Q. 84.9( 7 Votes )

Examine the role played by zamindars in Mughal India.

Answer :

The Zamindars were the people who did not directly participate in the processes of agricultural production, but they enjoyed high status in the society.

1. Zamindars were landed proprietors who held extensive personal lands also called “Milkiyat” which they got cultivated with the help of hired labour.


2. They derived their power from the fact that they often collected revenue on behalf of the state, a service for which they were compensated financially.


3. Zamindars also had control over military resources. Most zamindars had fortresses (qilachas) as well as armed contingent comprising units of cavalry, artillery and infantry.


4. Zamindar in all probability was ones powerful military chieftains who had acquired property by:


a. Disposition of weaker people


b. Colonisation of lands


c. Transfer of right


d. Order of state


e. By purchase


5. They Spearheaded the Colonisation of agriculture land and helped in setting cultivators by providing them with the means of cultivation including cash loans.


6. They also started the process of monetisation of village economy.


7. Zamindars soled the surplus produce from the milkiyat lands and also established markets (haats) where other formers could also sell their produce.


8. Although they were an exploitative class, their relationship with the peasantry had an element of reciprocity, paternalism and patronage.


9. They enjoyed many social and economic privileges because of their superior status in society. The Zamindars belonged to an upper caste which added to their glorious status in the society.


10. Zamindars had the right to collect the revenue on behalf of the state and also received financial compensation for the work.


11. They also played a role in keeping strict control over the military resources of the state. They kept fortress and a well knit armed unit comprising, cavalry, artillery and infantry.


12. Social relation of village of Mughal age as a pyramid then the Zamindars were at the top. They occupied the highest position in the village.


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