Plague and Coronavirus Chinese exports:
history of disaster began over a century ago

Atulkrishna Biswas

Part -I

Plague havoc of over ten million Indians
History of blindness and apathy

“It (Hindu Plague Hospital, Poona) “was managed by a Committee of Brahmins, and was open to all Hindus, except those of lower caste.”  
Walter Charles Rand, ICS, assassinated Plague Commissioner, Poona quoted in The Plague in India, 1896, 1897, compiled by R. Nathan, ICS, Government of India, Home Department, Vol. I, 1898, Simla, Chapter VII, P. 207.

Ten million Indians died of plague in 24 years!

Bubonic plague, borne by rats in merchant ships, from Manchuria, China, struck Bombay in 1896 and first case was detected at Mandvi in September. In 22 years till 1917, plagued carried off 98,41,396 out of total population 31,51,56,396 returned in 1911 census. [1] The deaths represented 3.12% of the subcontinent’s population in little over two decades! Bombay Presidency, the Punjab and United Provinces (now U. P.)   together accounted for 73,22,345 of 98,41,396 recorded plague deaths. Three regions represented the severest suffering, by accounting for 74.4% of the subcontinent’s plague deaths---Punjab, 29%; and United Provinces, 23%; and the Bombay Presidency, 22%. In terms of population (basis 1911 census), Punjab lost 11.8%, Bombay Presidency, 8.33% and United Provinces 4.66%. [2] The black death---implying plague death--- invaded Poona from Bombay and then spread literally like wildfire to almost every nook and corner of India except few provinces. Plague deaths in the sub-continent by 1920 exceeded over one crore.[3] Actual deaths were still higher, a point many official reports stressed emphatically noting also that the tendency of suppressing plague deaths was very common across India.   

Two events---one, a grim tragedy and other, a humanitarian episode involving a good Samaritan during ravages of plague stand out prominently in the history of plague. The second escaped limelight which was hogged by the first.  

Poona Plague Commissioner’s assassination: History claims as patriotism!    

The Government of India enacted the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 “for the better prevention of the spread of Dangerous Epidemic Diseases” effective from   February 4, 1897. [4] A young and energetic ICS officer, Walter Charles Rand, who was appointed Assistant Collector, with charge of operations against plague, assumed charge on February 19, 1897. He found that “Poona had become a very dangerous plague centre.” For augmenting infrastructural facilities to meet the grave danger, community plague hospitals, on encouragement and/or advice of Plague Commissioner, by Hindus, Mohammadan & Parsis were established in Poona. [5] Bal Gangadhar Tilak with other Hindu leaders, claims one of his biographers, established the Hindu Plague Hospital for treatment at their own cost. [6]

Plague Commission’s action plan included campaign, military search, disinfection and segregation, conservancy, segregation camps, inspection of incomers and out-goers, inoculation, troop deployment, etc. [7] for combating the evolving menace. The British rulers had, we may recall, brought to bear their experience of 40 outbreaks of plague 1348 to 1665 London at a gap of 20-30 years on Indian plague administration. But sadly, within four months of joining as plague commissioner, assassins launched murderous attacks on Charles Rand on June 22, 1897. While his companion Lieutenant Ayerst died on the spot, Rand succumbed to his injuries 11 days later on July 3. Damodar Chaupekar and his two brothers Balkrishna, Vasudeo apart, Mahadev Vinayak Ranade were prosecuted, tried, sentenced to death and executed. An accomplice Khando Vishnu Sathe, who was a juvenile was sentenced to ten years rigorous imprisonment. [8]

Ordinance on Epidemic Diseases Act 2020

No Indian in his coolest thinking and sanest wisdom can declare that coronavirus invading India from Wuhan, China is more merciful than the measures put in place, with Ordinance on Epidemic Diseases Act 2020, for officially fighting the fast spreading spectra of all-pervading apprehension of catastrophe, defying the boundaries of nation states, deserts, seas and oceans, and mountains and continents. This was paradoxically the construction of approach of a class of people entertained over a century ago when plague, also from China [Manchuria] struck Bombay in 1896.

