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PREFACE.

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This book tries to present, within a small compass, an
account of India and her people. The materials on
which it is based are condensed from my larger works.
In 1869, the Government of India directed me to execute
a Statistical Survey of its dominions,-a vast enterprise,
whose records will make one hundred printed volumes,
of which more than ninety have already been issued.
The scale of the operations, although by no means
too elaborate for the administrative purposes for which
they were designed, necessarily placed their results
beyond the reach of the general public. The hundred
volumes of The Statistical Survey were, therefore,
reduced to a more compendious form as the nine
volumes of The Imperial Gazetteer of India. But the
edition of that work was almost entirely exhausted
within a few months of its issue, and the publishers
inform me that it will shortiy be out of print:

The present book distils into one volume the essence
of The Imperial Gazetteer and certain of my previous
works. It consists in the mairi of my article India in
the Gazetteer; but of that article carefully revised, re-
modelled into chapters, and brought more nearly up to
date. The Imperial Gazetteer was necessarily based
upon the Indian Census of 1871; in the following
pages I have incorporated the general results, so far
as they are yet available, of the Census of 1881. In
this and in other respects I have endeavoured to reach
a higher standard of convenience in arrangement, and

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of completeness in detail, than it was in my power
to attain to, at the time when I compiled, chiefly from
my previous works, the article INDIA for The Imperial
Gazetteer.

I have elsewhere explained the mechanism by which
the materials for the Statistical Survey were collected
in each of the 240 Districts, or territorial units, of British
India.' Without the help of a multitude of fellow-
workers, the present volume could never have been
written. It represents the fruit of a long process of con-
tinuous condensation. But in again acknowledging my
indebtedness to brethren of my Service in India, I wish
to specially commemorate the obligations which I also
owe to a friend at home. Mr. J. S. Cotton, late Fellow
of Queen's College, Oxford, has rendered important ser-
vice at every stage of the work; and the later sections
of the present volume, dealing with the administrative
and industrial aspects of India, are to a large extent
the work of his hands.

Continuous condensation, although convenient to the reader, has its perils for the author.

Many Indian
topics are still open questions, with regard to which
divergences of opinion may fairly exist. In some cases
I have been compelled by brevity to state my conclu-
sions without setting forth: the evidence on which they
rest, and without any atteinpt to combat alternative
views. In others: 1. Haso had to content myself with
.

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conveying: correct.general impression, while omitting
the modifying itetais For:I here endeavour to present
an account, which shall be at once original and com-
plete, of a continent inhabited by many more races and

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1 See Preface to Volume I. of The Imperial Gazetteer of India. I regret to observe that, in regard to the Madras Presidency, I alluded only to the local accounts prepared by the District officers, without specifically mentioning the assistance which I derived from Mr. M‘Iver, of the Madras Civil Service. I gladly avail myself of this earliest opportunity to thank him for the aid which he rendered by the compilation of many of the Madras articles for The Imperial Gazetteer.-W. W. H.

nations than Europe, in every stage of human development, from the polyandric tribes and hunting hamlets of the hill jungles, to the most complex commercial communities in the world. When I have had to expose old fables, or to substitute truth for long accepted errors, I clearly show my grounds for doing SO. Thus, in setting aside the legend of Mahmúd the Idol-Breaker, I trace back the growth of the myth through the Persian Historians, to the contemporary narrative of Al Biruni (970–1029 A.D.). The calumnies against Jagannath are corrected by the testimony of three centuries, from 1580, when Abul Fazl wrote, down to the police reports of 1870. Macaulay's somewhat fanciful story of Plassey has been told afresh in the words of Clive's own despatch.

But almost every period of Indian history forms an arena of controversy. Thus, in the early Sanskrit era, each date is the result of an intricate process of induction; the chapter on the Scythic inroads has been pieced together from the unfinished researches of the Archæological Survey and from local investigations; the growth of Hinduism, as the religious and social nexus of the Indian races, is here for the first time written.

In attempting to reconstruct Indian history from its original sources in the fewest possible pages, I beg oriental scholars to believe that, although their individual views are not always set forth, they have been respectfully considered. I also pray the English reader to remember that, if he desires a more detailed treatment of the subjects of this volume, he may find it in my larger works.

W. W. H.

Weimar, October 1881.

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