[CSH Seminar] Numbers as Political Allies : The Census in Jammu and Kashmir (V. Kumar)

[CSH Seminar] Numbers as Political Allies : The Census in Jammu and Kashmir (V. Kumar)

Event Details

The Centre de Sciences Humaines is pleased to invite you to the CSH Seminar



(Azim Premji University)


Numbers as Political Allies :

The Census in Jammu and Kashmir

Followed by discussion with Chakraverti MAHAJAN (Delhi University)


Monday, 15 January 2024, from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm IST

Centre de Sciences Humaines
IFI-CSH conference room (ground floor)
2 Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road, New Delhi – 110011

To register:
Please fill the Registration form


Numbers as Political Allies analyses censuses of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) as public goods, collective self-portraits and symbols of modernity and enriches the debates on the political economy of statistics. Using field interviews, archival resources and secondary data, the book tracks how censuses relate to their administrative, legal and political-economic contexts and captures their entire life cycle: from the political and administrative manoeuvring at the preparatory stage to the partisan use of data in policymaking and public debates. The book argues that J&K’s data deficit is shaped by, and shapes, ethno-regional, communal and scalar contests across different levels of governance, but the deteriorating quality of metadata limits our ability to evaluate the quality of census data. Further, comparing the experience of J&K with that of other states in India’s ethno-geographic periphery, the book argues against resorting to legalistic and technocratic solutions to address the issue of data deficit and suggests possible measures to enhance public trust in the census.


Vikas Kumar is an Associate Professor of Economics at Azim Premji University (Bengaluru). His research explores the interfaces between politics and statistics, economics and religion, Kauṭilya’s Arthasastra, and other pre-modern texts. He curated the exhibition Baba Saheb: An Extraordinary Philatelic Journey (1966−2022) at the India International Centre (2022) and Counting and Controlling Population: Postal Services, Census & Family Planning in Post-colonial India, 1951 – 2011 at Bangalore International Centre (2023). His recent publications include Numbers as Political Allies: The Census in Jammu and Kashmir (Cambridge University Press, 2023), Waiting for a Christmas Gift: Essays on Politics, Elections and Media in Nagaland (Heritage Publishing House, 2023) and Numbers in India’s Periphery: The Political Economy of Government Statistics (Cambridge University Press, 2020, co-authored).

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CSH Seminars are in hybrid mode. We request you to pre-register before Monday, 15 January, 2:00 p.m. IST for both offline and online registration.

To attend at venue: Please note that the room capacity is limited. Seats will be reserved on a first come first basis. Kindly carry an ID proof to be granted access to the venue.

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