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war rents; rents not farmed to the potails of villages, but which were collected by the potails in the name and for the use of Government, in their natural and constitutional character, as the agents or superintendents of the villages to which they belonged, agreeably to the ancient practice of the Hindoos; and as your Committee may add, according to the institutions of their native rulers ; for, according to those institutions as they have been explained in a foregoing part of this Report, the potail, in the character abovementioned, and also the curnum or village accountant, has, from the earliest times, been in the possession of a rent-free portion of land, and in the enjoyment of regular and established perquisites attached to their offices.” I shall dwell upon the growth of the zemindars, which is referred to in the above
passage when I come to deal with the Mahomedan period. Headman long The headmen retained their position under Hindoo recoguised.
rule; but the Mahomedans ejected many of them, giving them however an allowance. Even under British rule the settlements were made and revenue collected through the headman as we have seen; this was also done in the Havellies, and substantially the same course was followed
in the jageer.3 The patwarry. There are two other officers whose functions are importand canoongoe.
ant, both in connexion with the village and the general administration of the revenue,—the putwarry, or village registrar and accountant, and the canoongoe or pergunnah registrar; but, as these offices were not superseded during the Mahomedan rule to the same extent as the headman's,
· Fifth Report, Vol. II, 113, 114.
I shall give some account of them in describing the Maho- LECTURE medan land system. Again there were the rudiments of
The zemindar. the zemindar in the Hindoo system ;' but this too will be more conveniently dealt with in the Mahomedan system. It remains to notice the machinery for revenue collection above the headman. The officer to whom the headmen paid the revenue, when they paid it direct, was the fiscal head of the pergunnah or bisi, a division consisting of a number of villages (gaong or gram = mouzah). He was called a Chowdhry, Bissoi, Khand-adipati or Desmookh ; The chowdhry. and, with the assistance of a military force of khandaits or pykes under a military commander, preserved the peace and collected the revenue of the pergunnah and transmitted it to the treasury. He retained ten per cent. of the collections as his remuneration; but was frequently paid by an assignment of the revenue of a certain portion of land. Such assignments are known as jageers. The zemindars of Mahomedan times grew in many cases out of the Hindoo chowdhries.* The king's share, with the collection of which the Chow- The amount of
the king's dhry was ultimately charged, was generally paid in kind, but share. sometimes in money, especially in the case of garden ground.” As we have seen this share theoretically varied from one-eighth to one-twelfth, and might be as much as one-fourth. With regard to the proportion taken in practice, there is consider
' Patton's Asiatic Monarchies, 166. Fifth Report, Vol. II, 7.
6 Great Rent Case, B. L. R., Sup. Vol., 209. Land Tenure by a Civilian, 128,
LECTURE able difference of opinion. Sir George Campbell says the
king took from one-tenth to one-eighth of the gross produce.' Mr. Shore and other authorities say one-sixth : others again say something less than one-fourth of the gross produce: and Sir Thomas Munro puts it as high as from two-fifths to three-fifths. Again it is said the cultivator got half the paddy produce, or grain in the husk, and two-thirds of the dry grain crop watered by artificial means; this was after all deductions for village officers were made,—the net crop.5 The assessment remained almost fixed; in Canara it is said to have remained fixed for two centuries and a half, and not to have increased more than ten per cent. during another half century. 6 And in Bijanuggur, the Rajah Hurryhur Roy, between 1334 and 1347, made a new assessment of Canara professedly on the principles of the shasters. This scheme assumed the produce to be twelve times the seed, and therefore that 21 katties of seed produced 30 katties of paddy, which was thus divided : to the State, 74 katties or one-fourth; to the cultivator, 15 katties or half; and to the zemindar, 71 katties or one-fourth. The State share was again sub-divided so as to leave the State 5 katties or one-sixth, the dewustan or religious endowments 1 kattie, and the Brahmins or Bremhaday 11 katties. The cultivator, according to this scheme, got half and the State only one-sixth; and another account says that up to the middle of the fourteenth century,
' Campbell's Cobden Club Essay, 155. See Orissa, Vol. I, 32 to 35.
? Harington's Analysis, Vol. III, 230. Ayeen Akbery, Vol. I, 347, 348. Wbinfield's Landlord and Tenant, 74, note (a). Hiouen Thsang in Elphinstone's History of India, 5th Edition, p. 298.
3 Fifth Report, Vol. II, 79, 83, 456.
that is apparently up to the period of these changes, land in LECTURE Canara was assessed at as much paddy as was equal to the quantity of seed sown, which would, according to the above theory as to the yield, make the State share only one-twelfth of the gross produce. This was paid in money or kind at the option of the State. The king also, as we have seen, had the services of a certain number of servile labourers or received an equivalent allowance. Out of the king's share the revenue establishments had to be paid. We have now seen what were the main features of the Proprietary
rights. Hindoo land system. We find substantially two parties primarily interested in the land as far as its produce is concerned. These are the king and the cultivator, and there are no independent intermediate interests, although we find also a number of officers interested in the crop, whether on the part of the village or of the king. On the part of the king were the officers of revenue, and the civil and military establishments, which were frequently provided for by assignments of revenue. But we see nothing approaching a proprietor in the English sense, and very little of the relation of landlord and tenant. This however is a point I shall discuss again hereafter.
THE MAHOMEDAN PERIOD.
The transition from the Hindoo to the Mahomedan period not a sudden one-The
Mahomedan invaders of India-Their system non-hereditary-The Hindoo system hereditary-Struggle between the two systems, The Mahomedan system a centralised one-The Mahomedan land theory- The Khiraj—The Ooshr-The Sowad of Irak-Proprietary rights according to Mahomedan law—The two kinds of khiraj-Implied ownership in different personsResemblance of wuzeefa khiraj to the tax paid by the kboodkashts-Extent of proprietary right-Power of alienation-Amountof khiraj-Remission of khiraj -Mode of enforcing payment-Procedure when cultivator made default-Waste land-Similarity between Mahomedan and Hindoo systems—The Mabomedans continued the Hindoo system-The khiraj not formerly imposed-Attempted changes-Proprietary rights not disturbed-Proprietary rights gradually affected by the Mahomedan system— The revenue machinery- The headmanThe origin of the zemindar- The village community-Summary - The Crory - Influence of Mahomedan and English ideas—The zemindar-Descent of a zemindary and talook-Jageerdars-Ala-ood-deen's attempt to curb the zemindars.
Mahomedan period not a sudden one.
The transition We come now to consider the Mahomedan period, and Hindoo to the the changes introduced during that period. And here
we must remember that there is no clear line of division between the Hindoo and Mahomedan times :—the two periods overlap each other. The first incursions of the Arabs, indeed, seem to have left no trace; but the great tide of invasion, which ultimately swept over the greater part of India, began as early as the eleventh century of our era. However the conquest of the whole country was never completed, although for short periods there may have been practically no other ruling power in India. There is therefore no precise period at which we can say that the Mahomedans had conquered the country, and had to consider what laws they would impose, and what