Discuss the land reformation of the Mughal and it’s impacts on society.
February 27, 2024 Comments Off on Discuss the land reformation of the Mughal and it’s impacts on society. Economics, Finance and Investment Assignment-help
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Subject: Economics, Finance and Investment

The Mughal Empire, which spanned from the 16th to the 19th century in the Indian subcontinent, was known for its rich cultural heritage, architectural marvels, and expansive territorial control. However, the Mughal rulers also implemented significant land reforms that had a lasting impact on the socio-economic structure of the empire.

The land revenue system formed the basis of relationship between the mughal kings and the peasant class. The revenue system during the Mughals was first introduced as the land revenue system by Sher Shah. When Akbar took over the throne, he then established the land revenue system Zabt or Bandobast system with some modifications.

The land revenue system during the Mughals was divided into three types:
Zabt System
Batai System
Nasq or Kankut System

The Zabt System-
One of the most prominent land reforms initiated by the Mughals was the establishment of a system of land revenue administration known as the Zabt. This system was introduced by Akbar, the third ruler of the Mughal Empire, and it aimed to streamline the collection of land revenue in a more efficient and standardized manner. Under the Zabt, the land was surveyed and assessed for its potential yield, and a fixed revenue was imposed on the landowners. This system allowed for greater control and stability in the collection of land revenue, and it also facilitated the expansion of the Mughal Empire by providing a steady source of income for the imperial treasury.

Different modes and methods were introduced to enhance the fertility of the soil.
During the reign of Akbar, the land was divided into four categories based on its fertility-
1) Polaj – In which two crops was raised every year,
2) Parauti – Land which had to be left fallow for a time to enable it to recover fertility 3) Chachar – Land which had to be left fallow for three or four years
4) Banjar- Land which remained uncultivated for five years or more.

The revenue system for the two categories i.e. Polaj and Parauti was ⅓. In India, Mughals always collected ⅓ Lagaan. So it was nothing new for the farmers. However, what was new was that the Lagaan was collected from the Chhachhar and Banjar lands based on their fertility capacities.

Patta and Kabuliyat

During the Mughal empire, the farmers had no idea on what basis the Lagaan was collected. That is where the Patta and Kabuliyat systems came into effect. Patta was a written document in which the size, category, fertility of the land and revenue to be paid were added. Similarly, Kabuliyat was a copy of Patta with a farmer’s signature or thumb impression. Patta was for farmers, and Kabuliyat was for the Government. This helped in stopping farmer exploitation so that no Zamindar could collect more than the amount to be paid.

Collection of Land Revenue

Zamindars used to collect land revenue. The Zabt system was a vast system and could not be implemented in all areas. Thus, there were some other systems as well.
Bataidari or Gallabaksh System- The Bataidari System was implemented in Sindh, Kashmir and Kabul. In this system, farmers used to go to the Zamindars once their crop was ready. Then, they would divide the crop into three parts, one for the Zamindars and two for the farmers.
Nasq or Kankut System- This system was implemented in Bengal and Orissa. In this system, the land revenue was estimated and later the revenue was collected.

The Mansabdar System –
As the Mughal Empire was expanded, more people were required to govern the empire. Therefore, from a small nucleus of Turkish Nobles, they expanded to include Iranians, Indian Muslims, Afghans, Rajputs, Marathas and other groups. Akbar recruited and appointed people for Mughal Services. Those who joined Mughal services were enrolled as Mansabdars.

Mansabdars were people who held a position or rank. According to the rank of a Mansabdar, their salary and military responsibilities were fixed. Akbar assigned a rank to every Mansabdar that was known as Mansab. In this system, 5000 was the highest rank, and 10 was the lowest rank. If a prince came from a royal family, he held a higher rank. Even if the highest rank was 5000, there were two nobles Mirza Aziz Koka and Raja Man Singh who were honored with the Mansab of 7000 each.

The Jagidar System-
Mansabdars were paid in the form of revenue assignments known as Jagirs, which were similar to Iqtas. It was, however, distinct from the Iqtadari system. Unlike Muqtis and Iqtadars, the majority of Mansabdars did not live in or administer their jagirs. They merely held rights to the income generated by their assignments, which was collected by servants on their behalf.

The Zamindary System-
The Mughals also established a system of land tenure known as the Zamindari system. Under this system, the Zamindars, or landowners, were granted hereditary rights to the land in exchange for paying revenue to the imperial administration. The Zamindari system not only provided stability and security to the landowners, but it also ensured a steady flow of revenue to the Mughal treasury.

Impacts on society-
The impact of the Mughal land reform on society was far-reaching. Firstly, it led to a significant improvement in the living conditions of the peasantry, who were now able to cultivate and own land more securely. This led to increased agricultural productivity and economic stability, as well as a reduction in poverty and social unrest. The reform also brought about a level of social mobility, as the peasantry were now able to accumulate wealth and upward mobility through land ownership.

The Mughal land reform also had significant implications for the economy of the empire. The redistribution of land and the introduction of the zamindari system led to a more efficient and productive agricultural sector, which in turn contributed to the overall economic growth of the empire. Furthermore, the reform led to a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources, thereby reducing the disparities between the ruling elite and the peasantry.

On the other hand, the Mughal land reform also led to the consolidation of power in the hands of the zamindars, who often abused their authority and exploited the peasantry. This ultimately led to social unrest and dissatisfaction among the peasantry, which contributed to the decline of the Mughal Empire in the later years.

In conclusion, the land reform of the Mughal Empire had a profound impact on society and the economy. It brought about significant improvements in the living conditions of the peasantry and led to increased agricultural productivity and economic growth. However, it also led to the consolidation of power in the hands of the zamindars, which ultimately contributed to the decline of the empire. Nonetheless, the Mughal land reform remains a significant turning point in the history of land ownership in South Asia.