India Post, while releasing a commemorative postage stamp on 8th July 2018, “to honour the noted freedom fighter Damodar Hari Chapekar on his 120th death anniversary” recorded  reasons of Rand’s murder that the plague committee “resorted to oppressive measures such as entering private houses forcefully, evacuation to hospitals, destroying personal information and restricting movement from the city.” [9] One may wonder if these were really oppressive measures! 

A century down the line, a second spate of disaster, called coronavirus, exported also from China, has driven India up the wall throwing normal life of 1.37 billion Indians and her economy to total disarray. The countrymen in tens of millions have been prevented from moving out of home! Men with blinding orthodoxy and inflexible superstition were placed on high pedestal of national life as patriots.

According to one of India’s high priests of patriotism,

Plague is more merciful to us than its human prototypes now reigning in the city. The tyranny of the Plague Committee and its chosen instruments is yet   too brutal to allow respectable people to breathe at ease. [10]  

Plague more merciful than those who were fighting the dangerous epidemic to save the life of people? The orchestra of paeans for Tilak as a patriot deflect attention of India’s academicians, political leaders and masses to the more appalling ground realities. And the monster of plague continued there-after unabated in claiming its toll.
Paradoxically, ‘merciful plague’ received no adverse attention either in  academic discourses or political thinking. The men who propagated plague  as more merciful were hailed as nationalists. Murder of high officials on  plague duties was lauded as patriotic action and the murderer a martyr.    

The Government of India, amending the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 through an Ordinance, 22 April, 2020 has mandated that “no person shall indulge in any act of violence against a healthcare service personnel or cause any damage or loss to any property during an epidemic.” [ Sec. 5 2B] Any person tried for such an offence, the presumption of the Court will be “that such person has committed such offence, unless contrary is proved.”   Government has adopted policy of “…zero tolerance to any form of violence against healthcare service personnel and damage to property” [11] for boosting the morale of “the medical fraternity.” Historical knowldge of the murder of plague commissioner in 1897 at Poona might seems to have guided the authorities to adopt the present  measure indeed.

Malicious propaganda involving Poona plague administration acquired a shrill pitch, leading Gopal Krishna Gokhale, then in England, to tell an  interviewer  of The Manchester Guardian, July 2, 1897 that the British soldiers “ignorant of  the language and contemptuous of the customs, the sentiments and the religious susceptibilities of the people”, were ‘let loose’ upon the town; they had wantonly destroyed property, appropriated jewelries, burnt furniture, entered kitchens and places of worship, contaminated food, spat upon idols or broke them by throwing on the ground, and dragged women into the streets for inspection before removal to hospitals.” He assertion therein that “violation of two women, one of whom is said afterwards to have committed suicide rather than survive her shame [12] had inflamed public sentiment in England.

The Government conducted an enquiry into the allegations, which were found baseless. Lord Sandhurst, Governor of Bombay Presidency termed the allegations as “malevolent invention.” The House of Commons was informed accordingly and Gokhale, thereby, stood publicly exposed and disgraced. In his letter of August 1, 1897 to the Governor, Bombay Presidency, Gokhale tendered “unqualified apology to all, to His Excellency the Governor, to the Members of the Plague Committee, and to the soldiers engaged in Plague operations.” [13] Gokhale  thereby offered opportunity for Tilak to mock at him by saying that “they will not find in me a kutcha reed as they did in Prof. Gokhale.” [14] Subscribing to the views, compliment was paid to dwelling of a section that “if an Englishman’s house is his castle, a Brahman’s house is his temple.” Entry of a young Tommy in on in with his shoes on his room reserved for his worship or for eating was “a sacrilege. [15]

Dimension of curse of plague

The Punjab and United Provinces became the epicentre of plague devastation though far away from the ground zero.   

