Reality Check India

The India social cartogram project maps

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on November 1, 2006

Here are the cartograms. See this post for details about how these maps were generated and where the data used for these maps came from. All these cartograms can be used under the creative commons license. You can use it however you want to, just acknowledge the source. The raw data is available here (scroll to the bottom to see it)





Note: The south has become very large, West Bengal and Assam are almost absent due to the low number of OBCs. (WB has only 6% and Assam has 18%, TN has 65%, Kerala 52%)

Note: West Bengal (63%), Maharashtra (50%) Assam (56%) have large number of forward (or open competition) castes. Tamilnadu has shrunk a lot due to the low number of forward castes (10.66%)

Note: See how the northeast is larger due to the large number of scheduled tribes. Lakshadweep is larger too because 94% of population is ST.


24 Responses

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  1. Anoop Saha said, on November 1, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    Excellent. Great job. Since you have worked extremely hard for it, I will not point out that you have clubbed my home state Chhattisgarh with erstwhile MP.

    One particular data that I am always interested in is finding out the share of muslim OBCs who have benefitted after implementation of Mandal commission. What is the share of muslim OBCs who have got government jobs?

  2. realitycheck said, on November 1, 2006 at 1:40 pm

    I pointed out in this post

    Anoop, the main problem is that NSSO data is not available for Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, or Uttaranchal. Another minor problem is that the GIS file I used did not contains shapes for those three states. This can be fixed later, if I pay money to buy a newer GIS map.

    So, I clubbed Uttranchal with UP, Chattisgarh with MP, Jharkhand with Bihar.  Do you think this is not valid ?

    We dont know much about Muslim OBCs, largely because we know very little about OBCs themselves ! One place you might want to look at is Keralas Narendran Commissions report.  See here for links

    We may have to wait to check the Sachar committees report on Muslims in general. Again, that will be confusing because it may not separate muslim OBCs vs other Muslims (SC, FC).

  3. Apollo said, on November 1, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    This is really cool. it helps visualisation better than looking at columns and rows of figures on a excel sheet like u said 🙂

  4. […] Reality check has come up with social cartogram maps of India. For those frustrated with lack of easy to understand data, for example on the issue of reservations , it is a virtual goldmine. Wonderful effort! […]

  5. Shripriya said, on November 1, 2006 at 3:08 pm

    Do you have data from 20 years ago to show how this has changed, if at all?

  6. realitycheck said, on November 1, 2006 at 6:36 pm

    >> Do you have data from 20 years ago to show how this has changed, if at all? >>

    Unfortunately no. Getting this was hard enough 🙂

    Ideally before framing far reaching policies, we should have trend data in place in addition to point data. We dont have either.

  7. Anoop Saha said, on November 1, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks. My fault for not following up on the links mentioned in your post. I read it later.

    Sachar committee indeed has segregation of muslim and non-muslim OBC. The muslim OBC question came to my mind because J&K was so small in OBC population, despite at least 30% muslims being in OBC categories. Realized it later that data was not available for J&K.

    Anyways, carry on the good work. I will use your research to make my point sometime.

  8. Polite Indian said, on November 1, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    Reality Check,

    Great job. Will be a useful reference for future.

  9. Sane Dude said, on November 1, 2006 at 8:49 pm

    Where is the original source for data? Especially, I want to see the source for OBC data.

  10. realitycheck said, on November 2, 2006 at 2:55 am

    Sane Dude,

    See this post for links to the source of data

    The source of OBC data is NSSO. You have to register on their site and download the document mentioned.

  11. Prasanna said, on November 2, 2006 at 4:18 am

    Awesome Work RC

  12. ujaval said, on November 2, 2006 at 5:24 am

    I can understand how hard it must have been to get the data for these cartograms. That itself makes this a commendable achievement.

  13. Barbarindian said, on November 2, 2006 at 8:56 pm


    Amazing work. Has there been any media interest in this? I can’t see why newspapers will not be interested in this. This is explosive stuff.

  14. Shripriya said, on November 4, 2006 at 3:33 am

    Yeah, that’s why I asked. If we see a certain segment changing (growing or being removed/cleansed from a state) that could be very interesting. Thanks for this – at least now we have one data point for the future. Great work.

