Here we are providing Class 12 History Important Extra Questions and Answers Chapter 8 Peasants, Zamindars and the State: Agrarian Society and the Mughal Empire. Important Questions for Class 12 History are the best resource for students which helps in class 12 board exams.
Peasants, Zamindars and the State: Agrarian Society and the Mughal Empire Class 12 Important Extra Questions History Chapter 8
Peasants, Zamindars and the State Important Extra Questions Very Short Answer Type
Who was Abul Fazl?
Abul Fazl was the court historian of Akbar.
Who wrote Ain-i-Akbari?
Abul Fazl wrote Ain-i-Akbari.
Which different names were used for peasants during the Mughal Empire?
Raiyat, Kisan, Asami etc.
What are Rabi and Kharif crops?
Autumn crops are Kharif crops and Spring crops are Rabi crops.
What was Jins-i-Kamil?
Jins-i-Kamil means the perfect crops.
Who headed the Panchayat in the Mughal Empire?
The Panchayat was headed by a headman or muqaddam or Mandal.
Give one important function of Panchayats during the Mughal Empire.
To ensure that caste boundaries among the various communities living in the village were upheld.
What was begar?
Unpaid labour was done by the peasants.
Name few artisans lived in the villages.
Potters, Blacksmiths, Carpenters, Barbers, Goldsmiths etc.
What work did women do in the fields during the Mughal Empire?
Sowing, weeding, threshing and winnowing the harvest.
Who was called Jangli in the Mughal Empire?
Forest dwellers were called Jangli in the Mughal Empire. ,
What Oshkosh was expected from the forest people?
They were expected to supply elephants to the empire.
What was Pargana?
Pargana was an administrative subdivision of a Mughal province.
On the basis of which relations, the rural society of 16th and 17th century was organised?
Rural society of 16th and 17th century was made up of small peasants and rich landlords. Both of these were involved in agricultural production and had their right over the share of the produce. As a result, the relationship of cooperation, conflict and competition was created among them. These relationships were the base of organising rural society.
Discuss the four factors that helped in the continuous development of agriculture in India of the Mughal period.
Mention the factors that accounted for the constant expansion of agriculture during the 16th and 17th centuries. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
These factors were :
- Excess of land
- Availability of workers
- Dynamism of farmers
- Development of artificial means of irrigation.
With which community the social existence of peasant was associated during the 16th and 17th centuries? Which were three other constituents of this community?
Social existence of peasant, during the 16th and 17th centuries, was associated with the collective village community. Its three other constituents were—the cultivators, the’ Panchayat and the village headman.
Which people were included in the village Panchayat of the Mughal period? With which name was the head of Panchayat known?
The village, Panchayat during the Mughal period was an assembly of elders of the village. They were generally important persons of village who had’ hereditary rights over their property.
What does Jins-i-Kamil mean? Why did the Mughal rule encourage it?
Literally, Jins-i-Kamil means perfect crops. Such crops included cotton and sugarcane besides oil-seeds and lentils. The Mughal state encouraged -all the peasants to grow and cultivate only those crops which brought in more revenue.
Deserting village was considered as an aggressive method in case of no justice given by Panchayat. Why?
In case of conflict between lower caste peasants and state officials or local zamindars, compromises were used. In cases where reconciliation failed, peasants took a more drastic form of resistance and that was deserting the village.
Which type of region was Jungle (forest) from the point of view of Mughal empire?
For the Mughal state, the forest or Jungle was a subversive place, a place of refuge or shelter for trouble makers. Once Babur said that “Jungles were those defences behind which the people of the pargana became stubbornly rebellious and; paid no taxes.”
What were the four means by which the people belonging to weaker sections of society could attain the status of zamindars?
These means were as follows :
- By settlements On new lands
- By transferring of the land ownership
- By the royal orders
- By purchasing the land
Name those four large territorial empires in Asia which had managed to consolidate power and resources during the 16th and 17th centuries.
- The Mughal empire in India
- Ming empire in China
- Safavid empire of Iran
- Ottoman empire in Turkey.
Abul Fazl, the writer of Ain-i-Akbari, had a high degree of caution in writing his book. Give two arguments.
- He revised the manuscript five times.
- He verified the oral testimonies and verified as well as cross-checked them from various facts and sources. He left no stone unturned to check the authenticity of the oral testimonies.
Discuss any two limitations of Ain-i- Akbari.
These limitations are as follows :
- There were errors in total. They might be due to slips of arithmetic or transcription.
- There was no uniform collection of data from all the provinces.
Why were women considered an important resource in agrarian society? Mention two reasons. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (D))
- Women worked shoulder to shoulder with men in the fields.
- Men tilled and ploughed the fields and on the other hand, women sowed, weeded, threshed and winnowed the harvest.
Mention two factors for enjoying social and economic privileges by the Zamindars in the Mughal India. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (D))
- Caste was one of the factors that accounted for the elevated status of Zamindars.
- Zamindars performed certain services (Khidmat) for the State.
Banjar Land: It was also a type of land which was uncultivated for five years and more.
Mention two main purposes of Ain-i- Akbari. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (O.D.))
- The main purpose of Ain-i-Akbari was to record information about the people and society during the Mughal regime.
- Another purpose of Ain-i-Akbari was to give detailed accounts of the organisation of the court, administration and army.
Who headed the Panchayats during the seventeenth century? How was he chosen? (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
The panchayats during the seventeenth century were headed by a head man known as muquaddam or Mandal. Some sources suggest that the headman was chosen through the consensus of the village elders and that this choice had to be ratified by the zamindars.
Mention the major crop of Western India during the 17th century. How did it come to India? (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
Maize (Makka) was the major crop of Western India during the 17th century. During the 17th century, several new crops from different parts of the world reached the Indian sub-continent via Africa and Spain.
Why were the forest dwellers termed Jungli? Give any two reasons? (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
- This word was used for the people whose livelihood came from forest products. Forests were the means of their livelihood.
- These people moved from one place to another.
What does the third part of the Ain, ‘Mulk Abadi’ deal with? (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
Mulk Abadi gives detailed information about fiscal aspects and revenue rates of centre and states. Twelve provinces are also mentioned in it. It shows a very detailed and interesting picture of the agrarian society of north India.
How were the village artisans compensated by the villagers for their services? Write about anyone. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
Answer: Village artisans were compensated by the villagers by giving them one part of their products or were given one piece of wasteland kept with them.
How did the Zamindars derive their power during the Mughal period? Mention any two ways. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
- Caste was one factor which accounted for the higher status of Zamindars. Another factor was that they performed certain services for the state.
