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THE OBJECT OF THE SETTLEMENT.
vated. Checher and bunjer lands were taxed at lower rates LECTURE than poolej land for a period, not exceeding five years, sufficient to bring them into full cultivation. The great object of Todar Mull's settlement appears to A fixed money
rate the main have been to substitute a fixed money-rate for the beegah object of the
settlement, instead of the various rates which had prevailed under the complicated system of Hindoo times. And accordingly, either at the original settlement or very shortly afterwards, the revenue was fixed at a certain sum for the beegah, whatever might be the crop actually grown. This was called the jumma-bundy neckdy, or money settlement. The assessment was arrived at, as before described, by an average then made of the several kinds of crop which the land was capable of producing during ten years, and onefourth of the gross produce was the rebba, or state share. I have already noticed the suggestion that this commuta- The position of
the ryot not tion of the Government claim to a share of the produce affected. for a fixed money rate was intended to be not only a formal imposition of the khiraj, but of the wuzeefa instead of the mookasumah form of that tax. It is contended that by Mahomedan law the deliberate imposition of a money-tax is a distinct recognition of the absolute proprietary rights in the soil of the cultivator; and that a substitution of the wuzeefa for the mookasumah khiraj likewise operates as a transfer of the sovereign's rights in the soil to the cultivator, and has the same effect as the formal imposition of wuzeefa khiraj. It is thence argued that, from the time of Akbar's settlement at latest, the cultivator became absolute proprietor of the
"Ayeen Akbery, Vol. I, 358. Baillie's Land Tax, xxix.
land, at any rate where the revenue was paid in money. As I have said there is no trace of any intention to make so important a change: and it seems to me hardly safe to draw so important a legal inference from acts which the parties do not seem to have been conscious would have such effects. And it can hardly be argued that the State must be taken by implication of law to have given away its rights when its only object in making the change was to collect the revenue on an improved system, and one considered less burdensome
to the ryots. The Assul Todar Mull's aim in this part of the settlement was, as
before remarked, to substitute a money-revenue at a fixed rate for a revenue in kind varying with the crop. He succeeded in this to a considerable extent; and the details of assessment for each beegah of land were preserved, and thenceforward acted upon as the basis of all assessments. This assessment of Todar Mull's was always known as the Assul Toomar Jumma, or original complete assessment or rent-roll: and subsequent modifications were incorporated
with it, and called by the same name.' The old But although one of the main features of the settlement methods of rendering the was the change in the mode of rendering the revenue, this revenue might still be adopted. mode was not obligatory, and the old methods might still be
continued at the option of the cultivator. The cultivator might choose to pay either in kind or in money, but he was bound to make his choice of the two methods, and to adhere to one of them. There were two modes of ascertaining the Government share when paid in kind: one was called kunkoot (grain estimate), and the other, bhawely or bhaolee
" Baillie's Land Tax, xxx. Fifth Report, Vol. I, 236.
THE REVENUE MIGHT STILL BE RENDERED IN KIND. 73
called also buttiej or buttai (division). The method known as kun koot was to assess the crop upon the ground by estimate, and not by actual division. The other method was by actual division of the crop when gathered, or by apportioning a certain portion of the land at the sowing for the production of the revenue share. These methods have continued in use with various modifications up to the present day. But the actual division of the crops had even at this period begun in some parts to fall into disuse, the cultivators having probably come to agree with the State in regarding this mode of assessment as burdensome to the revenue-payer. And where the buttai system still prevailed, and the cultivators did not feel disposed to accept the new system, Todar Mull endeavoured to supersede the necessity for an actual division and sale by prescribing that the value of the Government share of grain might be taken in money, at the market price of the day, whenever it would not be oppressive to the ryots to do so. The buttai system continued in use in many parts of the country in spite of the advantages supposed to be offered by the other system; and a settlement upon this systein was known in the south of India in later times as an aumanee settlement;* but it was chiefly in Bengal that it retained its hold ; 5 and it seems that the new settlement was less completely applied there, at least for a time, than in some other parts.
" Ayeen Akbery, Vol. I, 377 to 379. Baillie's Land Tax, xxxi.
6 Baillie's Land Tax, xxxii. The details of the Assul Toomar Jumma for Bengal are given in the Fifth Report, Vol. I, 241 to 244.
At the same time that a high rate of revenue was exacted
the ryots were encouraged to cultivate the more valuable Remissions crops by a remission in the case of poolej land of one-fourth
of the revenue for the first year they cultivated such crops. And when the village was cultivated to the highest degree by the skilful management of the chief or headman he was allowed as a reward half a biswah out of every beegah or some equivalent. Remissions of revenue were also permitted on account of calamities as formerly: such remissions however required the approval of the Emperor.3 Deductions from the assessment were also made when the land was found to be inferior to average land of the class in which it was assessed. And when khirajee land was not cultivated, but kept as pasture, the holder had to pay six dams yearly for every buffalo, and three dams for
every ox, instead of other revenue.5 The settlement This settlement was for ten years. It did not fix any. made with the ryots direct. thing beyond that period, except perhaps the principle of
a money assessment. It was a settlement made with the ryots: whatever claims the zemindars had at that time to collect the revenue, their claim to distribute its burden amongst the cultivators had either not grown into a right or was deliberately ignored. Even the headman seems to have been put aside except as an instrument for improving
Ayeen Akbery, Vol. I, 379.
3 Ib., Vol. I, 381. Baillie's Land Tax, xxxi. Fifth Report, Vol. I, 244.
* Ayeen Akbery, Vol. I, 380.
? Ib., Vol. I, 103. Harington's Analysis, Vol. III, 231. Galloway's Law and Constitution of India, 46, 47. Great Rent Case, B. L. R., Supp. Vol., 245 to 247.
the cultivation, I may here quote Sir George Campbell, LECTURE When speaking as one of the Judges of the Calcutta High Court, he says: “There can be no doubt that the settlement attributed to Toran Mull, like all the settlements of Akbar and his successors, and indeed all the detailed settlements of the British Government founded upon the same system, dealt primarily with the individual ryot, and fixed the sum payable by him for the land which he cultivated. It appears that the average produce of the beegah of land of each description was ascertained and the Government share was then calculated, one-third being the full demand, and deduction being made for fallows, occasional inundations and droughts, inferior soils, &c. The average dues of the State (in grain) being thus ascertained, the grain rates were commuted into money on an average of the price currents of the nineteen previous years, and the rates so obtained were calculated on the land of each ryot. The option
seems however to have been maintained. Thus the payments of the ryots were fixed by an act of State quite independent of the will of any other subject or of any question of competition or relation of landlord and tenant in the English sense. Whether the revenue was paid direct to the officers of Government, or by the village communities jointly through their headmen or through hereditary zemindars of a superior grade, the quota due from each ryot was fixed and recorded ; that was the unit of the whole system from which all calculations started. The headmen and zemindars were remunerated for their services, or received the hereditary dues to which prescription entitled them, in the shape either of percentages on the collections from the ryots, or of Nankar' land held exempt