During the ancient and medieval periods of Indian history, Jainism was a widely- spread religion all over the country, perhaps mainly due to royal patronage and/or protection. In modern times however, the number of its adherents has been reduced to minuscule proportions counting as low as about 1.2 million in 1921. Subsequently, the Jain population increased to about 1.6 million in 1951 census, and to about 4.5 million in 2011. Though small in number, today the Jains are to be found in all the states and union territories of India. This major trading community is highly concentrated in the western half of the country, particularly Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
This anthology consisting of ten chapters written by distinguished experts on the subject, delineates the major demographic trends in the Jain population dynamics of India as they unfolded from census to census, from 1881 to 2011. Inter alia the book also highlights the socio- demographic problems and prospects of the Jain community in terms of urbanization, inter-state migration, low fertility rate, skewed gender ratios and their impact on marriage, highest literacy and yet the low work participation rate among the Jain women, etc. The book also includes a chapter on the population of Jains who live abroad, and another on under-enumeration of Jain population in Delhi in 2011 census.
The book would be a useful compendium for the experts as well as lay persons on the subject of Jain population and demography as it consolidates the available knowledge, census data and its analysis at one place.
Prakash C. Jain is currently Project Director of Population and Sociological Studies at International School for Jain Studies, New Delhi. Prior to this, he was a Senior Fellow of ICSSR (2013-15) and UGC-Emeritus Fellow (2015-17) at the Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University GNU), New Delhi. Until his superannuation, Professor Jain served the JNU as Professor of West Asian Studies. He is the author of Racial Discrimination against Overseas Indians: A Class Analysis (1990), Indians in South Africa: political Economy of Race Relations (1999), Population and Society in West Asia (2001), Non- Resident Indian Entrepreneurs in the United Arab Emirates (2010) and Jains in India and Abroad: A Sociological Introduction (2011). He has also edited/co-edited books on Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indian Diaspora, and the Jain community that include Indian Diaspora in West Asia: A Reader (2007), Indian Trade Diaspora in the Arabian Peninsula (2013), Social Consciousness in Jainism (2014) and South Asian Migration to Gulf Countries (2016).
The idea of this book came to me some time in the year 2006, when I was working on an article on Jain population and demography based on 2001 census data. Although the book did not materialize then, the article was incorporated as a chapter in my book Jains in India and Abroad (2011). During the same year, I also began to nurse the idea of co-editing this book with Professor Vilas A. Sangave, the well-known sociologist and author of Jain Community: A Social Survey which opens with a chapter on Jain population. Though focused on 1931 census, this chapter also takes into accounts the dynamics of the Jain population through the next four censuses. With great reluctance and apprehensions, I drafted a letter requesting Professor Sangave for acting as senior co-editor and give copyright permission for using the chapter in the proposed book. Unfortunately, just around the time I could muster courage to post the letter, I came across the news of his sad demise on 1 March 2011.
The manuscript remained in hibernation for a few years. Then I waited for 2011 census data to come out which happened during 2016. Following the 2011 census data on jains, a serious debate ensued in 2017 at International School for Jain Studies, New Delhi, regarding the low growth rate of jain population, and indeed the under-enumeration of Jain population. The last chapter in the book is the final outcome of that debate which first led to getting conducted two Jain population surveys in Delhi.
The book was also delayed due to the difficult availability of late Dr M.K. Jain's article on 1971 census data analysis on jains (Chapter 4), which was published in 1975 in a short-lived ethnic magazine Tirthankar - published and edited from Indore by Dr Nemichandra Jyotishacharya, a noted Jain scholar. This small English-language monthly magazine on Jainology survived perhaps only a few issues and was nowhere to be found in major north Indian Jain or other libraries. So much so that at one stage I thought of dropping the article from this book, but then the article was too important to do that.
Finally, our search ended at the doors of editor-publisher's son Shri Vishwas Jain at Indore where a few copies of the magazine were literally locked inside a room - may be due to family dispute and/or court injunction. In this context, I am grateful to Advocate Dr Sudha jain, a one-time colleague at ISJS, whose persistent efforts over a period of about four months in getting a copy of the article eventually paid off. Needless to say, I am more than grateful to Shri Vishwas Jain for this favour. Delay at several stages in finalizing the manuscript turned out to me the proverbial blessings in disguise. Without this delay, the inclusion of Chapter 10 in this book would not have been possible as the two Delhi survey reports on which this chapter is based were not completed until January 2018. I am thankful to Dr. Shugan C. Jain, Founder-Chairman of ISJS for not only co-authoring Chapter 10 with me, but also allowing me to use the ISJS as a platform for carrying out a number of studies on Jain population and community. His moral support has been a source of inspiration for me. At ISJS, I am also thankful to Mr. Sushil jana and Mr. Shivam Saxena for getting the manuscript typed and ready for publication.
My special thanks to Dr Sulekh C. Jain, Professor Yashwant K. Malaiya and Shri Dheeraj Jain for contributing their respective articles and for their suggestions and help in putting together this volume. Thanks are also due to Shri Pranit Rawat for readily accepting the manuscript for publication and his editorial team for making the book more readable. Finally, I would like to thank my wife Dr. Renu Saxena, and our daughters Dr. Rashi Prakash and Ms. Sanskriti Prakash for their love and support which made my academic pursuits a lot less arduous.
**Contents and Sample Pages**