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expense for building or through contributing to any Govern- Lecturs ment project, he exacted a cess from the ryots: if he con- —— structed an embankment, the ryots had to contribute to pay for it; and he demanded a fee to defray his travelling expenses.1 Many of these exactions, although rigorously forbidden, are still levied with little resistance.2 Such exactions are probably of very ancient origin; and submission to them had become a habit in very early times, and one which it has been found impossible to uproot. For instance, the zemindars used also to collect the sayer duties, being the revenue derived from other sources than land: and these collections they accounted for separately from the mal or land-revenue.3 Amongst these sayer duties were rents or dues for roads, and for stalls at markets. When the sayer was abolished by the English Government, the zemindars were compensated for the loss of their profit on the road dues and stall rents as well as on the collections generally. But according to an inveterate habit in India, the abolished imposts reappeared as extra cesses. The zemindar, like the State in Mahomedan times, by thus imposing special taxes, avoided as much as possible the appearance of increasing the assessment, wisely preferring to attain his object in an indirect way, and one congenial to the habits of the people. Sir George Campbell complains, that although in Orissa the respective rights of the zemindar and the ryot have been carefully ascertained and recorded, yet these illegal cesses are still in full vigour. The zemindar does not attempt to raise the rent to a rack-rent, but
1 Rouse's Dissertations, 293, 294.
* Whinfield's Landlord and Tenant, 77. Harington's Analysis, Vol. II, 226 to 232.
* Land Tenure by a Civilian, 70, 112. Orissa, Vol. I, 53; Vol. II, 231 to 236.
Lkctruk revives the old taxes on stalls and transit, for the abolition
of which he has received compensation.1 And he gives
a list of twenty-seven illegal cesses still levied in the district of the Twenty-four Pergunnahs. The following remarks of his may usefully be quoted :2—" The agricultural cesses consist of various dues and charges levied from the ryots in addition to the regular rent and generally in proportion to the rent. The Permanent Settlement Regulations positively prohibited all such duties, strictly confining the zemindars to the customary rent proper, but in this as in other things these laws have been wholly set at defiance in modern times. The modern zemindar taxes his ryots for every extravagance or necessity that circumstances may suggest, as his predecessors taxed them in the past. He will tax them for the support of his agents of various kinds and degrees, for the payment of his income tax and his postal cess, for the purchase of an elephant for his own use, for the cost of the stationery of his establishment, for the cost of printing the forms of his rent receipts, for the payment of his lawyers. The milkman gives his milk, the oilman his oil, the weaver his clothes, the confectioner his sweetmeats, the fisherman his fish. The zemindar levies benevolences from his ryots for a festival, for a religious ceremony, for a birth, for a marriage; he exacts fees from them on all changes of their holdings, on the exchange of leases and agreements, and on all transfers and sales; he imposes a fine on them when he settles their petty disputes, and when the police or when the magistrate visit his estates; he levies blackmail on them when social scandals transpire; or when an offence or
1 Administration Report, for 1872-73; Introduction, p. 16.
ALLOWANCES TO THE ZEMINDAR. 128
an affray is committed. He establishes his private pound Lroturp. near his cutcherry, and realizes a fine for every head of —cattle that is caught trespassing on the ryot's crops. The abwabs, as these illegal cesses are called, pervade the whole zemindari system. In every zemindari there is a naib; under the naib there are gomastahs; under the gomastah there are piyadas or peons. The naib exacts a 'hisabana' or perquisite for adjusting accounts annually. The naibs and gomastahs take their share in the regular abwabs; they have their little abwabs of their own. The naib occasionally indulges in an ominous raid in the mofussil: one rupee is exacted from every ryot who has a rental, as he comes to proffor his respects. Collecting peons, when they are sent to summon ryots to the landholder's cutcherry, exact from them daily four or five annas as summons fees." The expenses incurred in keeping up establishments, Allowances t»
,..»., the zemindar.
