Copyright
B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

. (page 70 of 98)
Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 70 of 98)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Brahmans of Harihar, though at first of opinion that she ought to be sold as a slave,
on further consideration, and consulting with more enlightened persons, found that as
her misfortune had been involuntary, it might be expiated by penance and a pecuniary
mulct to the offended law.



UNDER VIJAYANAGAR 585

among the inferior castes. Previous to the ceremonies commencing, the
customary duty or gratuity was given to this minister of religion, and they
were then at hberty to proceed with the festival, whether of marriage or any
other occasion. But if the parties neglected the established presents, the
Dasaris returned to their houses in displeasure and no other Ddsaris would
perform the office, as they would be liable to punishment for interfering. Hy
these means the Headmen collected fines, perquisites and presents from their
castes, from which they paid an annual tax to the Government. This branch
of custom was called samaydchdrai)i and was taken credit for in the jamd-
bandi accounts.

As the Madiga or chuckler had a greater dyam or allowance than the
other A'yagdr, and that besides when he supplied ropes and leather for the
use of the gardens they paid him a quantity of grain proportioned to the
produce, he therefore \)1l\(S. jdti-vidnyavi, a higher ta.\ than the other village
officers, and the Sarkar people presented him with a coarse cloth at the time
of settlement yearly. In some places it was customary, if the chuckler was
not able to pay the jati-mdnyam, that the Sarkar assumed his allowances
and share of the crop, and giving him one-half of his perquisites, the rest
was included in the government rental. He must be always ready to serve
and obey the orders of the Sarkar officers ; and the villagers generally
employed the chuckler to show the roads to travellers, and carry letters from
their village to the next stage. Besides the dyams already mentioned, the
chucklers in many places had indm or free gift lands, for which they paid
some gratuity to the Sarkar.

The people who extracted salt from the soil of the Sarkar lands paid a
revenue to the Government, called nppitia molla, proportioned to the
produce. The cow-keepers or Gollas paid luillti-banni for the liberty of
feeding their flocks and cattle in the public lands. The Amildar of the
district appointed one headman to collect the money arising from the duty
of hullu-banni in different places, which was thus included in the jamabandi.
The jungles were let out for a certain rent, kdvali }^utta or konda gutta, to
people who sold the grass and firewood to the inhabitants, according to the
accounts of their kists. Those who farmed the exclusive sale of different
articles from the Sarkar, purchased these articles at a low price and sold
them in the market at an advanced rate ; no other shopkeepers being
permitted to interfere in this trade. From these articles altogether a
certain revenue arose to the Sarkar, payable at the terms agreed on in the
jamabandi. The shroff used formerly to pay a very handsome tax to the
Sarkar, which was suppressed in 1801 at Chitaldroog.

The Jayaris were people convicted of murder, who were under the ancient
government employed as executors to put criminals to death by order of the
magistrate. For this duty they were permitted to take one gold fanam
from each pariah house ; their allowance is still admitted in the Chitaldroog
country ; they paid yearly 100 pagodas to Government as Jayari gutta.
Sivdyajama, not being certain, was the only item not included in the
jamabandi and estimate. It is composed of the hnes imjjosed for certain
malversations or misdemeanours, and carried to account under this head.



586 ADMINISTRATION

The foregoing formed the heads of the several branches, called Bdb,
of revenue arising to the sovereign, of which the Jamdbandi included
the estimated amount, which being settled, and the revenue collected
according to the kist, the occupiers used to remit the produce into the
general treasury, which accounts for the disbursements made by order
in the Civil and Military establishments of the Districts. The balances
due by the renters were carried to the next jamabandi, under the head
of Silsila Baki, which they collected from the renters with the next
year's rent. The Rajas and many of the other governors, even Haidar,
used to remit the charge of repairs of tanks.

For the improvement of the revenue, the following methods were
generally observed : —

The Government advanced money to the ryot who ploughed one vokkala
with one plough, to enable him to provide cattle, instruments of tillage and
other means to bring into cultivation next year three or four vokkalas of
waste land. They also took pains to get broken tanks repaired, as well
as the channels that conducted water to the fields ; and on the high
grounds where channels could not be led from the tanks, they dug many
kapile wells.

They gave kauls, or a sufficient surety of protection, to the head gaudas
of the country, who used their influence to introduce such inhabitants (from
foreign countries) as might be dissatisfied with their state at home ; these
were placed in convenient situations until they were settled and acquainted
with the management of the country, when the Sarkar gave them waste
lands to cultivate at a reduced rate, till the expiration of a certain term,
after which they were to pay the same rent as other ryots of the country.

