Land Revenue Administration
Batai or Galla-Bakshi: Sharing done in different ways.
(i) After the new harvest of the crop, government claim was taken by directly going to the fields.
(ii) After the harvest, crop was divided into equal heaps and specified heaps were taken by the government officer.
(iii) Before the harvest itself, the standing crop was surveyed and state share fixed by making a line of demarcation.
- Kankut: Cultivator and official arrived at a general estimate of produce of the whole area on the basis of sample survey by mutual agreement.
- Nasaq; In this method the revenue payable by the cultivator was estimated on the basis of past experience.
- Measurement: Introduced by Alauddin Khalji and followed by Sher Shah also; System of dividing land into 3 categories-good, bad and middling.
- Raja Todar mal found the old ‘Jama’ figures unreliable; Need to collect correct figures from the Qanungos and in the 15th Regional year of Akbar new jama came into force.
- Akbar began with the extension of Khalisa land, so as to provide facilities to revenue department to collect extensive data.
- Khalisa land was divided into circles, each yielding revenue of one karor. That is way it is known as the karori experiment.
- Each circle was placed under a revenue official called ‘Karori’. Aim was to make as extensive a measurement as possible, then use it as a basis for compiling a new general assessment.
- Instead of a rope, a ‘tanab’ made of bamboo sticks joined by iron rings, came to be used for measuring land.
- Measurement was not possible in all subahs of the empire. That is why in some subahs the old systems, viz. batai, kankut, etc., continued. Thus wherever possible measurement was undertaken and sufficient information was acquired. All these measures were part of a new system of revenue calculation, called the Zabti or Bandobast system.
- On the basis of the above Zabti system fresh reforms were undertaken by Todar Mal. These reforms were collectively known as “Ain-i-Dahsala.”
- Land was classified into four cateogires:
Parauti-left fallow for a short period (1 or 2 years);
Chachar-left fallow for 3 to 4 years; and
Banjar-uncultivated for 5 years or more.
Todar Mal introduced a uniform unit of measurement, “Ilahi gaz”, which is a medium gaz of 41 digits.
- As Abul Fazl mentioned, according to Ain-i-Dahsala, a 10 year’s stage of every paragana was ascertained in regard to the category of cultivation and level of prices.
- Aim was to introduce a permanent jama (Dastur Ulamal) and remove difficulties and delays associated with yearly sanction.
- So in the 24th Reignal year final dasturs giving cash rates ‘per bigha’ were prepared for different localities.
- Average cash rate of previous 10 year’s harvest was derived, and cash rate was fixed once for all. Dasturs for cash crops were fixed separately.
Mode of Payment
- Payment was made generally in cash, though there were some exceptions.
- For example, in Kashmir and Orissa it was in kind.
- Cash payment was a source of great hardships to the peasants. They had to immediately dispose off the harvested crop even when the prices were very low since revenue was to be paid in cash.
- Hence there was greater demand for money, which in turn increased the hold of Baniyas on the peasants.
Machinery For Collection
- There was the Patwari at the village level. He kept a ‘Bahi’ i.e. a register containing information about cultivators, their lands and assessed revenue.
- There were the Qanungos at the Paragana (taluq) level. The post of Qunungo was a hereditary office.
- He maintained records. In Deccan and Gujarat, this officer was known as “Desai
- He was also responsible for advance of Taqqavi loans to peasants and assessment of revenue.
- At the Sarkar (district) level, Amil or Amalguzar was assisted by the Karkun (accountant) and Khazanadar.
- All these officials worked under the supervision of the provincial Diwan, who was directly under the Diwan at the centre.
Main Agrarian Classes.
Khudkashta: (i) Those peasants living in their own villages, owning their own lands and implements.
(ii) Two obligations to the State-payment of revenue regularly and cultivation of his land.
(iii) Some of them rented out their spare lands and implements to the other two categories.
(iv) They were called ‘Mirasdars’ in Maharashtra and ‘Gharuhala’ or ‘Gaveti’ in Rajasthan.
- Those who were basically outsiders but cultivated the rented lands in a village either while staying in the neighbouring village or by staying in the same village.
- Their division into two groups:
(i) Non-Residential Pahis and
(ii) Residential Pahis.
- The former came from the neighbouring villages and cultivated the rented lands without constructing residences in that village.
- The latter came from the far-off villages and cultivated the rented lands by constructing their residences in the village.
- The residential pahis could transform themselves into Khudkashta, if they had their own implements, possession of implements being more important than that of lands, which were in abundance.
- They were known as “uparis” in Maharashtra.
- Those who belonged to the same village, but who did not have either lands or implements and hence were heavily dependent on the khudkashta for their supply.
- Their division into groups-(i) tenants-at-will and (ii) those who had hereditary tenant rights.