- The Zamindars held extensive personal lands termed milkiyat meaning property.
Mention any two steps taken by the Mughals to create the revenue as an administrative apparatus. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (O.D.))
- This apparatus included the office of the diwan who was responsible for supervising the fiscal system of the empire.
- Revenue officials and record keepers penetrated the agricultural domain and became a decisive agent in shaping agrarian relations.
Mention two factors that brought stability in the silver currency during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. (C.B.S.E.2013 (O.D.))
An expanding trade of Asia with other regions brought in huge amounts of silver bullion into Asia to pay for goods procured from India. A large part of that bullion gravitated towards India. As a result, this period saw great stability in the silver currency.
Explain the sources of revenue of village Panchayats during the Mughal rule in India. (C.B.S.E. 2018)
During the Mughal rule in India, the Panchayati derived its funds from contributions made by individuals to’ a common financial base, levying fines, agricultural taxes et
Peasants, Zamindars and the State Important Extra Questions Short Answer Type
Give a brief description of the agrarian life of India during the 16th-17th centuries. Which changes came with the entrance of outside agencies into the agrarian world?
Around 85% of people of India, during 16-17th centuries, lived in villages. Both peasants and the rich zamindars were engaged in agricultural production and both were claimants of their share in the produce. That is why it created relationships of cooperation, conflict and competition among them. Rural society was made up of the sum of these agrarian relationships.
The entrance of Outside Agencies:
- At the same time outside agencies entered the rural world. One of the most important was the Mughal Empire which derived most of its income from agricultural production. Revenue accessors, revenue collectors and record keepers wanted to keep complete control over rural society. They wanted to ensure that cultivation must take place so that they could get a share of the state from the produce.
- As many crops were grown for sale, that is why urban trade, money and markets were linked with villages.
What were the two categories of peasants in the 17th century (the Mughal period)? Discuss.
According to the Indo-Persian sources of the Mughal period, raiyat or Nazarian were the terms used to denote a peasant. Besides terms like Kisan or Asami were also used. The sources of the 17th century refer to two kinds of farmers. They were Khud-Kashta and Pahi-Kashta. The Khud-Kashta lived in the village where they cultivated their own lands themselves. On the other hand, the Pahi-Kashta were not the residents of the village. They belonged to some other village but cultivated lands in some other village. They performed their work on a contractual basis. There were two reasons for it which are given below :
- Out of Choice: The people accepted to be Pahi-Kashta when they found the terms of revenue favourable to them.
- Out of Compulsion: The people became Pahi-Kashta when a famine or economic distress compelled them to find any work anywhere so that they may survive.
How was land an indicator of the prosperity of any peasant? Give examples.
Describe the condition of an average peasant of North India during the seventeenth century. (C.B.S.E. 2012 (O.D.))
An average peasant of northern India had not more than a pair of oxen and two ploughs. Most of the peasants even possessed less than that. Those farmers in Gujarat were considered as prosperous who possessed 6 acres of land. On the other hand, the upper limit of land of an average peasant in Bengal was 5 acres. Peasant with 10 acres of land was considered rich. Agriculture was based on the concept of individual ownership. Land of peasants was also sold and bought like the land of other property owners.
Give a brief description of the technology used in agriculture during the Mughal period.
Explain the technology used by the peasants for the cultivation during the Mughal period. (C.B.S.E. 2016 (D)) Or
Explain the method of irrigation and technology used during that period. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (D))
There was a constant expansion of agriculture during the Mughal Period. It depended mainly on the monsoons. But artificial systems of irrigation were also devised. There are many instances to prove it such as follows :
- The state undertook the digging of new canals (Nahar or Nala).
- The state also undertook the repair of old canals like the Shah-Nahar in Punjab.
- The farmers used those technologies which harnessed animal power.
- There was the use of a wooden plough which was light. It had an iron tip or coulter.
- There was also the use of a drill. It was pulled by a pair of giant oxen used to plant seeds.
- A narrow iron blade with a small wooden handle was also used to hoe and weed.
While explaining seasonal cycles of agriculture during the 16th-17th centuries, clarify that different types of crops were grown.
Seasonal Cycles: Agriculture was organised mainly during two seasonal cycles—first was Kharif (autumn) and second was Rabi (spring). Minimum two crops were grown at most of the places except most arid or inhospitable land. At some places, even three crops were grown where rainfall or other means of irrigation were easily available.
Different Types of Crops: There is a mention of word Jins-i-Kamil in historical sources available to us which means perfect crops. Mughal state also used to encourage farmers to grow those crops with which the state could earn more revenue. Cotton and sugarcane were such crops.
Cotton was mainly grown on large pieces of land spread over central India and the Deccan plateau. Bengal was known for its sugar made from sugarcane. Different types of oil seeds (like mustard) and lentils were also included in cash crops. This shows that subsistence and commercial production were closely related with an average peasant’s holding.
Into how many groups were the peasants divided in the Mughal period on account of caste or such other discriminations?
During the Mughal period, the cultivators or the peasants were divided into many heterogeneous groups because of inequalities and distinctions based on caste. A majority of those who tilled the land worked as menials or agricultural labourers (majors). A few people belonging to particular castes were given only menial tasks. Thus, they were destined to be poor. Such people comprised a large section of the village population. They had the least resources and were relegated to poverty. They owed their deplorable condition to the caste hierarchy.
Similarly in the Muslim communities, a few people performed menial jobs such as scavenging. They lived outside the boundaries of the village. In other words, there was a direct co-relation between caste, poverty and social status among the lower sections of the society.
Describe any three strengths and two limitations of the Ain-i-Akbari as an important document in the study of the Mughal Period.
The Strongest Aspects :
- Ain-i-Akbari depicts enchanting glimpses of the organisation and structure of the Mughal empire.
- It incorporates detailed information about the people of India and the Mughal empire.
- The statistical data about agriculture is quite significant.
- The information is invaluable to understand the history of the Mughals and the contribution of historians.
Weak Points or Limitations :
- There are many errors in additions.
- The data of all the provinces have not been accumulated uniformly.
How were the village Panchayats organised during the Mughal period? What was the position of head of the Panchayat?
Explain the composition of the village Panchayat. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (D))
How were the Panchayats formed during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? (C.B.S.E. 2011 (D))
Organisation: Village Panchayat was the assembly of elders of the village. Generally, these elders were those important persons of village who had hereditary rights over their property. Panchayat was generally a heterogeneous body in mixed caste village. It was that oligarchy in which all the castes and communities of the village were given representation. The decision of the Panchayat was binding on all the members of the village.
