Keeping Tabs on India

How do you count an estimated 1 billion people by hand? And more importantly, when there are some 7,000 recognized castes and 300 million deities being worshiped throughout the country, how do you know exactly who those people are? Muslim or Hindu? Eunuch or transsexual? Maharaja or beggar? Check the appropriate box on your form, please.

Welcome to Census India 2001. Late this month computers will spew out the first figures expected to confirm that India is well on its way to overtaking China as the world's most populous nation. Even before the numbers are in, everything about...

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