The Government also encouraged the cultivation or manufacture of
various articles of commerce much in demand, by supplying seeds, plants,
&c., and the first expenses ; sugar, indigo, opium and other articles were
thus cultivated by the ryots according to instructions given on this subject.

The Government used further to make advances of money to foreign
merchants and encouraged them to settle in new pettas and markets, to
which they brought scarce and valuable goods from distant countries, and
in return exported the product of this country to places where they could
be disposed of to advantage : the customs were by this means increased,
and an additional income derived by the renters of the new market places.

Some of the ancient Rajas used to trade for their own advantage in the
following manner : — The cattle belonging to the Sarkar were employed in
time of peace to transport the grain and other products received in the half-
share of the crop from the ryots, to the market towns where they were sold
at the highest price, whence a more considerable price was secured, even
twice or thrice more than they would get in the country, by being free of
those duties that the merchants were liable to.

The establishments employed in the management of the Gadis were



UNDER VIJAYANAGAR 587

on a very moderate footing. The Nadiga had no pay allotted to him
in many cases, as he rented generally the country, and was supposed
to derive some advantage from his district ; the pay of the Parpattegar
or Amildar was 10 pagodas per month ; Sheristedar, 5 pagodas ; other
writers from i^ to 3 pagodas; when the Rajas employed people to
collect the sunkam on their own account, and accounts of this depart-
ment were kept, they gave a salary to the Sunkadava of from 2 to 5
pagodas ; the regulated pay of Atthavane or revenue peons was from 6
to 10 Kanthiraya fanams.

Little information could be obtained of any regular Courts of Justice
or Judges specially appointed for that purpose under the ancient forms
of government.^ Among the eight established great offices of State or
Ashta Pradhana, we do not find any mention of a Judge ; but there
were seven Heads of Departments under Rama Raya, as follows,
among whom one was apparently so designated : —

Pradhani Durga Daksha — governor of the hill forts.

Bhila Daksha — superintendent of tanks and lower forts, master of the pioneers and

workmen.
Dharma Karta — lord of justice and superintendent of charities and alms.
Senadhipati — commander-in-chief of the army.

superintendent of the haisebs or vakils, the Intelligence Dejiartment.

Pura Daksha — superintendent of towns, &c.

Devasthan Alapati — superintendent of temples and religious buildings.

But the pandits may be considered as expounders of the law or
counsellors of the Rajas, who in their own persons united the office of
judge and legislator. The Palegars had courts of pufichdyixti, wherein
complaints were heard and decisions given, by five respectable persons,
whence the name — pa/icha, five, and ayati, gathering.

The Persian Ambassador previously quoted (p. 351) has the
following remarks on the administration of justice and police regula-
tions at Vijayanagar as he saw them in 1441, in the reign of Deva
Raya : —

On the right hand of the palace of the Sultan there is the divAn-klulna,
or minister's ofhce, which is extremely large, and presents the appearance
of a chihal-suiiin, or forty-pillared hall ; and in front of it there rims a

* On this subject Sir II. S. Maine says: — Though llie Urahiuiiiical written l;isv
assumes the existence of king and judge, yet at the present moment in some of the
best governed semi-independent Native States, there are no institutions corresjwnding
to our Courts of Justice. Disputes of a civil nature are adjusted by the ciders of each
village, community, or occasionally, when they relate to land, by the functionaries
charged with the collection of the prince's revenue. Such criminal jurisdiction as is
found consists in the interposition of the military power to punish l)reaches of the
peace of more than ordinary gravity. What must be called criminal law is admin-
istered through the arm of the soldier. — /'///. Com., 71.



588 ADMINISTRATION

raised gallery, higher than the stature of a man, thirty yards long and six
broad, where the records are kept and the scribes are seated.' In the
middle of the pillared hall, a eunuch, called a Dandik, sits alone upon a
raised platform, and presides over the administration ; and below it the
mace-bcarers stand, drawn up in a row on each side. Whoever has any
business to transact, advances between the lines of mace-bearers, offers
some trifling present, places his face upon the ground, and standing upon
his legs again, represents his grievance. Upon this, the Dandik issues
orders founded upon the rules of justice prevalent in that country, and no
other person has any power of remonstrance. When the Dandik leaves the
chamber, several coloured umbrellas are borne before him, and trumpets are
sounded, and on both sides of his way panegyrists pronounce benedictions
upon him. Before he reaches the King he has to pass through seven gates,
at which porters are seated, and as the Dandik arrives at each door, an
umbrella is left behind, so that on reaching the seventh gate the Dandik
enters alone. He reports upon the affairs of the State to the King, and,
after remaining some time, returns. His residence lies beyond the palace
of the King.