Status of Headman: Headman of Panchayat was known as Muqaddam or Mandal. Some sources suggest that headman was elected by the mutual consent of village elders. This choice had to be approved by the zamindar. Headman could remain in his office until he enjoyed the confidence of village elders or else he could be dismissed by them. His main function was to supervise the preparation of village accounts and was assisted by Patwari of the village.
What was the common financial pool of Panchayat during 16th-17th centuries? What was its importance?
How did village Panchayat use the funds available to it? (C.B.S.E. 2009 (D))
Expenditure of Panchayat was run from that financial pool or treasury which was contributed by every individual. It was known as the common financial pool of Panchayat.
- This pool was used for the cost of entertaining revenue officials who tired to visit the village from time to time.
- This pool was used to pay salary to muqaddam and chowkidar.
- This pool was also used to meet expenses for the community welfare activities like a flood or any other natural calamity.
- Often these funds were used for community works like construction of a bund or digging a canal which peasants were unable to afford on their own.
How did the Panchayat ensure that caste-system should not be violated?
During the Mughal period, the village Panchayat was an assembly of elders. But in mixed- caste villages, it was usually a heterogeneous body where the decisions of the Panchayats were binding on all the members.
Each Panchayat had a headman who was known as Muqaddam or Mandal. He held his office till he enjoyed the confidence of the village elders. The main function of the Panchayat was to uphold and ensure that all the people lived within caste boundaries. In many parts of eastern India, all the marriages were held in the presence of the Mandal. In other words, the Panchayats played a significant role in the prevention of caste-based offences. It could even expel anyone from the community and impose fines.
What were caste or Jati-Panchayats and what were their functions?
How did Jati-Panchayats yield considerable power in several societies during aMughal period? Clarify. (C.B.S.E. 2016 (D))
Except for the village Panchayats, there were caste Panchayats in villages. These Panchayats were very powerful in society. Caste Panchayats in Rajasthan used to solve civil disputes among people of different castes :
- They resolved disputes related to claims of land.
- They ensured whether marriages are taking place according to caste restrictions or not.
- They also determined who had ritual precedence in village functions.
Actually, in most of the cases, except criminal cases, the State used to respect the decisions taken by Jati Panchayats.
How Panchayats (during Mughal period) used to solve complaints of weaker sections against superior or upper castes?
Archival records of western India, especially Rajasthan and Maharashtra, include few petitions presented to Panchayat complaining about collecting taxes forcefully or the demand of begar, i.e., unpaid labour. These petitions were generally submitted by most weaker sections of rural communities.
These petitions were made collectively by a community or caste group against the morally illegitimate demands of elite groups. One of these demands was excessive- tax. They considered the right of minimum basic means of life as their traditional rights. They wanted that Gram Panchayat should listen to this and ensure that the state must give them justice.
In case of demand of excessive taxes, different classes were advised to do compromise. When reconciliation was not possible, peasants took more drastic forms of resistance like deserting the village. As uncultivated land was easily available and there was a competition over labour resources, it was an effective weapon in the hands of the cultivators.
How external forces were entering into forests during 16th-17th centuries? What was the importance of hunt expeditions in the Mughal political ideology?
External forces used to enter the forest in a number of ways. For example, elephants were required by the State for its army. That is why elephants were included in the Oshkosh levied from the forest people. Hunting expeditions were a medium of providing justice by the State, for both poor and rich.
According to court historians, kings used to travel across the extensive territories of its empire. In this way, he was able to personally attend to the grievances of people of different regions. Court artists painted many pictures depicting hunting by the emperors. The painters used to insert a small scene anywhere in the picture which acted as a symbol of a harmonious reign.
How did the expansion of commercial agriculture affect the life of forest dwellers?
Describe the life led by the forest dwellers during the Mughal era in the l6th -17th centuries. (C.B.S.E. 2014 (D))
The forest dwellers earned their livelihood from hunting and shifting agriculture. But all these activities were seasonal. For example, the Bhils collected forest produce in the spring, fished in the summer, cultivated land in the monsoon and hunted during autumn and winter. They had to observe perpetual mobility.
However, the spread of commercial agriculture immensely affected the life of forest-dwellers. They exported forest products like honey, gum and wax. It encouraged an overseas export from India in the seventeenth century. They even captured and sold elephants. The Lohan is of Punjab were engaged in overland trade between India and Afghanistan.
The commercial agriculture also brought a considerable change in the social life of the forest- dwellers. Many tribal chiefs had become zamindars. A few of them even had become kings. It was the royal monopoly of the Ahom kings to capture wild animals.
Why were the chiefs of forest dwellers, during the Mughal period, required to build up an army? How did they get military services?
Like the ‘big men’ of the village community, tribes also had their chieftains. Social factors led to changes in their lives. Some of the tribal chiefs had become Zamindars and some of them became kings. As a result, they were required to build up an army. So they recruited people of their lineage groups into their army.
They also demanded that their fraternity must provide military service. The tribal military of Sind region had 6 thousand cavalries and 7 thousand infantry. The Ahom kings, in Assam, had their own packs. Packs were those people who were given land if they render military service to the king. Ahom kings also declared their royal monopoly on capturing of wild elephants.
What were the sources of power and high social position of Zamindars in the Mughal India?
The Zamindars were the proprietors of land in the Mughal India. They enjoyed many social and economic privileges because of their high status in rural society. They owed their superior position to two factors. First of all, they had an upper caste. Secondly, they performed certain services (Khidmat) for the state.
Ownership of Land: The Zamindars had abundant personal land as their property (Milkiyat). They cultivated their land for private use but they took the help of hired or servile labour in this regard. The Zamindars were also free to sell, bequeath or mortgage their land.
Collection of Land Revenue: The Zamindars were very powerful because they were entitled to collect revenue on behalf of the State. They were financially compensated for this service by the state.
Control over Military Resources: The Zamindars had great power because they exercised control over military resources. Most of the Zamindars had fortresses and also an armed contingent which comprised of cavalry, artillery and infantry.
What was the main feature of the relationship between Zamindars and peasants during a Mughal period? Which two arguments clarify this aspect?
There is no denying the fact that the Zamindars were an exploitative class but their relationship with peasants was based on the elements of reciprocity, paternalism and patronage. Following arguments clarify this aspect :
1. The First one is that Bhakti saints openly criticised caste-based and other forms of oppression. But they hardly portray Zamindars as oppressors or exploiters of peasantry class. Generally, revenue officials became victims of their anger.
