Per the census of 1901, there were roughly 12,000 Ahmadi’s in all of British-India (see Griswold, 1912), out of the roughly 12,000 Ahmadi’s, 1,113 were Ahmadi’s in the Punjab, the United Provinces reported 931 Ahmadi’s and the Bombay presidency reported 10,000 Ahmadi’s (Griswold thought this number was exaggerated). Why would there be more Ahmadi’s in the Bombay area then in the Punjab? Thus, this number is inaccurate (see Walter, Chapter VI). The same numbers were discussed in 1903 in the English Review of Religions. (See page 83, February 1903 edition and see the January 1903 edition for extended notes on the census of 1901). It should be noted that its unclear how #Ahmadiyya was written on this form and thus, unknowing Muslims might have accidentally identified as #Ahmadis.
Interestingly, “The Punjab Census Report”, Part I, (Census of India, 1901, Volume XVII, Chapter III, paragraph 39, page 143, MGA is described as a Maulvi and as working with the sweepers (chooray) of Qadian (See English Review of Religions, February 1903). However, they seem to have confused MGA with his cousin, Imam ud Din, who was the leader of a hindu religion (the chooray, the sweepers) at Qadian.
Review of Religions–English
the January 1903 edition and page 83 of February 1903 edition
Al Hakam February 28th, 1903 pages 12 and 13 (pages 93 and 94 in the year 1903 pdf on AAIL link, archive.org link). The article is title “Census in Punjab and dangerous error about the Ahmadiyya sect” (In Urdu:”Murdam Shumaari Punjab aur firqa Ahmadiyya ke mutaaliq khaternaak ghalti”).
The first 1.5 columns (of total 4 columns) are about a possible discrepancy in the number of Ahmadis reported in Punjab. The census reported 113, but the author insists there are several hundred more.
[while ending some reasons why Ahmadis might have been undercounted in Punjab] It is possible that we could be blamed for this error when we say that we started advertising about it when the initial work of the census began. But we stand exonerated when we see that the respective department committed another dangerous and grave error due to common laziness. And this proves that even the department is solely responsible for the initial mistake as well.
And that error is mentioning in this [census report] that the founder of this sect Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani started preaching the Chuhra community [Scheduled caste: see Wikipedia entry] as a Maulvi. Even though every child in Punjab knows that His excellency Mirza Ghulam Ahmed sahab Qadiani AS never built any relation with them.
Officers of the census department got this mistake from Gurdaspur Gazzeteer 1891-1892, page 61 where this error was previously committed. And we remember clearly that when his honor Lieutenant Governor of Punjab was written to for this correction he advised the Deputy Commissioner sahab of Gurdaspur for correcting it. We are at a loss how this error was committed again.
This error should be corrected immediately. Hence, His Holiness Mirza Ghulam Ahmed sahab Promised Messiah AS has taken notice and informed His Honor Lieutenant Governor of Punjab of this error. We present said letter in it’s present condition as below and expect that the government of His Honor Sir Charles Rivaz shall correct this mistake soon to make the approximately 200,000 members of Ahmadiyya sect grateful about whose leader this error was committed. This is the letter:
Part 1, Chapter 3, page 143, sentence 39 of the census report of Punjab states about me that my first task as a Molvi was preaching to the Chuhra community.
This statement is entirely contrary to reality and baseless. And this damages my respect and reputation immensely.
The person who claimed to preach to the Chuhra community was a totally different person named Imam ud Deen. His principles are totally different from Islam. Me and all true Muslims look at those principles with hatred. This person has been my harshest opponent for thirty years. It is totally unjust to associate my teachings with this person that I am sick of**.**
Chuhras are considered a criminal community in this country. Creating my relation with such a community, which is entirely baseless, is to associate an insult to me. Chuhras are considered a humiliated community. The type of statement included in the census report damages my reputation immensely. It hurts the sentiments of thousands of loyal and respected subjects of the government who consider me their spiritual guide and religious leader.
My principles and teachings from the beginning have contained such sophisticated manners and attainment of such high spiritual stations that, leave Chuhras, even those Muslims can not and have not accepted them who are in a humiliated state and their mannerisms are lowly. Rather such intelligent and honorable humans accept them who have spent extremely pure/clean lives. My followers include a lot of noble feudals, respected government officers, businessmen, religious scholars and highly educated Muslims.
Same type of a statement about me was presented in Gurdaspur Gazzeteer. But when the government was informed about this mistake then the government’s home department through letter number 93 dated 16 March 1901 (right when the census had ended) answered that this sentence shall be excluded on revision and has directed Deputy Commissioner of Gurdaspur for it.
This statement has now been included in a book that is considered authentic in the world. My respect and reputation will be damaged if this is not denied immediately.
The same statement has been published in the Civil Military Gazette Lahore on the basis of the census report. If it is not denied, it will damage me by getting published in all other newspapers like this. In this way my relation with a humiliated community shall be displayed to the world erroneously.
I am from a family of nobles that the government has respected forever for their loyalty and valuable services. This false statement against me spoils the reputation and respect of the entire family.
Clearly no one can object to a correction in matters of fact. If Mirza Ghulam Ahmed sahab never preacched to the Chuhra community, he has the right to clarify that and get it corrected in records. But why is preaching God’s word to the Chuhras such an insult that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed sahab considers it not just a damage to his own respect and reputation but also that of his extended family?
What honor is there in having more rich and conventionally educated (read: privileged) followers that is damaged by preaching to an extremely persecuted community?
Griswold tells us that the 1911 census shows 18,695 Ahmadi’s in the Punjab only, he doesn’t give the number for UP or Bombay residency. This is totally in-line with the British government official records. The English-ROR of April 1911 discusses the census of 1911 and Ahmadi’s complain of not getting properly noted as Ahmadi’s in the census.
Per the census of 1901, there were roughly 12,000 Ahmadi’s in all of British-India (see Griswold, 1912), out of the roughly 12,000 Ahmadi’s, 1,113 were Ahmadi’s in the Punjab, the United Provinces reported 931 Ahmadi’s and the Bombay presidency reported 10,000 Ahmadi’s (Griswold thought this number was exaggerated). Why would there be more Ahmadi’s in the Bombay area then in the Punjab? Thus, this number is inaccurate (see Walter, Chapter VI).
The ROR Of April-1915 gives explanations as to why MGA made a separate sect in 1901 for the census.
Links and Related Essay’s
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