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PROGRESS OF THE ZEMINDARS. 91
new methods. But it is pretty obvious that this was I.kotums impracticable; and when Jaffier Khan attempted to do this, — and with for the time considerable apparent success, it was found that the old system had been by no means uprooted; and the zemindars were soon more powerful than ever. In fact no such radical change as was required for this purpose was ever possible without convulsing the whole system of government. And the State had little apparent interest in resorting to such violent measures; which were not required for the mere purpose of checking the encroachments of the zemindars on the rights of the State, but only for uprooting them altogether. Jaffier Khan's proceedings indeed were execrated for their violence. But these proceedings had a wider scope than that of merely checking the zemindars in the interests of the State. He seems to have sought to uproot them altogether. And the discontent thus caused would probably have induced subsequent rulers to restrict themselves to less ambitious aims, even if the utter failure of Jaffier Khan's attempts had not demonstrated their futility. The result was that the old system continued, with changes and modifications which seem, in spite of checks, to have been steadily turned to account by the zemindars; and these attempts at centralisation instead of checking this process favoured it, by creating a greater distance between the sovereign and the cultivator; while the State could not dispense with the zemindar, and was obliged to ignore all below him. In this way the creation of the chucklah may have tended to turn the crory into a zemindar, and to efface the circar as a division. The Hindoo element was never got rid of; and at the Hindoos filled
time of the British accession it was found that while the revenue offices, chief revenue offices, such as those of dewan, aumil, &c., were dans the
92 THE AUMIL.
Lkotuuk filled by Mahomedans, all the officers in immediate contact in. J
— with the cultivators were Hindoos.1 And all the revenue
officers tended to merge into zemindars. Even the aumil who had charge of the chucklah was sometimes required to engage for the revenue, in default of an agreement being come to with the zemindar or others; so that he too occasionally occupied the position of a zemindar, and thus tended to become one under some circumstances. So with the farmer of revenue, who also stepped in when the zemindar refused to accept the assessment2 And so also with all the new officers whom the Mahomedans created as a check upon the zemindars.
There were some other officers besides those charged with the responsibilty of the administration of a division, but dependent upon them, of whom it may be as well to give some account. They are mentioned as dependent upon the head of the chucklah, the aumil or shaikdar, although many of them must always have been equally required, and several of them are referred to in the Ayeen Akbery.' The aumil. In the first place the aumil,—as the head of the chucklah was generally called, although the term was a general one, including all those employed in the collection of revenue,4 —was provided with a police or military force called eebundy fussula to enable him to enforce the payment of the revenue; in the same way as the desmookh or crory had a force of pykes under the command of a khandait.5 This military force was, it is said, at first paid
1 Patton's Asiatic Monarchies, 120.
» Fifth Report, Vol. II, 154, 155; Orissa, Vol. II, 222 ; Land Tenure by a Civilian, 312.
THE Aumil's Subordinates. 93
by wages, but afterwards obtained allotments of land, or Lkcturk
rather assignments of revenue, although the assignees may —
sometimes have been in occupation of the land itself.1 The
system of payment by an assignment of revenue may have
come down from Hindoo times, as it would seem that the
Hindoo chowdhry was assisted by a similar force similarly
maintained.2 Under the immediate control of the aumil an His subordinates. ameen did the practical revenue work; and had large
inquisitorial and controlling powers, with the corresponding
burden of responsibility to the aumil for the revenue of the
district.3 A sheristadar or mujumudar kept the official
records and accounts of the annual adjustments of revenue,
and watched over the proceedings of the pergunnah officers,
particularly the canoongoes. Tehsildars collected the
revenue from the zemindars or other revenue payers.
Mohurrirs wrote the accounts and documents. There
were also, at least in the Northern Circars and probably
in other parts at a distance from the seat of Government,
reporters or news-writers employed:—one was called the
Savannah negar, who was practically a spy on all the
Government officers; and the other the Wakeh negar, or
Dewanny remembrancer. These two officers sent weekly
reports to head-quarters.
It is clear that the revenue system of the Mahomedans
gave employment to a large body of officials. Of these,
as I have mentioned, the superior officers were Mahomedans,
and the inferior and those in direct relations with the ryots
were generally Hindoos.4 It is said that Jaffier Khan
1 Fifth Report, Vol. II, 155.
'Ante, Lecture I, p. 37.
5 Fifth Report, Vol. II, 158.
* lb . 12; Patton's Asiatic Monarchies, 120.
Qi HINDOOS EMPLOYED IN REVENUE COLLECTION.
Lecture employed none but Hindoos in the collection of revenue, — because he found them more pliable than the Mahomedans.1 We find however that he ejected a great number of Hindoo zemindars, and ho certainly was not the first to employ Hindoos very largely in the collection of the revenue. Aa we have seen Akbar's reforms were entrusted to Hindoo hands.
1 Fifth Report, Vol. I, 104. Stewart's History of Bengal, p. 236.
Hindoo times—Growth of the zemindar—The office hereditary—Conflict of authorities—Struggle between opposing principles—The zemindar an hereditary revenue contractor—The sunnud—Contents of the sunuud—The arzee—The furd-sewal—The furd-huckeckut—The muchulka—The perwanneh—Duties of the zemindar—Amount of revenue paid by him—The zemindars ultimately looked upon as landlords—The Nautwars—Zemindars in Bchar—The sunnuds of Jaffier Khan—A zemindary alienable—The zemindar's emoluments—Surplus revenue—Settlement with Government—The hustabood—Settlement with the ryots—Mode of enhancing the ryot's rent—Customary rates—The khamar land—Remissions of revenue—Neej-jote and nankar—Extent of nankar— The purjote—Julkur, bunkur, gbasskur and phulkur—Cesses—Allowances to the zemindar—The zemindar's emoluments official in their origin—Dismissal of the zemindar—Allowances to displaced zemindars—Under-renting—The proceedings of Jaffier Khan—His attempt to reduce the zemindar's power— Severe measures adopted—The zemindars regained their power—Discussion of the zemindar's position.
I now proceed to give some account of the zemindar, the most important figure in the Bengal revenue system of modern times.
It is not very clear to what extent the office of zemindar Hindoo times. prevailed in the Hindoo revenue system. According to the account I have given of that system there was ordinarily little room for the zemindar. Yet, when the headman happened to be set aside, it might be convenient to employ an intermediate officer who would undertake to collect the revenue. And we gather that this was sometimes done, the revenue being in such cases farmed either to the official collectors of revenue, or to outsiders. Again it is said that there were ryots not forming part of any village community from whom revenue had to be collected ;l and here again the
* Orissa, Vol. I, 54, 55; Vol. II, 232, 245.