2. A number of agrarian uprisings took place in the 17th century and peasantry often supported the Zamindars in their struggle against the State.
How was the Feudal class organised during the reign of Akbar?
Feudal class during Akbar’s reign belonged mainly to Turks, Uzbeks, Mongols, inhabitants of Persia, Arabia and Afghanistan. Very few Indian Muslims and Hindus were there in it. Around 70% higher officials of Akbar were foreigners. Most of them came over there in search of employment. Few officials were settled over here from one-two generations and they also established their relations with the royal family.
Akbar provided the facility of higher posts to Hindus as well. Even then very few Hindus were there in military and administration. Often powerful Rajputs were appointed on these posts. Only 21 Hindus were there in upper ruling class during Akbar’s reign out of which 17 were Rajputs. Indian Muslims had no important place in the ruling class because it was dependent upon personal traits and maturity of the person. There was hardly any consideration of caste, race or religion while giving the post to any official.
What was Zat ranking in Mansabdari System?
Zat was a numerical value which determined the rank and salary in the Mughal Empire. Certain aspects were there in Zat ranking which is given below :
- Nobles with a Zat of 5,000 were ranked higher than those of 1,000.
- There were 29 mansabdars with a rank of 5,000 Zat in the reign of Akbar.
- The number of mansabdars was increased to 79 by Aurangzeb’s reign.
- More number of mansabdars meant more burden of expenditure on State exchequer.
Describe the results of India’s overseas trade under the Mughals. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
During the Mughal period, there was a great expansion of land and overseas trade. In response to the many items that were exported from India, Asia had an inflow of a large quantity of silver. A large part of silver reached India which was a creditable thing for India because it had no natural reserve of silver. As a result, the main currency in India was made of silver between the 16th and 18th centuries. There was economic stability in the country as the currency of silver was available in abundance.
Assess the role played by women in the Mughal imperial household. (C.B.S.E. 2008)
In the Mughal families, the king had wives, deputy wives, maid-servants and slaves.
1. Except wives, the Mughal families had many women, slaves. They also performed minor jobs besides jobs requiring tact, wisdom and intelligence. There were also slave Khwajasars. They were agents of women who had an interest in trade. They also served as servants and bodyguards both inside and outside the family.
2. After Noor Jahan, Mughal queens and princesses started having control on financial matters. Jahan Ara and Roshan Ara, the daughters of Shah Jahan, got a high salary just like high mansabdars. Besides Jahan Ara got revenue from the city of Surat. This port city was an important centre of trade.
3. As the women had control over important financial resources, the important women of the Mughal family got constructed buildings and gardens. Jahan Ara took part in the architectural projects in the new capital of Shah Jahan at Shahjahanabad (Delhi). It also had a double-story caravan Sarai which had a vast compound and a beautiful garden.
4. The design of Chandini Chowk, the main attraction of Shahjahanabad was prepared by Jahan Ara.
5. We get a glimpse of the family life of the Mughals from Humayunama which was written by Gulbadan. Gulbadan Begum was the daughter of Babur and the sister of Humayun. She could even write serials in Turkish and Arabic.
Explain the role of village artisans in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
A large number of sculptors lived in the villages in the 16th and 17th centuries. From the Marathi documents and the British surveys, it is clear that in many villages, the sculptors amounted to 25% of the total population of the village.
Sometimes it was difficult to distinguish between the sculptors and the farmers. It was so because there were many groups which performed both the functions. The farmers also did many other jobs like designing of cloth, pottery and repair and the making of agricultural instruments. Besides potters, iron-smiths, weavers and barbers also rendered their service to the village.
They got either a piece of land or a part of the crop for the service rendered by them. In the 18th century, the zamindars, the iron-smiths, the weavers and the gold-smiths of Bengal used to get a daily allowance for food in respect of their services. It was called the Jajmani System.
Why did Abul Fazl describe the land Revenue as ‘remuneration of sovereignty’? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (D))
Abul Fazl described the land revenue as remuneration of sovereignty because only by giving land revenue to the government, they were actually provided security by the government. They were free to work in their fields according to their wish. They were even free from the fear of any external aggression or internal revolt because then it was the duty of the government to provide them with every type of security.
If any land-related problem would have come in front, then they were allowed to approach the concerned officials. This land revenue was the main source of State’s income with which army and security of the peasants could be maintained.
Describe three factors that accounted for the constant expansion of agriculture during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. (C.B.S.E. 2012 (O.D.))
1. Abundance of land, availability of labourers and mobility of peasants were major causes of the continuous expansion of agriculture because* primary objective of agriculture was to feed the people.
2. Like modern days, the monsoon was considered as the backbone of India agriculture during the Mughal period. But the crops for which additional water was required, artificial means of irrigation were developed.
3. State’s help was also available for the development of means of irrigation. For example, State in north India undertook digging of new canals and also repaired a few old canals. Shah canal of Punjab during the reign of Shah Jahan is an example of such repair.
Peasants, Zamindars and the State Important Extra Questions Long Answer Type
Describe the Land Revenue System of the Mughal empire during the reign of Akbar.
Akbar was a great and able ruler. He laid special emphasis on the land revenue system. For this purpose, he followed the policy initiated by Sher Shah Suri. But this policy had certain defects in it. That is why Akbar began works from the start. Main features of his land revenue system are given below:
1. Following policy initiated by Sher Shah: In the beginning, Akbar followed the policy of land revenue initiated by Sher Shah. During the reign of Sher Shah, the average value was determined by measuring agricultural land. It was determined on the average production of produce. Later on, Akbar felt that it needed a lot of time to fix the market price. It was also a cause of worry for the peasants. Hence, Akbar again started the policy of yearly assumption.
2. Determination of Tax: Akbar followed the following policies for fixing land revenue :
(a) Zabti System: This policy was the creation of Raja Todar Mai. Under this system of revenue, the tax was fixed by measuring the land. This system was implemented in Gujarat, Lahore, Malwa, Allahabad, etc.
(b) Ten Years System: This system was a developed form of Zabti system. According to this, an average of the last ten years of production of crops and their value was taken out. One-third of that average produce was taken as revenue. This revenue could have been taken in the form of cash or produce.
(c) Batai or Galla Bakshi System: In this system, the whole of the total produce was divided in definite proportion among peasant and the State. Honest officials were required for the success of this system.
(d) Nasik or Kanqoot System: Record of agricultural tax was kept in this system.
3. Measurement of Land: During the reign of Akbar, the land was measured with a proper method. With this, state and the peasant came to know about how much peasants will have to pay and how much revenue will be collected for the state.
