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Colonialism And The Countryside (Exploring Official Archives) NCERT Textbook With Solutions PDF Free Download
Chapter 10: Colonialism Countryside Exploring Official Archives
Bengal and the Zamindars
- In India, British rule was first of all established in Bengal.
- Permanent Settlement of land revenue was adopted in Bengal in 1793 by lord Cornwallis.
- The economic measures adopted by the British government make India consumers of goods, manufactured in England.
- There was an auction held at Burdwan (Vardhaman) in 1797 which was a grand public event.
- The company fixed the revenue and each zamindar was supposed to pay.
- The zamindar who failed to pay the revenue, their estate was auctioned to recover the revenue.
- But sometimes it was found that the purchasers at auction were servants and agents of the zamindars themselves e.g. auctions in Burdwan.
- Over 95% of the sale at the auction was fictitious at that time.
The Problem of Unpaid Revenue
- Over 75% of zamindars changed hands after the permanent settlement.
- Company officials felt that agriculture, trade, and the revenue sources of the state could be developed by increasing investment in agriculture.
- The company felt if the revenue demand of the state was fixed, the company could get a regular flow of revenue.
- After a prolonged debate amongst company officials, the permanent settlement was made with the rajas and taluqdars of Bengal.
- Zamindar had several, sometimes even 400 villages under them.
- Zamindars collected rent from the different villages paid the revenue to the company and retained the difference as his income.
Failures of permanent settlement
- initial demands were very high.
- The prices of agricultural produce were depressed.
- Invariable revenue imposed ‘sunset law‘
- Limited the power of zamindars
Limitations impose on Zamindars by Company
- Zamindar’s troops were disbanded.
- Custom duties were abolished.
- Cutcherries (courts) are brought under the supervision of a ‘collector’, appointed by the company.
- Zamindar lost power from the local justice and local police.
- The rent collector of zamindars is called Amlah.
Problems to collect revenue
- Bad harvests
- Low prices of the produce of Ryots
- Sometimes they deliberately delayed
|No. of Pages||31|
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NCERT Solutions Class 12 History Chapter 10 Colonialism And The Countryside – Exploring Official Archives
1. Why was jotedar a powerful figure in many areas of rural Bengal?
Ans: Jotedars were rich peasants in Bengal. They owned big plots of land sometimes running into thousands of acres of land. They controlled local trade and commerce including the money lending business. They had a great influence on the local village population. They were regarded as more powerful than the Zamindars even. Following are the main reasons for the high status of Jotedars.
- The Jotedars controlled trade and commerce including money lending business at the local level.
- In order to weaken the Zamindars, Jotedars would mobilize ryots not to pay or delay payment towards land revenue.
- The Jotedars opposed the moves of Zamindars to increase the Jama of a village.
- The Jotedars lived in villages only. Hence they were in a better position to interact with and influence the peasants.
- Jotedars were rich and owned big areas of land under cultivation. Many a time they would buy estates of Zamindar. That would be auctioned due to failure to pay up land revenue.
2. How did zamindars manage to retain control over their zamindaris?
Ans: The zamindars manage to retain control over their zamindaris in the following manners :
1. Fictitious sale: It involved a series of manoeuvres. For example, Raja of Burdwan, first transferred some of his zamindaris to his mother because the company had decreed that the property of women would not be taken over by the company.
Secondly, his agents manipulated the auctions by buying the property, and outbidding other purchasers. Subsequently, they refused to pay up the purchase money. As a result of it, the Estate was again resold at auction.
But as the zamindar’s agents used to purchase it again and again, and did not pay the purchase amount, the auctions were repeated endlessly.
Ultimately, the estate was sold at a lower price back to the zamindars, who never paid the full revenue demand. Such transactions took place on a large scale in Bengal including Burdwan.
2. Attack on outsiders: Whenever outsiders purchased an estate at an auction, they could not always take possession because their agents would be attacked by lathyals of the former zamindar.
3. Sometimes even the ryots resisted the outsiders due to their close relations with the zamindar. The ryots considered themselves to be the proja (subjects) of the zamindar.
Thus, the zamindars could not be displaced. Thereafter the rules of revenue payment were made flexible.
As a result of that, the zamindar’s power over the villages was strengthened. It was only during the Great Depression of the 1930s that their power collapsed and the jotedars consolidated their power in the countryside.
3. How did the Paharias respond to the coming of outsiders?
Ans: Paharias live in the hills of Rajmahal. The British people began to interact with them and later Santhals began to settle down there. The response of the Paharias was as follows:
- Paharias resisted the settlement of Santhals initially but had to accommodate them in course of time.
- The Paharias shifted to deeper areas into the hills.
- They were confined to more barren and rocky areas of the hills in course of time.
- The paharias did shifting cultivation. Now shifting cultivation was becoming more and more difficult as proper and stable settlements.
- As forest began to be cleared, the paharis could not depend on it for livelihood. Thus, the lifestyle and living of Paharias underwent change due to coming of outsiders.
4. Why did the Santhals rebel against British rule?
Ans: By 1832 the Santhals had settled in Damin-i-Koh area. Their settlement expanded rapidly. Forests were cleared to accommodate them.
The Company also benefitted as it got more and more land revenue. However, the Santhals too got dissatisfied. They rebelled against British rule. Following are the main causes for their rebellion.
1. Santhals were not happy with the tax regime of the company. They thought that the land revenue rates were high and exploitative.
2. The Zamindars began to exercise greater control on the areas brought under cultivation by Santhals, apparently it was a part of the British Policy. But Santhals resented that.
3. Moneylenders in the rural areas were seen as villains and agents of Company rule by the Santhals. Moneylenders could auction the land of Santhals in case of the defaulter. All this was not liked by the Santhals.
The British took steps to placate the Santhals later on. A separate district of Santhal Pargana was carved out and law was enacted to protect the Santhals.
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NCERT Class 12 History Textbook Chapter 10 With Answer PDF Free Download