Discuss why the colonial government in India brought in the following laws. In each case, explain how the laws changed the lives of pastoralists—Waste Land Rules and Grazing Tax.
(i) Waste Land Rules: To colonial officials all uncultivated land was unproductive, it produced neither revenue nor agricultural produce. It was considered as waste Land, which had to be brought under the plough. Wasteland rules were enacted in the mid-l9th century in many parts of the country. By these rules uncultivated land was taken over and given to select individuals. In most places, the land taken over was the grazing tracts used by the pastoralists. So expansion of cultivation meant less pastures for the animals.
Grazing Tax: The aim of the colonial government was to collect as much revenue as possible, so tax was imposed on land, water, salt, trade goods and animals. By 1880, each pastoralist was given a pass. Each cattle herder had to pay tax for each cattle head. The amount paid was entered on the pass.
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