 Assam, notably, acquitted itself with a solitary plague death in 1914  though the whole country was battered unmercifully. Between 1896  and 1917,  human lives lost in Madras Presidency were 1,46,422; Bihar & Orissa, 8,02,517;   Central Provinces & Berar, 3,55,970; North-Western Frontier Provinces, 3,085; State of Mysore, 2,09,712; State of Hyderabad, 2,37,991; Rajputana-Ajmer & Merwara, 2,88,362; Central India Agency, 1,31,865; and Baluchistan, 129. [16]

The native State of Jammu and Kashmir reported 278 plague deaths in 1914 whereas Coorg reported 10 deaths in the same year. Though between 1900  and 1920, Bihar suffered 9,91,637 (rounded to one million) plague deaths. [17] The authorities informed that “Chota Nagpur and Orissa have been almost immune from the scourge.” [18] Female plague mortality in Punjab was  abnormally excessive. [19]

Number of deaths from plague in India during the first six months totalled 604,634---noted one report, regions being (1) United Provinces with 281,317; (2) Punjab, 171,084; (3) Bengal, 58,515; whereas (4) Bombay Presidency, 28,109.[20]

Since the first week of April 1897 plague began to die down and by May it disappeared from Poona. [21] The perpetrators of murders at Poona could not decipher the significance of the improvement. This implied that before Rand completed even two months (from February 19 to April first week) as Plague  Commissioner, the virulent disease had “disappeared from Poona.” Disappearance   of plague did not deter his assassins who were on a mission.      
An enigma!

East Bengal (now Bangladesh) Plague free!

That the nature was magnanimous to Bengal so far plague catastrophe was concerned. This enigma found predictable expression of plague administration as also medical fraternity thus: “epidemics of plague have been conspicuous by their absence in nearly all parts of Bengal…” though Calcutta witnessed considerable mortality. Notwithstanding constant influx of labourers coming from infected areas to seek employment in the fields, or on the railways, or in the mills and factories, “immunity of Bengal is remarkable.” [22]

The Editor of the Indian Medical Gazette recorded an account of the neatness and tidiness of the houses of Eastern  Bengalis as compared with those of the inhabitants of other parts of India, and “while these habits of tidiness help to keep away the rats, the construction of the houses does even more.” The country-tiled roofs, which are so infested with rat’s up-country, are not seen in Eastern Bengal. In fact, the rat is a domestic animal in the thick mud-walled houses necessary to protect against heat and cold in Upper India, while in Eastern Bengal he finds but few places to live in and, in fact, is not a domestic animal." [23] This implies that rat was a domestic animal elsewhere.

Be it noted, Eastern Bengal (now Bangladesh), by the way, enjoyed definite advantage in “geographical distribution of leprosy. The lower delta, included in Central and East Bengal, which has a humid climate and a soil composed mainly of recent alluvium, is most immune.” [24]

Misinformation campaigns
Bigotted rumourmongering were at the root of murder of plague commissioner with its widespread ramifications in the subcontinent.  A few illustrations may drive home the point to appreciate the vicious environment that pervaded Poona city. The Tommies on plague duty, one for instance, during house search operations, it was alleged, indulged in “mild pleasantry” by “lifting a flower from the idol and throwing it at a trembling Brahman maiden.” [25] Such rumour was potential powdered keg to trigger popular indignation against the search parties. To cite an aggravated one from Sudharak, a journal owned by Gopal Krishna Gokhale: -  

Fie upon you! Your mothers, your sisters, your wives are outraged and still you are calm! Even the animals would not be so tolerant and passive. Are you so impotent! The most unbearable thing that is shattering the innermost recesses of the heart is not the oppression of the soldiers so much, as your cowardice and your impotence.  [26]

Insinuating further Sudharak wrote:
Till now they were committing thefts, but now they are laying hands on your women! In spite of this your blood is not boiling? What a shame! It must be admitted that we will not find cowards like Indians in any part of the world Are you weeping like old ladies? Can’t you teach law to these brutes? [27]

The Poona Vaibhav, Modavritta, Pratod, and Dnyan Prakash, besides Sudharak too joined the cacophony to provoke anti-plague sentiments in Poona, inviting attention of the colonial masters. [28] Strange harmony of sorts in their tone and tenor.
Tilak seems to be the pioneer in anti-Rand campaign. He smeared  reputation of Rand in editorial, in Mahratta, 25 April 1897, under caption, “An Appeal to Lord Sandhurst” appointment as Plague Commissioner as “an unfortunate choice.” Prof. Parimala V. Rao’s painstaking research has focused on the background which led    Tilak to revile the young ICS officer, who was Khoti Settlement officer in Satara district.  In 1894, Rand ordered nationalists to stop playing music in certain part of Wai in Ganesh procession. He had convicted eleven Brahmins, who had disobeyed   the prohibitory orders. From his thoughts of education to anti-plague campaings in  

Poona he was obsessed with a particular caste which perhaps gagged even any public discussion and critique of Tilak’s utterances and writings relating to plague   created a hostile environment in Poona against the administration. Others too contributed to worsening the situation. Nowhere else in India, it is correct to say, did plague administration become eyesore to local people who were second to none of Poona in patriotic conviction and nationalist feelings.    