4. Keeping in mind the fertility of the soil: Fertility of the soil was always kept in mind while determining land revenue. That land was called as ‘Polaj’ which was cultivated every year and that land was called as Tarauti’ which was not cultivated every year. All in all, a tax was fixed on the basis of fertility and the produce.
5. Facilities to Peasants: Special facilities were also given to peasants in case of famine or drought. They were given certain facilities in paying taxes in case of natural calamity. They were also given loans for tools, implements and animals.
Actually, land revenue system of Akbar was prepared while keeping in mind the interests of the people.
While explaining the contribution of women in labour based agrarian society, clarify that what was their position in society? Also, give a proper example.
Discuss the role of women in the agrarian society in Mughal India. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (D))
Examine the status and role played by the women in the agrarian society during the Mughal period. (C.B.S.E. 2016 (O.D.))
Men and women both performed certain specific roles in the production process. Women had to work shoulder to shoulder with men in the fields. Men used to till and plough the land whereas women sowed, weeded, threshed and winnowed the harvest. With the development of small rural units and individual agriculture of peasants, labour and resources of the entire household became the basis of production. Naturally, gendered segregation was not possible between home (for women) and the world (for men).
Artisanal works like sifting and kneading clay for pottery, spinning yarn and embroidery were some of the works which depended upon female labour. The more commercialised the product, the greater the demand on women’s labour to produce it. Actually peasant, artisan women not only worked in the fields but also went to houses of their employers and even to markets if required. Females were seen as an important source in agrarian society because they were child-bearers in a society which was dependent on labour.
Status of women in society: The position of the women in society was of mixed nature.
1. There was a high mortality rate among women. That is why married women were less in number. It helped in the emergence of social customs in artisan and peasant society which were different from the customs of elite groups. In many rural communities, the male had to pay bride price instead of dowry to the bride’s family. Remarriage was legally sanctioned for both divorced and widowed women.
2. According to popular traditions, the male was head of the family. In this way, females remained under the control of males and the family. If any female was coming under the scanner of misconduct then she was strictly punished by society.
3. Amongst the landed gentry, women had the right to inherit property. We have found certain examples from Punjab which show that women (including widows) actively participated in the rural land market as sellers of property inherited by them. They were free to sell or mortgage their land.
What aspects of the Mughal period are highlighted by Abul Fazl’s ‘Ain-i-Akbari’?
‘Ain-i-Akbari’ was written by Abul Fazl in the year 1598 C.E. It was a part of the project of the writing of history under the orders of Akbar. That is why it is also known as Akbar-Nama. It is a compendium of imperial regulations and a gazette of the Mughal Empire.
This book gives detailed information about various facts of life during the Mughal period :
- It is a comprehensive analysis of the court, administration and army.
- It depicts the literary, cultural and religious traditions of the people.
- It gives a physical layout of the provinces of Akbar’s empire.
- It enumerates the sources of revenue.
- It tells us about various customs and practices of the Mughal period.
- It also gives a short biographical sketch of imperial officials such as mansabdars.
In fact, the real purpose of the book was to facilitate Emperor Akbar in the governance of its empire. It was not a reproduction of official papers but an authentic attempt to present quantitative data at one place. It was an extraordinary document of its times and provides a fascinating peep into the glimpses of the structure and organisation of the Mughal Empire.
Make a critical evaluation of the- significance and limitations of Ain-i-Akbari.
Explain why Ain-i-Akbari remains an extraordinary document of its times even today. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (D))
“In spite of the limitations, the Ain-i-Akbari remained an extraordinary document of its time.” Explain the statement. (C.B.S.E. 2016 (D))
Examine the strengths and weaknesses of Ain-i-Akbari. (C.B.S.E. 2016 (O.D.))
Penned by Abul Fazl, Ain-i-Akbari was written to facilitate Akbar in the governance of his empire. It was written in 1598 C.E. Abul Fazl was so cautious about this book that he revised it five times. He tried his best to leave no scope for any transcriptional error. It is an authentic mine of information about the Mughal Empire.
Abul Fazl did not believe oral testimonies. He verified and cross-checked them before their inclusion in the book. He wanted to make his book factual rather than informative. In the quantitative sections, he presented all the numerical data in words so as to minimise the chances of any subsequent trans¬criptional errors. In other words, the Ain is a record of information about the people and society during the Mughal regime.
In spite of the best efforts of Abul Fazl, the book is not without problems or limitations. There are many limitations which can be studied as follows:
1. There are many errors in total. It has been considered that these might be simple arithmetic errors of transcription by Abul Fazl’s assistants. Even then these errors were very simple which hardly reduces the authenticity of data at a wider level.
2. Another limitation of Ain is the skewed nature of the quantitative data. Uniform data was not collected from all provinces. Wide information was collected about the caste of zamindars from many provinces but these information are not available for Bengal and Orissa.
3. Fiscal data from the provinces is quite remarkable but equally important information like prices and wages from these areas are not as well documented.
Conclusion: Ain remained an extraordinary document of its times even after certain limitations. Abul Fazl achieved a major breakthrough in the tradition of medieval chroniclers who wrote mostly about wars, conquests, political machinations and dynastic turmoil. It was one of the greatest achievements of Abul Fazl.
How was agriculture organised around two major seasonal cycles’s during the 16th and 17th centuries? Was it only for subsistence or otherwise? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
Explain how during 16th and 17th centuries agriculture was organised around two major seasonal cycles by giving examples of different crops. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (D))
Seasonal cycles: During the 16th and 17th centuries, agriculture was organised mainly during two seasonal cycles-Kharif (autumn) and Rabi (spring). Minimum two crops were grown at most of the places except most arid or inhospitable land. Even three crops were also grown where rainfall or other means of irrigation were easily available.
Different types of Crops: There is a mention of word Jins-i-Kamil in historical sources available to us which means perfect crops. Mughal state also used to encourage farmers to grow those crops with which the State could earn more revenue. Cotton and sugarcane were such crops.
Cotton was mainly grown on large pieces of land spread over central India and the Deccan Plateau. Bengal was known for its sugar made from sugarcane. Different types of oilseeds (like mustard) and lentils were also included in cash crops. This shows that subsistence and commercial production were closely related with an average peasant’s holding.
Objectives: Major objective of agriculture during the 16th and 17th centuries was only for subsistence. That is why mainly rice, wheat and barley were grown. But this agriculture was not alone for subsistence. Till then, the nature of agriculture was changed a bit.
- Agriculture was mainly organised for two seasons.
- The commercial production and subsistence were closely related to an average present holding.
