

229

209

0.03

71.46

28.54

(6) Dubla

390

397

0.06

27.95

72.05

(7) Gamit

51,369

50,238

7.52

96.93

3.07

(8) Gond

89

54

0.01

56.64

43.36

(9) Kathodi

388

389

0.06

100.00

--

(10) Kokna

25,688

25,521

3. 79

99.54

0.46

(11) Koli Dhor

314

312

0.05

38.66

61.34

(12) Naikda

4,496

4,757

0.68

95.04

4.96

(13) Pardhi

1,892

1,883

0.28

93.91

6.09

(14) Patelia

28

41

0.01

34.78

65.22

(15) Pomla

1

--

N

100.00

--

(16) Rathava

55

36

0.01

80.22

19.78

(17) Varli

8

2

N

50.00

50.00

(18) Vitolia

385

414

0.06

100.00

--

N=Negligible.

Of the 19 tribes declared as Scheduled Tribes in the district 18 were reported in the 1961 Census. The Bhils with a numerical superiority of 3,00,099 constitute the most important Scheduled Tribe in the district and are found all over the district. The Gamits form the second largest group with 1,01,607 souls, and are mainly reported from Navapur, Nandurbar, Akkalkuva, Sakri and Taloda talukas. The third largest group is that of the Koknas with 51,209 persons, and are found in the talukas of Sakri, Navapur, Nandurbar and Sirpur. The Dhankas comprising 43,166 souls are returned from Akkalkuva, Navapur, Nandurbar, Taloda and Sahada talukas.

An interesting aspect of the tribal population is that they are inhabitated mostly in the rural areas and in the vicinity of forests. They subsist on forest produce and allied work.

The Gamit, Dhanka, Naikda and Barda tribes are merely the sub-divisions of the Bhil tribe and have a cultural proximity with the Bhils.

Scheduled Tribes formed 37.30 per cent of the total population in 1951. In the area which comprised the present Dhulia district, the people belonging to Scheduled Tribes numbered 3,95,521 in 1951. The number rose to 5,13, 344 in 1961 or by 29.79 per cent during the decade. The percentage proportion of Scheduled Tribes population increased from 37.30 per cent in 1951 to 37.99 per cent In 1961.

Scheduled Tribes as a whole lag much behind in literacy compared to the general population and even to the Scheduled Castes. The Kokna tribe appears to be more advanced educationally. The percentage of literacy among Dhodia, Dhanka, Pardhi and Patelia is not insignificant. The proportion of female literates is however deplorably lower than that of males. The state of literacy presents a better picture among the tribals in the urban areas than their rural counterparts. The 1961 Census returns show that 44.56 per cent of the urban tribals are literate whereas only 21.46 per cent of those staving in rural areas are literate.

Population by Religion.

Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists are the prominent religious communities in the district. Table No. 12 gives the population by sub-divisions in 1872, while Table No. 13 gives the statistics of the principal religious communities, as per 1961 census.

TABLE No. 12

POPULATIONS BY SUB-DIVISIONS, DHULIA DISTRICT IN 1872

[Statistics taken from the Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency, Khandesh District, 1880. pp. 46-47.]

Sub-division

Hindus

Muslims

Christians

Others

Total

Taloda

34,877

401

--

--

35,278

Shahada

44,058

2,170

--

--

46,228

Shirpur

32,524

2,118

--

--

34,642

Nandurbar

42,480

2,805

--

--

45,285

Virdel

60,199

3,151

--

--

63.350

Pimpalner

58,527

1,410

3

185

60,125

Dhulia

61,607

5,213

92

17

66.929

TABLE No. 13

POPULATION BY RELIGION-DHULIA DISTRICT, 1961

 

Persons

Males

Females

Buddhists

Christians

Hindus

Males

Females

Males

Females

Males

Females

District―

Total

1,351,236

686,942

664,294

15,451

15,547

1,840

1,647

625,105

604,814

Rural

1,135,380

574,127

561,253

13,777

14,024

1,311

1,130

540,848

528,701

Urban

215,656

112,815

103,041

1,674

1,523

529

517

84,257

76,113

Akkalkuwa Taluka

57,357

29,270

28,087

20

10

16

15

27,777

26,734

Akrani Mahal

34,967

17,972

16.995

21

27

36

18

17,892

16,908

Taloda Taluka

63,720

31,888

31,832

600

643

194

186

29,956

30,019

Shahada Taluka

155,472

78,322

77,150

3,808

3,959

63

84

70,540

69,551

Nandurbar Taluka

152,927

77,401

75,526

1.682

1,639

453

458

69,210

67,347

Sakri Taluka

185,417

94,099

91,318

2,589

2,539

214

207

88,732

86,206

Dhulia Taluka

299,535

153.849

145,686

3,176

3,125

280

242

132,167

124,971

Shirpur Taluka

127,780

63,079

60,701

1,637

1,653

20

24

57,216

55,140

Sindkhed Taluka

172,333

87,305

85,028

1,834

1,919

24

30

80,870

77,902

Nawapur Taluka

105,728

53,757

51,971

84

33

540

383

51,545

50,036

continued..

 

Persons

Males

Females

Jains

Muslims

Others

Males

Females

Males

Females

Males

Females

District―

Total

1,351,236

686,942

664,294

5,524

5,021

38,894

37,146

128

119

Rural

1,135,380

574,127

561,253

2,819

2,616

15,329

14,752

43

30

Urban

215,656

112,815

103,041

2,705

2,405

23,565

22,394

85

89

Akkalkuwa Taluka

57,357

29,270

28,087

260

219

1,186

1,103

11

6

Akrani Mahal

34,967

17,972

16.995

--

--

23

42

--

--

Taloda Taluka

63,720

31,888

31,832

133

110

1,003

874

2

--

Shahada Taluka

155,472

78,322

77,150

417

354

3,493

3,202

1

--

Nandurbar Taluka

152,927

77,401

75,526

689

594

5,351

5,461

16

27

Sakri Taluka

185,417

94,099

91,318

196

188

2,368

2,178

--

--

Dhulia Taluka

299,535

153.849

145,686

2,495

2,306

15,655

14,966

76

76

Shirpur Taluka

127,780

63,079

60,701

584

541

3,606

3,335

16

8

Sindkhed Taluka

172,333

87,305

85,028

703

689

4,670

4,488

4

--

Nawapur Taluka

105,728

53,757

51,971

47

20

1,539

1,497

2

2

 

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