Rand was known to be a thoroughly firm and determined official who doggedly  adhered to his orders irrespective of public opinion. [29] Tilak took pride in being firm and determined but criticized firmness in administrators. Why did he want Rand to be a kutcha reed for which he ridiculed Gokhale? Did he want to dominate or  interfere in the Poona city’s plague operations. The chances or possibility thus ruled out, reaction of Tilak and others was anticipated. "………a section of  the Brahman  community including some of the most influential men of the city,” who were  disinclined “to support any measures that emanated from an official source, and  were more likely than not to work against any operations that might be set on foot by the Government to deal with the emergency."[30]

To substantiate the aforesaid observation, the authorities recorded that “Malicious rumours were set afloat and disloyal and inflammatory articles appeared in the local vernacular press.” The excitement that thus was engineered “culminated in the dual murder of Mr. Rand and Lieutenant Ayerst just at the time that the former of these officers had succeeded in subduing the epidemic.” [31]

In administrative culture, precedence plays dominant role in determining approach, policy formulation and initiatives more often than not to guide any course of action with firmness of conviction. London suffered, I have indicated before, some 40 outbreaks of bubonic plagues, with a gap of 20-30 years, in 317 years between 1348–1665. The Great Plague of 1665 carried off 20%, i. e., 100,000 of Londoners. Evan Andrews observed that “at its peak in September 1665, some 8,000 people were dying each week. The wealthy—including King Charles II—fled to the countryside, leaving the poor as the plague’s main victims. “Never did so many husbands and wives die together,” a reverend named Thomas Vincent wrote, “never did so many parents carry their children with them to the grave.” [32] Centuries of historical experience and knowledge of plague administration back home brought to bear on administration policy and practices in handling plague in India.      

The plague report on Poona house searches merits attention. The attitude of the Poona city towards the search parties was, wrote Rand, “on the whole, friendly, though people who had sick in their houses usually tried to conceal them. The Brahmin community was the only one whose behaviour towards the troops was generally unfriendly. In the Brahmin quarters the troops met with good deal of obstruction, which, however, stopped short of forcible resistance.” [33]

Composition of search parties is important. Each search party was accompanied by a native gentleman. The ladies who accompanied the search parties were, with the exception of three mission ladies who volunteered their services, paid employees of the Committee. [34] 

According to the Plague Commissioner, Muhammadan hospital was of immense value owing to the confidence it has enjoyed with practically the whole of the Muhammadan community. “The majority of the patients admitted belonged to the poorer classes of Muhammadans.” So far, however, “a large proportion of the patients were brought in by their relations of their own accord." [35]  This helped in confidence building in patients as against exasperating the Hindu patients when they were taken to hospital by search parties in the teeth of opposition of leaders. 

Did plague hold mirror to the Indian leaders and intelligentsia
Many grievances were aired alleging wanton destruction of properties. The plague administration had focused on this issue specifically. Official claim was that the medical officers were supplied with cash advances for the purpose of enabling them to pay compensation to affected persons  on the spot for articles destroyed. Fumigation parties were forbidden to destroy any property whatever. Limewashing   parties were instructed to burn all rubbish found in the houses which they lime-washed, but were forbidden to destroy property of any value to the inmates except   under the orders of a medical officer. In order to guard against any undue  destruction of property as rubbish, officers commanding limewashing divisions were ordered to visit, as far as possible, all houses which were limewashed for deciding    what was to be destroyed, and when property of any value to the owners was destroyed, to note   the approximate cost of replacing what was destroyed, in order   that compensation could afterwards be paid.