cutcnemes, &c., for the realization ot the revenue, were allowed for in the accounts between the zemindar and the Government; and a sufficient amount of revenue was appropriated to the payment of such expenses: the balance, after deducting these expenses, with the nankar and other allowances under the head of muzkoorat, was the net revenue which the zemindar bound himself to pay to the State.1 The details of these deductions will be more conveniently dealt with when I come to describe the mode of settlement for the revenue. The emoluments and privileges enjoyed by the zemindars The zemindar's
, .,'««. iii emolument*
nave been shown to bo attached to the office, and to be official in their enjoyed by virtue of their "official connexion with the ruling power through a contract for the payment of the
1 Harington's Analysis, Vol. Ill, 321.
124 DISMISSAL OF THE ZEMINDAR.
Lkctdrk land revenue;"1 and they consequently lost such rights —- when they were dismissed. If the zemindar declined to agree to the terms proposed by the State, or to pay the amount of revenue required, the revenue was farmed out in theeka or ijarah, and the zemindar reverted to his former position; paying revenue like other cultivators for any land occupied by him in the zemindary district.2 Dismissal of jt has been questioned whether a zemindar could be
ousted. If my account of the origin and growth of his rights is well-founded, the zemindar would cherish a notion that he could not, under ordinary circumstances, be ousted; while the State, regarding him as an officer, would claim to dismiss him like any other officer, and would sometimes assert its right; and according to the course of events as already witnessed, the zemindar's claim would be likely to prevail in the end. And this is very much what we find actually taking place; the zemindar being theoretically liable to dismissal at pleasure, but practically scarcely ever dismissed. Thus Sir W. Boughton Rouse, a staunch advocate of the proprietary rights of the zemindars, says they could only be dispossessed on account of crime, failure to pay the stipulated revenue, rebellion, public robbery, or other flagrant misconduct.3 This however shows that the zemindar's position was not quite that of an English proprietor. Another authority says that in the Northern Circars the ancient zemindary families were in
1 Land Tenure by a^Civrilian, 72. Evidence of Mr. Fortescue before tbe Select Committee of the House of Commons, (1832), 2283 to 2285, 2288, 2289.
• Land Tenure by a Civilian, 60, 71, 86. Fifth Report, Vol. II, 176.
* Rouse's Dissertations, 78. IIariugtou's Analysis, Vol. III, 242.
DISMISSAL OF THE ZEMINDAR. 12o
practice scarcely ever removed except for rebellion.1 On Lkcturk
the other hand, Mr. Grant says that the sunnud, specifying
no term of office, was of indefinite duration, and could be revoked at pleasure.2 And other authorities assert that the zemindar could be dismissed, like any other officer,3 at the will of the Sovereign.4 And it is further alleged that the zemindars were sometimes ejected; but apparently mainly on the grounds specified by Sir W. Boughton Rouse, and which were usually stated in the new sunnud ;5 and that, even when the occupant was ejected, the permanent and hereditary character of the office was so much regarded in practice that one of the family of the ejected zemindar was usually allowed to succeed ;6 and that it was only when no fit person could be found in the ejected zemindar's family that a stranger was appointed; but that even then the new zemindar was considered bound to make a provision by malikana or otherwise for the family of the former occupant.7 Sometimes, moreover, the State took the zemindary into its own or khas management.8 It was however probably only in later times, when the zemindar's rights were at their highest pitch, that dismissal was so rare; for we know that, during the vigorous times of Mahomedan rule, the
* Evidence of Mr. Campbell before the Select Committee of the House of Commons, (1832), 2358.
* Fifth Report, Vol. I, 360.
* Evidence of Mr. Fortescue before the Select Committee of the House of Commons, (1832), 2288, 2289.
4 Land Tenure by a Civilian, 33, 72. Fifth Report, Vol. II, 572. 4 Land Tenure by a Civilian, 72. Harington's Analysis, Vol. III, 242, 355.
* Land Tenure by a Civilian, 72. Harington's Analysis, Vol. IIT, 320, 343, 355.
7 Harington's Analysis, Vol. IU, 243, 320.