On the left hand of the palace there is the mint. Opposite the mint is
the office of the Prefect of the City, to which it is said 12,000 policemen are
attached ; and their pay, which equals each day 12,000 fanams, is derived
from the proceeds of the brothels. The splendour of those houses, the
beauty of the heart-ravishers, their blandishments and ogles, are beyond all
description. It is best to be brief on the matter .... The revenues of
the brothels, as stated before, go to pay the wages of the policemen. The
business of these men is to acquaint themselves with all the events and
accidents that happen within the seven walls and to recover everything that
is lost, or that may be abstracted by theft ; otherwise they are fined. Thus,
certain slaves which my companion had bought, took to flight, and when
the circumstance was reported to the Prefect, he ordered the watchmen of
that quarter where the poorest people dwelt to produce them or pay the
penalty ; which last they did, on ascertaining the amount. Such are the
details relating to the city of Bijanagar and the condition of its sovereign. ^

Carnatic Bijapur. — 'When from the conquests of Ran-dulha Khan,
the Bijapur general, parganas had been formed, he arranged the sub-
ordinate divisions of samats, tarnfs, inaiije, imijare of each Pargana,
and appointed Jamadars or collectors. In the time of the Rayals, the
accountants had been called Samprati, but the Mahrattas introduced
the different ofifices of Deshpande, Deshkulkarni, Sar-Nad-Gaud,

' These people, he adds, have two kinds of writing, one upon a leaf of the Hindu
nut (palmyra) which is two yards long and two digits broad, on which they scratch
with an iron style. These characters present no colour, and endure but for a little
while. In the second kind they blacken a white surface, on which they write with a
soft stone cut into the shape of a pen, so that the characters are white on a black
surface and are durable. This kind of writing is highly esteemed. {See above, p. 503. )

- Sir H. Elliot, Hist. Iiid., iv, 107, iii.



UNDER BIJAPUR 589

Ueshmuki and Kanungo, by \Yhoni the accounts of the country were
kept; they also appointed Sheristedars to all the parganas. When
jagirs were granted to the Killedars and Mansubdars by the Sarkar,
the revenue accounts of the districts for the last years were previously
examined, and the new revenue rated annually on the jagir to be
granted. In fixing the revenue thus established, the inams or free gift
lands, land customs, &:c., were discontinued or deducted, and the net
revenue, more or less than the former, ascertained by means of the
Jamadars.

The Deshkulkarni was to write the kaul pa/fa, the contract or lease
for the revenue ; the Deshpande was to sign it in :\Iahratti characters
at the bottom of the paper ; the Deshmuki, Kanunga and Sar-Nad-
Gaud were also to add their signatures to the written deed, and the
Amildar finally to seal it. The particular accounts of the parganas
were kept as follows : the Shanbh6g was to keep the written accounts
of the mauje or village, the Deshkulkarni to keep the accounts of the
samats, the Deshpande the accounts of the parganas, and the Kanunga
to sign the patte or revenue agreements. He was also to keep a
written 'register of the revenue of the district, to be delivered to the
Sarkar. It was the duty of the Deshmuki and Sar-Nad-Gaud to control
and inspect all accounts, and report them to their superiors ; they were
also to inquire and report generally on all affairs, and the settlement
of the district.

Sim. — When the Moguls formed the Suba of Sira, 1 2 parganas were
annexed to it, and the other districts were permitted to be still held by
the Palcgars on condition of paying an annual tribute. Ofiicers for
collecting and managing the revenues were appointed in the amani
districts only ; at the same time the ofiices of Deshmuki, Deshkulkarni
and Sar-Nad-Gaud were formed into one office. Deshpandes,
jMajmundars, Kanungoyas, and Kulkarnis were maintained according
to the forms long established in the dominions of Uijajjur. The
Deshmuk was to settle the accounts with the patels ; the Deshpande
to check the accounts of the karnams ; the Kanunga to register the
official regulations, and to explain the ordinances and regulations to the
inhabitants and public officers to prevent errors or mistakes. In the
Majmiindar's office, the accounts of the settlement were made out and
issued.

The accounts of all kinds were anciently kept in Kannada, but after
the Mahratta chiefs attained power in the Carnatic, many Deshasts or
natives of their countries followed them, who introduced their language
and written character into the public accounts. Even in the samsthans
of the Palegars, where the revenue and military accounts had been kept



590 ADMINISTRATION

in Kannacla alone, some of them beginning then to entertain large
bodies of horse, employed Mahratta accountants to check the pay
accounts in that language for the satisfaction of the horsemen of that
nation. After the Moguls came into the country and established the
Suba of Sira, the Persian language came into use.