 “In practice nothing is destroyed except in the presence of a medical or  military officer, and when property of any value is reported by an officer to   have    been destroyed, compensation is paid if the owner is a poor man.” [36]

To some, Tilak was “Father of Indian Freedom Struggle.”  Did any of those whose  near and dear ones plague had snatched away find consolation in his vituperation against plague operations?  Nobody from their high pulpit uttered a word of condolence, expressed grief or extended sympathy for the families of the victims  numbering in millions plague carried off. It is an enigma that the antagonists of plague operations and the murderers of the Plague Commissioner in Poona were accorded the centrestage of history of freedom movement. That ensured complete erasure of plague and its indelible ramifications from pages of history and memory  of people.

Tilak’s thunder “freedom is my birth right and I shall have it” is cheered as a clarion call to Indians for fighting from independence.

Moving a resolution in the annual conference of The Indian National Congress held Amraoti in December, 1897, Surendra Nath Banerjea, referred to imprisonment of Tilak and compered laconically the consequences of his incarceration with “A nation in tears.” [37] The leaders, though strange, had no drop of tears for the people on whose support and attachment they survived as leaders. Indian intelligentsia do  not seem embarrassed about their insensitivity to the tragic plight of plague victims. On the contrary, the leaders’ deliberate ploy to prevent censure their odd roles in   this behalf by posterity does not receive attention of the academic world for a dispassionate critique.   

In 1921, India had 6,85,665 villages, with 6,51,98,389 occupied houses and total   population 31,89,43,480 over 18,05,332 square mile in area. [38] This implied that at least one out of 32 Indians died of plague by 1920. Simply, every village sacrificed    on average 14.5 (15 rounded up) persons. Per square mile of the subcontinent had   suffered plague death of 5.5 (rounded up) 6 persons! 

In his speech in the Imperial Legislative Council on the Budget 1908, Gopal Krishna Gokhale had observed that
"these ravages have meant not only a frightful loss of life, with vast mental anxiety and suffering, but also heavy losses of resources to the poorer classes, whose daily life, wherever the plague rages, is disorganized from 4 to 6 months every year.” [39]

The economic consequences would be staggering but sadly, we would never know the social cost.

A focus on plague mortality

Charles Rand’s report specifically noted that Hindu Plague Hospital at Poona was open to Brahmin and other upper caste Hindus but out of bounds for lower castes. He also recorded that “of 157 patients” admitted in the Hospital, “98 were Brahmins and 59 belonged to other castes." [40] The Brahmin plague patients were 62.42%. This pertains to the first year of operations of the Hindu hospital.

Plague was blind to caste, class, social status, and aristocracy or pedigree as reflected from an official report in Punjab.  Maynard, Ambala Deputy Commissioner, submitted a status report to the government in Lahore on plague mortality.  “Brahmans generally died,” wrote he, “like flies when plague got among them. …both Brahmans and Banias suffered severely because they spend so much time, nearly naked and shoeless, exposing the large surface of unprotected body.” [41] 

The Chief Medical Officer of Punjab Government, on the other hand, recorded: “…fatality among Muhammadans was very nearly the same among Chamars and sweepers, all being meat-eating classes. The classes that suffered most from plague—as judged by the fatality of attacks—were high caste Hindus,--- Brahmins, Rajputs and Khatris---being included in the term, among whom the percentage of fatalities of attacks of plague was 72.27 per cent.” [42] By allaying uncertainty or ambiguity, the Punjab CMO took pains to explain that Muhammadans suffered lot less than all Hindus taken together. Mortality of the Muhammadans was 66.33 per cent as against the Chamars, 64.11 per cent. [43] Officially stated and acknowledged that the Chamars, boasted of the lowest rate of mortality in the ill-fated province. The survivors of plague among Chamars were (approximately) 36%, Muslims, 34%, as against Brahmins, Rajputs and Khatris, whose survivality averaged 28%. 

Census of 1901 returned 11,38,023 Brahmin in Punjab; 12,25,267 Chamar; 4,70,081 Khatri, and 18,18,331Rajput. [44] Sense of bureaucratic humour of the British in hours of tragedy may appear galling. Incidentally they took headcounts of Indians suffering from four diseases---insanity, deaf and mutism, blindness and leprosy by caste and religion. The findings brought out delicious social life of Indians, little focused in academic discourses.

