Excerpt from The Economic Life of a Bengal District: A Study
I feel that some apology is necessary for the production of a book of economic statistics at such a time as this. The origin of the work is to be found in an opportunity which offered itself many years ago. The statistics were collected between the years 1906 and 1910, but took much time and labour to tabulate. The author was then full of zeal and enthusiasm but when the tabulation had been finished his energy had slackened and he was no longer in close touch with the locality to which the statistics refer. For these reasons the statistics remained buried treasure waiting to be revealed. The war has brought matters to a crisis. The author is about to go to the front; as there is neither collaborator nor substitute in official life in India, no other can undertake the revelation. Hence it has become necessary to crowd into a leave of five short days the introduction of these statistics to the world, or to risk their entire loss. I could not hope in so short a time to do justice to the figures, still less to make their dry bones live, but I was loath to let them perish utterly. They were collected with very great labour by many hands with much devotion; it is but fair that such labour should not be altogether fruitless. Further, I believe them to be unique, as no similar enquiries have ever been made in India or elsewhere over so large a tract of country and.
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