Peasants, Zamindars and the State Important Extra Questions HOTS
Who were the Khud-Kashta and Pahi- Kashta? Distinguish between the two.
There were two kinds of peasants in the seventeenth century. They were Khud-Kashta and Pahi-Kashta.
Khud-Kashta: They lived in the village. They had their own land in the village. They themselves cultivated their lands.
Pahi-Kashta: They were non-resident cultivators. They lived in some other village and cultivated lands elsewhere. They did their work on a contractual basis. People became Pahi-Kashta out of two reasons which are given below:
- Out of Choice: The people accepted to be Pahi-Kashta when they found the terms of revenue favourable to them.
- Out of Compulsion: The people became Pahi-Kashta when a famine or economic distress compelled them to find any work to survive.
“A caste group or a community protesting against the demands of the elite class.” What were these demands?
Members of a caste group or a community protested against demands of elite class which they considered illegitimate from a moral point of view. One of them was the demand for excessive tax which endangered the peasants’ subsistence especially in times of drought or other disasters.
Explain any two reasons for an exalted position of the zamindars in the Mughal society.
The following reasons were responsible for the superior status of zamindars in rural society :
- They owed their elevated status to their caste.
- They were the landed proprietors who enjoyed certain social and economic privileges.
- They performed certain services (Khidmat) for the State.
What was milkiyat?
Milkiyat was extensive personal lands held by the zamindars. It was used for cultivation for the private use of the zamindars. It was often cultivated with the help of servile or hired labour. They were free to sell, mortgage these lands at will.
What were ‘Jama’ and ‘Hasil’?
The arrangements for the collection of land revenue consisted of two stages: first assessment and then actual collection. The Jama was the amount assessed whereas the Hasil was the amount received or collected.
How ‘Ain’ of Abul Fazl was different from the creations of early historians?
Creations of early historians, before Abul Fazl, only mention about wars, conquests, political machinations and dynastic turmoil. They hardly give any information about people and products of the country. If any mention was there, it was from a political point of view.
What is meant by ‘Jangli’ in the context of Mughal period? How forest was seen by the state?
Jangli: The word ‘Jangli’ is used by contemporary texts for forest dwellers but it does not mean that they were uncivilised. Actually, during those days, this word was used for the people whose livelihood came from forest products, hunting and shifting cultivation. These occupations were based on seasons. For example, Bhils used to collect forest products during summer, catch fish during summer, do cultivation during monsoon months and used to go for hunting during autumn and winter. Moving from one place to another was one of the important features of tribes living in forests.
Forests in the eyes of the States: As far as for the State, the forest was a subversive place where troublemakers used to take refuge or shelter. Once Babur said about jungles which provided a good defence “behind which the people of the pagan become stubbornly, rebellious and pay no taxes”.
Describe the functions and authority of the Village Panchayats during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. (C.B.S.E. 2(112 (O.D.))
A major function of Panchayat was to ensure that caste boundaries could be upheld by different communities residing in the village. All the marriages in eastern India took place in the presence of Mandal. The major function of village headman was to keep a watch on the conduct of the members of the village community mainly to prevent any offence against their caste. Panchayats had the right to levy fines and expel anyone from the community.
Describe the main sources of agriculture history of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Explain the various sources to know about the rural society during the Mughal period. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
Explain how the chronicle Ain-i-Akbari is the major source to understand the agrarian history of 16th and .7th centuries. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (D))
Peasants are the main actors of agrarian history. But peasants did not write about themselves which is why we hardly get information from them about activities of rural society. Our main sources of the agrarian history of 16th and 17th centuries are chronicles, historical texts and documents which were written under the supervision of the Mughal court.
Ain-i-Akbari: Ain-i-Akbari was one of the most important chronicles of its time. It was written by a court historian of Akbar, i.e., Abul Fazl. This chronicle describes very minutely about the arrangements made by the State to ensure cultivation, enable the collection of revenue by the agencies of state and regulate the relations between the State and the Zamindars.
The main objective of Ain or Ain-i-Akbari was to present a vision of Akbar’s empire where a strong ruling class was providing social harmony. According to the author of Ain, any revolt against the State or assertion of autonomous power was predestined to fail. In other words, whatever information we got from Ain about peasants was a point of view of top officials of Mughal court.
1. Besides Ain, we can also use other sources, which were written at far off places from Mughal kingdom. These include those documents of 17th and 18th centuries found in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan which provide detailed revenue records.
2. Except these, many documents of East India Company are also there which throw light on agrarian relations in eastern India. All these sources record instances of conflicts between the Zamindars, peasants and the State. These sources help us in understanding the peasants’ perception and their expectations of fairness from the State.
Discuss mutual relations between rural artisans and peasants during the 16th and 17th centuries. Also, discuss the importance of rural communities.
One of the interesting aspects of the village was the elaborate relationship of exchange between different producers. Early surveys conducted in the village during the early years of British rule and Maratha documents conclude that artisans also lived in great number in villages. Sometimes, around 25% of total household in the villages belonged to artisans.
Sometimes it was very difficult to differentiate between peasants and artisans because they were groups who used to do both kinds of work. Cultivators and their family members were engaged in the production of many things. These included textile printing, dyeing, making and preparing agricultural implements, baking of pottery, etc. It was so because agricultural work was not for the whole of the year and that is why they used to do work of artisans during the free months.
Services and Supply of Service: Potters, carpenters, blacksmiths, barbers and even goldsmiths provided their services to village men. They were compensated by villagers by the number of means. They were either given a share of the produce or a piece of land in the village. This method of compensation was probably decided by the Panchayat. Such lands, in Maharashtra, became the Miras or Watan of the artisans were:
This system also prevailed in another variant in which artisans and individual peasant households entered into a mutually negotiated settlement of remuneration, most of the time goods for services. For example, blacksmiths, carpenters and even goldsmiths were remunerated by the Zamindars of Bengal, for their work by paying them a small daily allowance and diet money. This system was known as the Jajmani system.
Importance of Rural Community: Rural community was of great importance. Some British officials in 19th century saw the Indian villages as ‘a republic’ in which people used to divide their resources and labour with a collective fraternity. But there was no sign of social equality in villages. Individual ownership of land was there. Deep inequalities were there in society on the basis of caste and gender. Few powerful persons decided on matters of the village and exploited the weaker sections. They also had the authority to dispense justice.
More importantly, a cash nexus developed in villages due to trade between towns and villages. In the Mughal regions, revenue was assessed and collected in the form of cash. Artisans producing for the export market were also paid in cash as their wages. In the same way, producers of commercial products, like cotton, indigo, silk, etc., were also paid in cash.