Barisal village could embarrass cultural highbrow

Good Samaritans in plague ravaged East Bengal [now Bangladesh] villages!

Sporadic outbreak of plague in Calcutta came to notice in August 1898. [45] It travelled to Calcutta with rats borne by merchants ships from Bombay. The outbreak sparked off exodus of the panicked people to far off native places. Perhaps the first case of plague in rural East Bengal occurred in ill-fated Siddhakati which figured in debates of Bengal Legislative Council in December 1898. Enquiries conducted into the outbreak established that “the infection was imported from Calcutta by Girija Prasanna Roy, who, with members of his family and a servant left Calcutta on the 30th August and reached Siddhakati on 31st August. The Council’s proceedings disclosed that “a small but virulent outbreak of plague occurred” in village Siddhakati and adjoining Ahoynil under Nalchiti thana in September (1898) and that in all 11 persons  were attacked by the disease,  and all of whom died between the 4th and 23rd September.” [46]

A zamindar of Siddhakati, Girija Prasanna Roy was a pleader of Calcutta High Court. The accursed villages thus became the theatre where a unique humanitarian episode unfolded, beyond imagination of the murderers of plague commissioner in Poona. Two high officials---District Magistrate, Beatson-Bell and Commissioner, Dacca [Dhaka] Division, H. Savage---warmed the heart of the villagers by an episode unfolded, beyond imagination of the murderers of plague commissioner in Poona. Two high officials---District Magistrate, Beatson-Bell and Commissioner, Dacca [Dhaka] Division, H. Savage---warmed the heart of the villagers by their unconventional gesture. Surendranath Banerjea described their role as “self-denying.” [47]

The Government also clarified that the residents themselves arranged to burn down their huts in which cases occurred and also spontaneously established a system of isolating the families of patients. Reportedly, they were greatly alarmed at the outbreak of plague, [48] but they acted in a very reasonable spirit, cooperating with the district authorities in their effort to check the disease in an emergency totally unknown to them. [49]

In the Legislative Council, Bengal Government admitted that “Mr. Beatson-Bell, the [District] Magistrate showed the greatest courage, promptitude, and judgment in dealing with the outbreak. It is true that he and also the Commissioner, Mr. Savage, assisted in removing and cremating the bodies of the dead, when their relations had deserted them through fear or were unable to dispose of them unaided.” [50]

A Member of the Council, Banerjea wanted the government to recognize publicly the glowing services of these two dutiful--- but above all, conscientious---officers rendered towards the villagers. Fortunately, no bogey that Hindu culture, religion, and time-honoured rituals sanctified by scriptures in danger was raised in East Bengal for what the two British officers did in line of their duties for the villagers in an hour of grave emergency. The rituals for Hindu son regarding cremation were performed by British officer in accordance with scriptures! Could Poona believe, much less approve of it?

