In Indian history during the rule of the British Governor, a particular change has been introduced into the land revenue system of India. This system created specific strata of the revenue collectors. These particular social strata are recognised as the Zamindars of India. Following this fact, the current study has intended to discuss how the Zamindars were introduced to the land revenue system along with the explanation of other information about this Zamindari system.
An Overview of the Zamindari System
Under the permanent Settlement System, the process and structure of the rand revenue system of India were changed. This certain change has offered new criteria to the property owners in order to collect rent from the peasants and give it to the British raj. This responsibility was offered to particular strata of the society who were becoming famous by the name Zamindars in the history of India. In this system, the Zamindars were considered the actual owners of the lands. On the other hand, the cultivators became tenants from the perspective of the ownership of the land. The main responsibility of the Zamindars was to pay the augmented fixed tax, even in the time of poor yield.
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Who Introduced the Zamindari System?
The Zamindari system in the British colony of India was introduced by the British governor named Lord Cornwallis. The system came into the main ruling system of the British raj by the Permanent Settlement Act that happened in 1793. In the Permanent Settlement Act, it has been stated that the amount that was subjected to be realised by the Zamindars was divided into 11 parts. Of these eleven parts, only one portion of the collected tax from the cultivators belonged to the Zamindars and the rest of the ten shares offered to the British Government.
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Zamindari System in British India
- In accordance with the information after the failure of the land revenue system coined by Warren Hastings in 1773, the Permanent Settlement Act was developed
- The Zamindars started being recognised as the middle man between the British Government and the cultivators
- Instability in the British Company’s revenue has been introduced by this particular Land revenue system
- This stalemate was introduced in the provinces of Bengal and Bihar in particular.
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Bengal and the Zamindars
In the land of Bengal, the colonial rule was initially established by the British East India Company and was intended to change and reorder the rural governance process. As a result, the British Governing body has decided to introduce a new revenue system that would be able to change the land rights. In an auction that was held in Burdwan, in 1797, the British Raj fixed the shares of the collected tax. It has been mentioned that if any reason made the Zamindars not capable of offering the fixed money of tax, the Zamindary of that particular Zamindars would be auctioned for getting back the revenue.
Advantages of Zamindari System
The main advantage of this changed and reordered land revenue system was that the Zamindars were told to pay a fixed amount of tax that was applicable for all the Zamindars of any corner of India. This particular system helped to remove the bias that was seen to happen in the land revenue system in previous systems. On the other hand, as the Zamindars were bound to pay a fixed amount to the British governors, the Zamindars benefited from the increment in production.
Disadvantages of Zamindari System
In this specific rearrangement of the land revenue system of India, being the landowners, the Zamindars were not permitted to take decisions regarding the improvement of the lands. In addition, in the case of the increment in production, the benefits were taken by the Zamindars but the company. The failure in paying taxes causes the abolishment of Zamindari of the particular Zamindar. The fixed and payable amount of the tax was very high for the peasants and the Zamindars as well.
In the current study, it has been found that, under the rule of the British Company, with the help of the British governor a change in the land revenue system helped in the introduction of the Zamindars system. Here the Zamindars need to pay a fixed amount by collecting it from the cultivators. Along with that, it has been seen that the collection of fixed money has started evolving different issues for the Zamindars that are considered as the disadvantages of this land revenue system.