Peasants, Zamindars and the State Important Extra Questions Source-Based
Read the following passages and answer the questions that follow :
Peasants on the Move
This was a feature of agrarian society which struck a keen observer like Babur, the first Mughal emperor, forcefully enough for him to write about it in the Baburnama, his memoirs :
In Hindustan hamlets and villages, towns indeed, are depopulated and set up in a moment! If the people of a large town, one inhabited for years even, flee from it, they do it in such a way that not a sign or trace of them remains in a day and a half. On the other hand, if they fix their eyes on a place to settle, they need not dig watercourses because their crops are all rain-grown, and as the population of Hindustan is unlimited it swarms in. They make a tank or a well; they need not build houses or set up walls …. Khas-grass abounds, wood is unlimited, huts are made, and straightaway there is a village or a town!
(i) what is Baburnama? Which feature of the Mughal period is expressed in this excerpt taken from the Baburnama?
Baburnama is a biography of Babur. It is a
memoir about the times of Babur. It expresses a feature of an agrarian society which impressed most a keen observer like Babur.
(ii) What has been said about the Hindustani hamlets and villages in this excerpt?
The hamlets and villages in India were depopulated as well as set up in a moment. The people, living in a village or town for years, ran away in such a way that no sign or trace of them is left behind. On the other hand, if they make up their mind to settle, they set up a village or a town in no time.
(iii) How do the people build a village as city in a moment?
India has a lot of population. In other words, it was unlimited. So the people swarmed in all the villages and towns. They made a tank or a well in no time. They need not build a house or set up walls. They built huts with wood and khas-grass. So a village or a town came up in a moment.
Trade between the Hill Tribes and the Plains, c. 1595
This is how Abu’l Fazl describes the transactions between the hill tribes and the plains in the Suba of Awadh (part of present-day Uttar Pradesh):
From the northern mountains quantities of goods are carried on the backs of men, of stout ponies and of goats, such as gold, copper, lead, musk, tails of the Kutas cow (the yak), honey, chuk (an acid composed of orange juice and lemon boiled together), pomegranate seed, ginger, long pepper, the majority (a plant producing a red dye) -root, borax, zedoary ( a root resembling turmeric), wax, woollen stuff, woodenware, hawks, falcons, black falcons, merlins (a kind of bird), and other articles. In exchange, they carry back white and coloured cloths, amber, salt, asafoetida, ornaments, glass and earthenwares.
(i) About whom and by whom has this excerpt has been written?
This excerpt has been written by Abu’l Fazl. It describes the transactions between the people living in the hills and plains of the Awadh Region which was a part of the present-day Uttar Pradesh.
(ii) Name any four things that were exchanged between the people of plains and hilly areas. How did their transactions take place?
The hill-tribes supplied gold, copper, lead, musk, honey, pomegranate seed, ginger, long pepper, wax and tails of the yak. The people living in the plains sent amber, salt, asafoetida, ornaments, white and coloured cloths, glass and earthenwares to the hilly areas.
These things were sent on the backs of men, stout ponies and goats.
(iii) Who were Merlin and Kehruba?
Merlin was a kind of hawk or falcon. It was a prey bird. But Aruba was a yellow-brown metal used to make ornaments.
“Moistening the Rose Garden of Fortune”
In this extract Abu’l Fazl gives a vivid account of how and from whom he collected his information :
…to Abu’l Fazl son of Mubarak….this sublime mandate was given. “Write with the pen of sincerity and account of the glorious events and of our domination-conquering victories… Assuredly, I spent much labour and research in collecting the records and narratives of His Majesty’s actions and I was a long time interrogating the servants of the State and the old members of the illustrious family. I examined both prudent, truth-speaking old men and active-minded, right-actioned young ones and reduced their statements to writing.
The Royal commands were issued to the provinces, that those who from old service remembered, with certainty or with adminicle of doubt, the events of the past, should copy out the notes and memoranda and transit them to the court. (Then) a second command shone forth from the holy Presence-chamber; to wit- that the materials which had been collected should be….recited in the royal hearing, and whatever might have to be written down afterwards, should be introduced into the noble volume as a supplement, and that such details as on account of the minuteness of the inquiries and the minutiae of affairs, (which) could not them be brought to an end, should be inserted afterwards at my leisure.
Being relieved by this royal order-the interpreter of the Divine ordinance-from the secret anxiety of my heart, I proceeded to reduce into writing the rough draughts (drafts) which were void of the grace of arrangement and style. I obtained the chronicle of events beginning at the Nineteenth Year of the Divine Era, When the Record Office was established by the enlightened intellect of His Majesty, and from its rich pages, I gathered the account of many events.
Great pains too, were taken to procure the originals or copies of most of the orders which had been issued to the provinces from the Accession up to the present day…I also took much trouble to incorporate many of the reports which ministers and high officials had submitted, about the affairs of the empire and the events of foreign countries. And my labour loving soul was satiated by the apparatus of inquiry and research. I also exerted myself energetically to collect the rough notes and memoranda of sagacious and well-informed men. By these means, I constructed a reservoir for irrigating and moistening the rose garden of fortune (the Akbarnama)”.
(i) From whose memoirs have this extract been taken? Who had authorised him to write the history of the Mughal period?
This extract has been taken from the
memoirs of Abu’l Fazl. He was asked by emperor Akbar to write the history of the Mughal period.
(ii) How did the author get authentic information to write his memoirs. List any three methods.
(a) He interrogated the servants of the state.
He also talked to old members of the illustrious family.
(b) He examined the statements of all-wise and trustful old men. Besides the talked to active-minded and right actioned young people.
(c) He also heard the views of old service-men.
(iii) Who does the author call the Rose Garden? What does he mean by moistening and irrigating it?
The author referred to his Akbar Nama as
the Rose Garden. The moistening and irrigation of this garden mean to make the information interesting as well as authentic.
(iv) What did his early drafts lack?
They lacked the grace of arrangement and style.
Irrigating Trees and Fields
This is an excerpt from the Baburnama that described the irrigation devices the emperor observed in northern India :
The greater part of Hindustan country is situated on level land. Many though its towns and cultivated lands are, it nowhere has running waters… For … water is not at all a necessity in cultivating crops and orchards. Autumn crops grow by the downpour of the rains themselves; and strange it is that spring crops grow even when no rains fall. (However) to young trees, water is made to flow by means of buckets or wheels…
In Lahore, Dipalpur (both in present-day Pakistan) and those other parts, people water by means of a wheel. They make two circles of rope long enough to suit the depths of the well, fix strips of wood between them, and on these fasten pitchers. The ropes with the wood and attached pitchers are put over the wheel-well. At one end of the wheel-axle a second wheel is fixed, and close to it another on an upright axle. The last wheel the bullock turns; its teeth catch in the teeth of the second (wheel), and thus the wheel with the pitchers is turned.
