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HEREDITARY CLAIM OF THE TALOOKDAR. 151
because their position was originally less purely official than Lkcture that of most of the other functionaries out of whom the — zemindar grew. This hereditary element seems in a vague way to have been recognized; for it is said that the succession to the talook differed from that to the zemindary in not requiring the confirmation of the State; although that confirmation was required in case of sale or exchange.1 The sunnud in the case of independent talooks was the same in form as the zemindar's sunnud.2 But the acceptance of a sunnud was probably less insisted upon by the State as a condition of recognition in the case of the independent talookdar, while the dependent talookdar would hardly require a sunnud from the State. Indeed the talookdar's position is said by one authority not to be that of an officer, but to be based upon an hereditary right of possession like the ryots.3 And some talookdars became little more than khoodkasht ryots in later times*
Talooks created as above described, and which were Another class
. . °*> modern ta
formed in the same way as zemmdaries, would generally lookdars. not be of greater extent than zemindaries. But there was a second class of talooks, which were generally larger. They are said to have been formed chiefly in the declining period of Mahomedan rule, and after Jaffier Khan had attempted to uproot the zemindars. These talookdars indeed appear to have arisen upon the temporary fall of the zemindars; and to have contracted for, and generally acted as zemindars of, the larger official zemindaries created by Jaffier Khan. They obtained acceptance by engaging
1 Patton's Asiatic Monarchies, 144; see Orissa, Vol. II, 225, 226. * Rouse's Dissertations, 25. Orissa, Vol. II, 230.
3 Patton's Asiatic Monarchies, 144.
4 Harington's Analysis, Vol. III, 249.
for a higher amount of revenue than the old zemindars would pay; and they were probably at first entirely dependent on the aumil at the head of the chucklah, and were shorn of the zemindar's powers; since it was Jaffier Khan's policy to separate those powers from the office of contractor for the revenue. However the old system gradually revived; and the old zemindars who were restored, as well as the new talookdars and zemindars, continued in the decline of the empire to build up their power; the zemindars resuming their former functions, with perhaps the exception of the military duties; and the talookdars, when powerful, becoming independent talookdars or zemindars, and when weak falling back into dependence upon the zemindar.
The growth of the second class of talookdars chiefly took place in the period which includes Jaffier Khan's government of Bengal. Thus in 1715, in the reign of Farokshir, thirty-eight villages were granted to the East India Company as a talook, subject to a fixed revenue, and the Company was required to purchase the rights of tho subordinate holders.1 But in the time of Mahommed Shah, the successor of Farokshir (1719 to 1748), the talookdars became still more powerful; and it is from this time that the Mogul empire decayed so rapidly.2
The position of the talookdars is generally described in much the same way as that of the zemindars. Sir W. Boughton Rouse says there is no distinction between the two in respect of permanent and hereditary proprietary right; but that with respect to the judicial functions conferred by the sunnud there may be a differTHE TALOOKDAR SHARED IN MALGOOZAR's PERQUISITES. 153
The talookdar's position.
1 Pattern's Asiatic Monarchies, 147. * Laud Tenure by a Civilian, 73.
ence; the talookdar being generally but not universally Lkcturk subordinate: but when the talookdar took a separate — sunnud, and had his name recorded as a separate proprietor, he paid his revenue direct to the treasury.1 And another authority describes a talook as a large estate, consisting of many villages, in which the State has by sunnud made over its rights, accompanied with an obligation to pay the revenue; for the collection of which the talookdar is allowed a certain percentage upon the amount of revenue, together with other privileges.2 In some cases they seem to have had nankar; to which they would by analogy be entitled in all cases in which they were zemindars in their talooks.3 In general they appear to have shared with the ancient malgoozars of whatever description the perquisites of the malgoozar; and this is sometimes said to be the distinguishing feature of the talookdar's position, that he shared with the ancient malgoozars or the zemindar the perquisites formerly enjoyed by the headman and others;* or that if he received in the first place the whole of those profits he had to pay a proportion as malikana to the ancient zemindars, in either case sharing the perquisites.5 This appears to refer to the malgoozars and zemindars whom the talookdars had displaced; but whose rights were still recognised by the payment of malikana or russoom-i-zemindaree.6 The result is that the characteristic feature of a talookdar's position is that
'Dissertations, 24, 25. Fifth Report, Vol. I, 162. Harington's Analysis, 248. Orissa, Vol. II, 225. 'Thompson's Selections, 17. Directions for Revenue Officers, 54, 55. 'Land Tenure by a Civilian, 61. 4 Directions for Revenue Officers, 50, 54, 55, 57. 1 Land Tenure by a Civilian, 42, 76. * Ib.
he either has a zemindar above him, and then gets only a share of the profits of collection; or if there is no zemindar, he yields a portion of those profits to a representative of the former zemindar.1 When neither of these restrictions is present, he is practically a zemindar; although he may still be called by the name of talookdar, after he has outgrown its limitations. It is certain that in some cases the talookdar enjoyed full zemindary rights, although in others he did not.
In any case his chief direct emolument was, like that of the modern zemindar, the surplus revenue, or a share thereof, after paying the sum engaged for, although he had also julkur and similar rights;2 and as the talookdars grew powerful and the Government grew weak, they contrived always to be very lightly assessed.3 So that one of the results of the re-distribution into larger districts, which was intended to destroy the old zemindars, was ultimately to create a more powerful class of talookdars. The talookdars are said to have cultivated only a very small portion of the talook themselves, sufficient to supply their establishments with food;* so that they derived no benefit from this source. Their main emoluments were the surplus revenue and the other perquisites which were independent of the cultivation of land by them.
The talookdar's claims did not override the subordinate rights to quite the same extent as in the case of the zemindar, the subordinate interests being still recognised. Thus in talook Moorsaun in zillah Allyghur the
1 Directions for Revenue Officers, 50, 54, 55, 57.
■ Land Tenure by a Civilian, 75.
• Ib., 68, 75.
TALOOKS CREATED BY ZEMINDARS. 155
talookdar was found to share his profits with certain Lkcturk village proprietors called zemindars and biswahdars who — seem to have been the representatives of the old headmen •} while in other villages the talookdars claimed the sole right and appropriated the whole of the profits,2 the talookdar's claims in the latter case having overborne those of the village headmen* Again the ryots were entitled, whether under a zemindar or a talookdar, to hold in the customary way.4 But this right also was liable to be overridden. In Lower Bengal the talookdars were less numerous in British times than in other parts, the country being chiefly in the hands of zemindars; but in the NorthWest Provinces the talookdary rights are said to have exhibited distinctive features down to a late period.5
There is another way in which talooks have grown up Taiooks creat
a * ed by zeinin
in modern times; namely, by the zemindar allotting por- dors-
As in the case of the zemindar I shall conclude my Discussion of
account of the talookdar by quoting some of the descrip- position.
1 Thomnson's Selections, 18.
'lb., 18, 19, 25, 26.
* Ib., 23.
1 Directions for Revenue Officers, 56, 57.
3 Robinson's Land Tenures, 13.
6 Land Tenure by a Civilian, 87.