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village officers had to be paid ; that is the deduction had to be made for muzkoorat, including nankar, and amounting theoretically to one-tenth. These deductions, as already pointed out, were to meet the whole cost of collection.' Mr. Shore gives two different opinions: his earlier opinion is that Government took one-third, but his later opinion puts the Government share at from one-half to three-fifths. Mr. Elphinstone says one-third is a moderate assessment, and that the full share is one-half.* Mr. Grant says the proportion taken was one-fourth, which he considers moderate. It is said that in the havillies, that is the lands under direct Government management, the State share was two-fifths of the gross produce of paddy (or nunjah) lands, which was taken in kind; and out of this share payments were made to village servants, charitable and religious purposes and public works: that a lower rate was charged on dry grain (punjah) and taken in money, but varying with the produce; and that a fixed money rent was taken on lands yielding the best kind of produce and on garden lands, and this rate was lower than that for the punjah lands. In the Madras Presidency, except Malabar and Canara, the Government share is stated to have been from two-fifths to three-fifths of the gross produce of paddy land, this assessment being paid in kind after certain deductions made before the grain was threshed. The assessment for dry grain in the same districts was paid
in cash at a fixed rate or varying with the produce.' In the Northern Circars the ryot is stated to have retained only one-sixth, or at most one-fifth, under Mahomedan rule: but in Canara half, and in Malabar two-thirds. In Dindigul, after deducting 67 per cent. for the village officers, the gross produce was divided equally between the cultivator and the State 5
It is evident that no general statement as to the proportion taken by the State can be hazarded; the rate varying from the moderate assessments of Hindoo times to the extreme Mahomedan claim of from one-half to three-fifths. In Behar many villages were assessed at half or even ninesixteenths of the gross produce, paid in kind on the buttai principle. On the whole, we come to the conclusion that the proportion taken by the Mahomedans was in later times very much greater than the original Hindoo rate, and that it everywhere tended to increase, and in some parts it increased until the cultivators were left with the barest possible subsistence, which the greed of rulers and zemindars was still eager to diminish. Under such circumstances the value of the ryot's holding was scarcely appreciable, and the only valuable right in the land was the right to receive the revenue; a right of which the zemindar, as the result of the struggle between himself and the State, retained the main benefit.
· Fifth Report, Vol. II, 571, 699.
THE PAYMENT OF REVENUE: ASSIGNMENTS OF
Payment of revenue-Payment originally in kind—Mode of ascertaining share to
be paid-Payment in kind fell into disuse-Remedies for non-payment-
claim to the soil—The cultivator's claim to the soil.
was paid and the means of enforcing payment. This,
account of the Mahomedan period.
money payment for a payment in kind was not universally
share of the State into money: and, when a contract for revenue was made with him, it was made in money. This was, as we have seen, estimated upon an assul or original rate, primarily intended to apply to the cultivators direct, which had been determined in the modes I have before described, modes which come under the general description of nussuk or valuation.3 The ryots, as I have said, long continued to pay in Mode of ascer
taining share kind. And they continued also, as in Behar in modern to be paid. times, to pay on the buttai system, rendering half the gross produce in kind. There were several modes in which the division was made, whatever the shares might be in which the produce was divided. In the method called agore or lang buttai, the crops were divided when on the threshing-floor; while in that called khet buttai, a portion of the field was measured off, and its produce allotted as the Government share. Again, when a valuation or estimate of the growing crop was made it was called kunkoot or danabundi. Sometimes this valuation was made by cutting a portion when ripe, threshing and weighing it, and forming an estimate thereupon. These were all ancient methods which have continued to be practised.* But the equal division of the actual crop between zemindar and ryot was at one time more common than at present. The practice still prevails in the zemin
Harington's Analysis, Vol. III, 323. ? Fifth Report, Vol. I, 20.
Ayeen Akbery, Vol. I, 381 ; Vol. II, 9.
Payment in kind fell into disuse.
dar's khamar lands, that is, lands originally waste and brought into cultivation under his auspices.
The method of payment in kind was early considered oppressive to the ryots, as well as prejudicial to Government. It fell gradually into disuse; and it is no doubt
common in Bengal for the ryot to pay in money, although the other method still survives.3
When the payment was in kind, the Government retained a lien upon the crop, and the cultivator was not allowed to cut or remove it until the Government claim was satisfied. When a money payment was contracted for, the remedy for non-payment was imprisonment ; or, as we have seen in the case of the zemindar, forfeiture or sale. The remedy by sale appears not to have prevailed in some parts of the country; and to have been sparingly practised in all parts. One reason was that land, at least the ryot's interest in it, was scarcely saleable, having hardly any appreciable value. But sale for arrears of revenue is stated to have been in use to some extent in Orissa and all over Bengal; and it is suggested that this practice may have given rise to the power of alienation. The method practised was that the holder of the interest to be sold purported to sell voluntarily in order to enable him to pay
Remedies for non-payment.
1 Fifth Report, Vol. I, 140, 164. Harington's Analysis, Vol. II, 65; Vol. III, 422. Whinfield's Landlord and Tenant, 73.
· Fifth Report, Vol. II, 25.
3 Ib., Vol. I, 140. Harington's Analysis, Vol. III, 422. Land Tenure by a Civilian, 79. The Great Rent Case, B. L. R., Supp. Vol., 254.
· Thomason's Selections, 128, 184.
5 Orissa, Vol. II, 237. Evidence of Mr. Alexander before the Select Committee of the House of Commons (1832), 1533.
Harington's Analysis, Vol. III, 306.