Land measurements by Todar Mal
The reforms introduced by Raja Todar Mal touched the life of the people in the Mughal empire. Akbar had abolished Jazia, Pilgrim tax and other 50 minor duties. The objective of revenue system had to levy a fair rent on the land which should on one hand support the administration and other hand not unduly burden the cultivators.
The basis of the land revenue system was that peasant was the owner of the soil and state is entitled to the surplus produce. First a fixed system of menstruation was adopted and then land was surveyed and classified under the following 4 categories:
Polaj: The land is cultivated every year
Parauti: The fallow land that was cultivated every one or 2 years
Chachar: The fallow land that was cultivated every 3-4 years
Banjar: The land that has not been cultivated for last 5 years.
The land was assessed and the revenue was to be paid as per the cultivation. This represented a complete departure from the earlier Muslims who charged more with the “infidels”.