1. Dr. Robert Bruce Low, Progress & Diffusion of Plague, Cholera and Yellow Fever throughout the World, 1914-1917, Ministry of Health, His Majesty’s Stationery Office, London, 1920, p. 8.
2. Ibid.
3.The Statesman’s Year Book, 1923, Macmillan and Limited, London, 1923, p. 136.
4. The Plague in India, 1896, 1897, Vol. II, Appendix VI, Government of India, Home Department, Simla, 1898, p. 303. 
5. Ibid., p. 307.
6. Lokmanya Tilak by Dhananjay Keer, Popular Prakashan, Bombay, 1969, p. 120.
7. Ibid., pp. 301 & 303.
9. Mintage World Online Museum & Collectorspedia, “Martyr Damodar Hari Chapekar Honoured on Postage Stamp” 22 Sep 2018.
10. Dhananjay Keer, Lokmanya Tilak, Father of Indian Freedom Struggle, Popular Prakashan, Bombay, September 1959, p. 120.
11. Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare22-April-2020 22:14 IST, Promulgation of an Ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 in the light of the pandemic situation of COVID-19.
12. B. R. Nanda, B. R. Nanda, Gokhale, The Indian Moderates & The Raj, Delhi, Oxford University Press, London, 1977, p. 110.
13. Ibid., p. 167.
14. N. G. Jog, Lokmanya Tilak, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, p. 62.
15. B. R. Nanda, Gokhale, Oxford University Press, London, 1977, p.104.
16. Reports on Public Health and Medical Subjects. No. 3. Progress & Diffusion of Plague, Cholera and Yellow Fever throughout the World, 1914-1917 by Dr. Robert Bruce Low, Ministry of Health, His Majesty’s Stationery Office, London, 1920, pp. 17-18, 27-28, 29-33, 37, 41, 58, 60, 61, 62-63, 65-66, 67-68, 69-71, 72.
17. A. K. Biswas, Understanding Bihar, Blumoon Books, New Delhi, 1998, p. 20.
18. Census of India, 1911, Volume V, Part I, Report, para. 168, p. 72.
19. Census of India, 1911, Vol. XIV, Part I Report Punjab, p. 229.
20. Thomas Wright Jackson, M. D., Plague, Press of J. B. Lippincott Company, 1916, p. 24.
21. Dhananjay Keer, Lokmanya Tilak, Father of the Indian freedom struggle, 1959, Popular Prakashan, Bombay, September 1959, 118.
22. Census of India, 1911, Vol. V, Bengal, Bihar & Orissa and Sikkim, Part I Report by L. S. S. O’Malley, ICS, p. 73.
23. Ibid., pp. 73-74.
24. Census of India, 1911, Vol. V, Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Sikkim, by L. S. S. O’Malley, ICS, Report I Part, p. 422.
25. B. R. Nanda, Gokhale, The Indian Moderates & The Raj, Delhi, Oxford University Press, London, 1977, p.104.
26. T. R. Deogirikar, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 4th edition, 1992, pp. 67-68.
27. Ibid.
28. Dhananjay Keer, Lokmany Tilak, Popular Publication, Bombay, first published in 1959, p. 132.
29. Keer, Lokmany Tilak, op. cit., pp. 118-119.
30. Report on Poona by late Mr. W, C, Rand, Appendix VI, p. 306.
31. The Plague in India, 1896,1897, Vol. II, Government of India, Home Department, Simla, 1898, pp. 201-202.
32. History of Plague in Europe and England, by Evan Andrews.
33. Report on Poona by the late W. C. Rand, Vol. II, compiled by R. Nathan, ICS, p. 314.
34. Ibid., p. 312.
35. Ibid, p. 207.
36. The Plague in India, 1896, 1897, p. 213.
37. Lokmanya Tilak, by Dhananjay Keer, Popular Prakashan, Bombay, p. 149.
38. Census of India, 1921, Vol. I, India, Part II-Tables, by J. T. Marten, ICS, Calcutta, 1923, pp. 2-3.
39. Speeches of the Honourable G. K. Gokhale, Non-official Member of the Viceroy’s Legislative Council, G. A. Natesan & Co., Madras, (year not printed), p. 218f.
40. Walter Charles Rand, Report on Poona quoted by R. Nathan, ICS, The Plague in India, 1896, 1897, Vol. II, App. VI, Simla, 1898, p. 334.
41. Report on Plague in the Punjab from October 1, 1901 to September 30, 1902 being the fifth season of plague in the Province, Lahore, 1904, p. 30.
42. Ibid., p. 14.
43. Ibid., pp. 14-15.
44. Census of India, 1901, Vol. I-A, India, Part II Table by H. H. Risley, ICS, Calcutta, 1903, pp. 319-343. 
45. Bengal Under The Lieutenant Governors of Bengal, Vol. 2, by Charles Edward Buckland, ICS, S. K. Lahiri & Co., Calcutta, 1901, p. 988.
46. Bengal Legislative Debates, 1898, pp. 340..
47. Ibid., p. 340..
48. Ibid.,
49. Ibid., p. 341.
50. Bengal Legislative Debates, 1898, pp. .340-341.

Prof. A K Biswas, a former Vice-Chancellor, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University, Muzaffarpur, Bihar, is a social anthropologist and analyst of Indian socio-cultural issues. 

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May 31, 2020

Prof. A K Biswas

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