A through is set where the water empties from the pitchers and from this the water is conveyed everywhere. In Agra, Chandler, Bayana (all in present-day Uttar Pradesh) and those parts again, people water with a bucket … At the well-edge they set up a fork of wood, having a roller adjusted between the forks, tie a rope to a large bucket, put the rope over a roller and tie its other end to the bullock. One person must drive the bullock, another empty the bucket.
(i) From where has this excerpt been taken? Whom does it talk about?
This excerpt has been taken from Baburnama. It tells us about the irrigation devices that Emperor Babur had seen in India.
(ii) Why was the irrigation not understood during the Mughal Period?
During the Mughal Period, the importance of irrigation was not recognised. Water was not at all a necessity in the cultivation of crops and orchards. Autumn crops grew by the rains that fell. Similarly, the spring crops grew even when no rains fell. The young trees were watered through buckets or wheels.
(iii) Name two cities where people irrigated by means of a wheel?
Lahore and Dipalpur.
(iv) Where was irrigation by buckets prevalent? Wiese help was sought in this task?
Irrigation by buckets was popular in Agra, Chandler and Bayana. Some people even took the help of bullocks.
How Silver came to India?
This excerpt from Giovanni Careri’s account (based on Bernier’s account) gives an idea of the enormous amount of wealth that found its way into the Mughal Empire :
That the reader may form some idea of the Wealth of this (Mughal) Empire, he is to observe that all the Gold and Silver, which circulates throughout the World at last Centres here. It is well known that as much of it comes out of America, after running through several Kingdoms of Europe, goes partly into Turkey (Turkey), for several sorts of commodities; and part into Persia, by the way of Smyrna for Silk. Now the Turks not being able to abstain from Coffee, which comes from Hyman (Oman), and Arabia…. nor Persia, Arabia, and the Turks themselves to go without the commodities of India, send vast quantities of Mony (money) to Moka (Mocha) on the Red Sea, near Babel Mandel; to Bassora (Basra) at the bottom of the Persian Gulgh (Gulf) which is afterwards sent over in ships to Indostan (Hindustan).
Besides the Indian, Dutch, English, and Portuguese Ships, that every Year carry the Commodities of Indostan, to Pegu, Tanasserri (parts of Myanmar), Siam (Thailand), Ceylon (Sri Lanka) the Maldive Islands, Mozambique and other places, must of necessity convey much Gold and Silver thither, form those countries. All that the Dutch fetch from the mines in Japan, sooner or later, goes to Indostan; and the goods carry hence into Europe, whether to France, England or Portugal, are all purchased for ready Mony, which remains there.
(i) Who was Bernier?
Bernier was a French traveller. He was a doctor, historian and political philosopher. He came to the Mughal Empire in search of opportunities.
(ii) How did the gold and silver which circulated throughout the world reached here during the Mughal Rule?
During the Mughal Empire, the gold and silver which circulated throughout the world reached India from America and several countries of Europe. It also came from Turkey and Persia.
(iii) How were the gold and silver brought to India by Dutch, English and Portuguese ships?
Many Dutch, English and Portuguese ships carried the Indian commodities to Pegu, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Mozambique and the Maldive Islands. When these ships returned, they brought abundant gold and silver from these countries.
Classification of Lands under Akbar
The following is a listing of criteria of classification excerpted from the Ain:
Emperor Akbar in his profound sagacity classified the lands and fixed a different revenue to be paid by each. The polar island which is annually cultivated for each crop in succession and is never allowed to lie fallow. Parati island left out of cultivation for a time that it may recover its strength. Chachar island that has lain fallow for three or four years. Banjar is land uncultivated for five years and more. Of the first two kinds of land, there are three classes, good, middling, and bad. They add together the produce of each sort, and the third of this represents the medium produce, one-third part of which is exacted as the Royal dues.
(i) Explain briefly the classification of lands by Akbar.
Akbar divided the land in four classes :
(a) Polar. This land was annually cultivated. It grew crops in succession. It was never left unploughed and uncultivated.
(b) Parati. It sometimes left uncultivated so that it may recover its strength.
(c) Chachar. It is left uncultivated for three or four years.
(d) Banjar. Banjar is the land uncultivated for five years and more.
(ii) How the revenue was fixed for the first two types of lands?
There were three classes of the first two types of land: good, middling and bad. They add together the produce of each sort, and the third of this represents the medium produce. One-third part of which is exacted as the Royal dues.
(iii) Suggest some other way as you feel better. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
Another way of revenue was the contract system. Land could be given to a contractor and the definite revenue could be taken from him. The contractor can either cultivate the land himself or could further collect revenue from others by giving them land on rent.
Cash or Kind
The Ain on land revenue collection:
Let him (the amil-guzar) not make it a practice of taking only in cash but also in kind. The latter is effected in several ways. First, kanker: in the Hindi language kan signifies grain, and kut, estimates If any doubt arises, the crops should be cut and estimated in three lots, the good, the middling and the inferior, and the hesitation removed. Often, too, the land taken by appraisement gives a sufficiently accurate return. Secondly, bata, also called Shaolin, the crops are reaped and stacked and divided by agreement in the presence of the parties.
But in this case, several intelligent inspectors are required; otherwise, the evil-minded and false are given to deception. Thirdly khet-bata, when they divide the fields after they are shown. Fourthly, lang-bata, after cutting the grain, they form it in heaps and divide it among themselves and each takes his share home and turns it to profit.
(i) Explain the term Kanker.
Kanker is a Hindi word made up of two words ‘Kan’ and ‘Kut’. The meaning of Kan is grain and the meaning of Kut is an estimate. So, the meaning of Kankut is an estimate of grain.
(ii) Explain the system of bata or Shaolin system of land revenue collection.
In bata or Shaolin system of land revenue collection, the whole of the total produce was divided in definite proportion among peasant and the state. Honest officials were required for the success of this system.
(iii) Explain the system of lang-bata.
In lang-bata system, after cutting the grain, they form it in heaps and divide it among themselves, and each takes his share home and turns it to profit.
(iv) Which system of land revenue collection, do you think, is better and why? (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
The system of Kankut was better for peasants because this system yields best results, other system were defective to a certain extent.