  15. xyz said, on November 7, 2006 at 5:43 pm


    1) in the cartogram on obc population,the relative sizes of obcs population is meaured(by your admission).you have given the percentage of obc population to the total in some states in the note appended to the picture.but this masks differences between TN and UP.Both states have large obc populations.(UP is the most populous state).but in TN,the percentage of ‘obcs’ is much larger than in UP.(65% to 40%).

    2) there is a substantial difference between ‘obcs’ in UP,Bihar,rajasthan,MP who are sharply demarcated from ‘savarnas'(atleast in the last 1000 years,the jats being the exception) and the obcs like gounders,thevars in TN who are peasant proprietors and who have always had access to political power and social have pointed this out several times.

    3) ‘leakage’ is far more widespread in TN,where even vellalas,naidus and chettiars are enjoying the benefits of reservation,by passing off as backwards and getting obc have pointed this out as there is an escape valve for vellalas,naidus etc wherein they claim to be backward castes, which are subcastes of a larger grouping or they claim to be castes which have similar sounding names to which they have no relation.This is possible in the permissive atmosphere of TN,where the aim is to finish off one community.

    4) it is particularly sad ,when otherwise ‘good’ and ‘talented’ persons acqueise in this travesty of truth and justice,motivated by tamil nationalism.

    5)when thugs like vp singh give a chance,karu,ramadoss are not far behind.

    6) facts are vital,but the social structure and motivation are equally important

  16. xyz said, on November 7, 2006 at 5:46 pm


    2)obcs WERE sharply demarcated ..

  17. xyz said, on November 7, 2006 at 5:47 pm


    2)obcs in north india WERE sharply demarcated ..

  18. realitycheck said, on November 7, 2006 at 5:59 pm


    1) in the cartogram on obc population,the relative sizes of obcs population is meaured(by your admission).you have given the percentage of obc population to the total in some states

    If you want to see the raw data click on the data sheet here

    I hear what you are trying to say. What you are interested in is not raw OBC percentages, but rather OBC sizes relative to the population share of each state.

    In other words, TN for example has 6% of Indias population but 12% of Indias OBCs. UP has 17% of Indias population, but 19% of Indias OBC. So, the ratio is much higher for a state like TN than for UP.

    This is an important statistic – but it cannot be mapped very well on a cartogram. I have invented a term for this called “SC Factor/ ST Factor/ OBC Factor/ FC Factor” for each state. If any “factor” is 1.0 the state is on par with the national average, if the factor is

  19. realitycheck said, on November 7, 2006 at 6:15 pm


    6) facts are vital,but the social structure and motivation are equally important

    Yes, but we cant gauge emotional things like social structure. Is my grandfather who cut 10 kgs of onions per day socially below someone elses who milked 10 cows an hour ? Or is it socially higher ? Can we decide ? If not who gets to decide ?

    Politicians these days are unwilling victims of their own devices. The only motivation is to win the next election.

    I firmly believe facts are the truth, and the truth shall set us all free. Benefits will reach the intended and the interests of people will start widening again.

    Getting these facts are not easy though. I have been trying to get access to the 1931 census data for a while now.

  20. xyz said, on November 24, 2006 at 1:24 pm


    your post (18)is not complete.can you post it again? saw your reply only today

  21. […] The first thing I scanned in the report was whether there was any fresh data on exactly how many OBCs there are ? The ultimate anomaly that will hit the country in the next few months is the TN and Bengal scenario. Almost the entire population of Tamilnadu is classified as backward. According to the latest NSSO survey  (61st round), it seems that only 3.9 to 5% of Tamilnadu are outside the quota umbrella, and 73% of Tamilnadu is OBC. Compare this with West Bengal, where only 6-8% are OBC !! […]

  22. […] Here’s a cartogram of India based on state-wide population data: […]

  23. Sapr333 said, on September 21, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Superb..Extra superb….

    RC,(RealityCheck) you did a great job.. First time Im hearing about Cartogram…I havent heard about it in the middle of 4 year engg degree..
    Hats offf..

  24. […] States with low numbers of “first class” citizens will lose out to states with high numbers of “first class” citizens. Since, we have placed the classification itself above rational study, there is no incentive for not pushing to increase the “first class” population. This will naturally result in pushback from established “first class” citizens. Result : Jealousy, Rage, Bandhs, Hatred, Votebanks. […]

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