“The position of Zamindars had undergone a paradigm change from Mughal era to British Era”. Amplify.
During Mughal Era, the Zamindars were not the owner of the land, but were petty land holders and the peasants could not be dispossessed of land by zamindars as long as they paid land revenue. Zamindars generally made collection from the individual peasants at rates fixed by custom or by themselves and paid a fixed tax to the Government. The difference between his collections and the amount he paid to the state was his personal income. But, India’s land revenue system was radically changed under British Era.
Land, which was never a mortgagable commodity in India earlier to British got converted into a mortgagable property. British introduced Izaredari system, under this system, right of collecting revenue of a particular area was auctioned to the highest bidder known as Izaredar. This in turn made many zamindars lose their job. But, with the introduction of permanent settlement by Lord Cornwallis, Zamindars assumed a position that they have never been before. The Zamindars became wealthier. Further, Zamindars were not the same old hereditary landholders, but anyone could become a Zamindar provided he had good connection in East India Company or some other hack. Many servants of old Zamindars, petty clerks, agents, traders and merchants became the so called new Zamindars. They all became petty capitalists and they invested in trade, commerce thus some positive impact on other segments of economy was seen. This class of new capitalists was called “Mushroom gentlemen”.
Topics: 073 - Land Reforms in India
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