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THE ZEMINDARS OF BENGAL AND BEHAR.
superseded; and their accounts, admitting the uncertainty of them, furnish detailed information of the rents which is not procurable in Bengal from the same sources.
"3. The preceding circumstances will sufficiently account for what is actually the case,—the very degraded state of the proprietors of the soil in Behar, comparatively with those in Bengal. The former unnoticed by Government, and left at the mercy of aumils, have in fact considered themselves as proprietors only of a tythe of their real estates; and assured of this when dispossessed, they have been less anxious to retain a management which exposed them to the chance of losing a part of what they received without it. The neglect of Government, with respect to their situation, is very apparent from the mokurrery grants of entire pergunnahs upon individuals, without any stipulations in favour of the zemindars and talookdars holding property within them.
“4. I know but three principal zemindars at present in Behar, the Rajahs of Tirhoot, Shahabad, and Sunnote Tekarry. Their jurisdiction comprehends much more than their actual property; and extends over numerous landholders possessing rights as fixed and indefeasible as their own. With respect to this class of proprietors, the superior zemindars are to be considered in the light of aumils only; and I think it probable that the origin of their jurisdiction arose, either from their influence with the supreme provincial authority, or from the facility of such a plan for managing and collecting the revenue. In this point of view it has its advantages; although it is attended with this
obvious evil, that it is the interest of the principal zemin· dars to throw additional burthens upon the inferior pro
THE ZEMINDARS OF BENGAL AND BEHAR..
prietors of the soil, with a view to save his own lands and augment their value.
“5. There is an apparent analogy between the talookdars in Bengal situated within the jurisdiction of a principal zemindar, and that of the proprietors of the soil of Behar in a similar predicament; but in their reciprocal rights I understand there exists a material difference. The muskoory talookdars of Bengal are dependent upon the zemindar, and have no right to be separated from him, except by special agreement, or in the case of oppression, or where their talook existed previous to the zemindary; neither do they possess the right of malikhana. I wish I could account for this important variation from authoritative information or records ; but wanting these, I can only conjecture the grounds of it, which may be the following: that the talookdars in Behar are the original proprietors of the soil, whereas in Bengal most of the muskoory talookdars have obtained their tenures by grant or purchase from the zemindars; if this were not the case, the talookdars in the principal zemindary jurisdictions in Bengal would, I think, be more numerous than they are.
“6. With respect to the malikhana in Behar I have in vain endeavoured to trace its origin. If the provincial council of Patna are correct in their information as to the antiquity of it, which is confirmed by Busteram, the darogah of the amanut dufter in Behar, I should suppose it to have arisen from the custom established in that province of dividing the produce between the cultivator and Government, in order to afford the proprietor of the soil a proportion of the produce, which, under such an usage strictly enforced, he could never receive without some authorized allowance in his favour; instances have lately occurred, and
THE ZEMINDARS OF BENGAL AND BEHAR.
are adverted to in the letters now before the Board for consideration, of zemindars who have obtained a separate grant for their malikhana, and have subsisted upon that without any interference in the management of their zemindary lands.” This extract, although not strictly confined to our present inquiry, seemed to me useful as confirming, though from a different point of view, several of the conclusions to which the discussion of the subject had led us.
THE TALOOKDAR AND OTHER OFFICERS: THE ASSESS-
The talookdar-One class sprung from the ancient rajahs-Hereditary claim
Another class of modern talookdars-The talookdar's position-The talookdar's emoluments-Subordinate interests- Talooks created by zemindarsDiscussion of the talookdar's position-The canoongue-His duties-His emoluments-Abolition and restoration of the office-The putwarry-His duties-His emoluments-Mode of assessment–The koot and the tookhem rezi—The doul bundobust-The hat-hackcut-Net revenue payable by the zemindar-Khas collection and farming-Accounts—The muzkoorat-Rent and revenue-Settlement with the ryots-Cesses—The condition of the ryots-Rates paid by the ryots-Amount of revenue-The assul-Abwabs-KhasnoveesyJaffier Khan's abwabs-Nuzzeranah mocurrery-Zer mathoot-Mathoot feelkhaneh-Foujdarry-Chout Mahratta-Ahuk - Nuzzeranah MunsoorgungeCossim Ali's abwabs-Serf sicca half anna—The tuckseem-Proportion of
produce taken as revenue. The origin of the talookdar is even more obscure than The talookdar. that of the zemindar. The word talook means a dependency. There seem to have been two classes of talooks arising at different periods. One class is said to One class
sprung from have arisen chiefly from the ancient rajahs who were the ancient
rajahs. allowed to retain their possessions, engaging to pay the “ revenue demanded by the State, but made subject to the control of the aumils in matters with which the State was concerned.' This class kept up troops for the service of the State, and received certain remissions of revenue for their support by way of jageer. It is obvious that this class of talookdar differed little if at all originally from
· Harington's Analysis, Vol. III, 247. Whinfield's Landlord and Tenant, 5.
• Orissa, Vol. II, 225. Land Tenure by a Civilian, 73.
the zemindar, and they grew to be zemindars in many cases. The main distinction between the zemindar and the talookdar was that the talookdar did not represent the State to the same extent. Originally subject to the aumil in common with the zemindar, he became, when the zemindars had absorbed the functions of the aumil, subject in many instances to the zemindar. In some cases he paid his revenue also through the zemindar, and became a dependent talookdar. This would seem from the name of the class to be the original position of a talookdar ;—one who, whether an ancient rajah or other personage, was permitted to remain in the management of a certain district on condition of paying revenue through the Government officers and subject to their control. The revenue would of course originally be paid to the ordinary officer; and when that officer grew to be a zemindar, the talookdar would sink into the position of a muzkooree instead of an huzooree malgoozar. On the other hand, the talookdar would tend himself to become a zemindar, and then would pay revenue direct to the State, and be a zemindar in his talook, or an independent talookdar. This view will, I think, explain most of the facts known to us, and it assimilates the development of the talookdar so closely to that of the zemindar that most of the remarks already made upon that subject will apply equally to the talookdars. It comes very much to this, that those who were left in the management of districts which they had formerly managed, and who did not become zemindars, were the real talookdars; while those who gained the position of zemindars were simply zemindars under the name of talookdars. And we should expect to find the here- . ditary claim rather stronger in these classes of talookdars,