Under the Rajas of Mysore, &rc.

In the south, in the growing kingdom of Mysore, about the year
1 701, Chikka Dcva Raja, it is stated, distributed the business of govern-
ment into 18 cutcherries or departments, probably from having learned
from his ambassadors to Aurangzib that such was the practice at the
imperial court. These departments were : —

I. yVzV/^/rt; i:/i(^f'Z/rt(// or the secretary's department, to which he appointed
one daroga or superintendent, and three daftars, registers or books of record.
Everything was recorded in each of the three in exactly the same manner ;
all letters or orders despatched, to be previously read to the Rd.ja. 2. Ekka-
da chdvadi, whose business it was to keep the general accounts of revenue,
treasury, and disbursements, civil and military ; this seems to approach
our office of accountant-general. 3 and 4. Ubhaika vichdra, or two-fold
inquiry. He divided his whole possessions into two portions ; that north of
the Kaverihe called the Patna H6bli ; that south of the Kaveri was named
the Mysore Hdbli : to each of these cutcherries he appointed one divan and
three daftars. 5. Shi)ne Ka7iddchdr ; it was the duty of this cutcherry to
keep the accounts of provisions and military stores, and all expenses of the
provincial troops, including those connected with the maintenance of the
crarrisons ; one bakshi and three daftars. 6. Bdkal Kanddchdr (bdkal, a
oate or portal) ; it was the duty of this department to keep the accounts of
the troops attending at the porte, that is to say, the army, or disposable
force. 7. Siinkada chdvadi, or duties and customs ; it was their duty to
keep the general accounts of customs levied within his dominions. 8. Povt
chdvadi : in every taluq where the sunka was taken, there was another or
second station, where a farther sum equal to half the former amount was
levied ; for this duty he established a separate cutcherry. 9. Tiindeya
chdvadi [tinide, half, i.e., half of the pom) ; this was a farther fourth of the
first duty, levied in Seringapatam only. 10 and 11. In the Ubhaika vichara
were not included the Srirangapatna and Mysore Ashtagrama (eight town-
ships) : for each of these he had a separate cutcherry ; besides the business
of revenue, they were charged with the provisions and necessaries of the
o-arrison and palace. 12. Benne chdvadi, the butter department ; the
establishment of cows, both as a breeding stud, and to furnish milk and
butter for the palace : the name was changed by Tipu to Amrit Mahal,
and then to Keren Barik. (Amrit, the Indian nectar. Keren Barik, an
Arabic term, may be translated almost A-erbally Cornu Copia.) 13. Patnada
chdvadi ; this cutcherrj- was charged with the police of the metropolis, the
repairs of the fortifications and public buildings. 14. Behijt chdvadi, the



I



UNDER THE MYSORE RAJAS 591

department of expedition, or the post-office : the business of espionage
belon^^ed also to this department. 15. Samukha chavadi : the officers of
the palace, domestics, and personal servants of ever)- description belonged
to the charge of this cutcherry. 16. Dcvasthan c/uivadt\ kept the accounts
of the lands allotted to the support of religious establishments, the daily
rations of food to the Brahmans, lighting the pagodas, &c. 17. Kabbinadci
chdvatU, iron cutcherry : this article was made a monopoly, and its
management was committed to a separate cutcherry. 18. Hoge soppin
chavadi, the tobacco department, another monopoly by the government,
which in Seringapatam was the exclusive tobacco merchant.

It is certain that the revenues were realised with great regularity and
precision, and this Raja is stated to hvive established a separate treasury
to provide for extraordinary and unexpected disbursements, of which
he himself assumed the direct custody. It was his fixed practice, after
the performance of his morning ablutions, and marking his forehead
with the insignia of Vishnu, to deposit two bags (thousands) of pagodas
in this treasury from the cash despatched from the districts, before he
proceeded to break his fast. If there were any delay in bringing the
money, he also delayed his breakfast, and it was well known that
this previous operation was indispensable. By a course of rigid
economy and order, and by a widely extended and well-organized
system of securing for himself the great mass of plunder obtained by
his conquests, he had accumulated a treasure from which he obtained
the designation of Navak6ti Ndrayana, or the lord of nine crores (of
pagodas), and a territory producing a revenue calculated to have been
Kanthirdya pagodas 13,23,571.

The method by which he raised the revenue is thus described : — The
sixth was the lawful share of the crop, for which the Raja received his
equivalent in money ; and he was unwilling to risk the odium of
increasing this proportion in a direct manner. He therefore had
recourse to the law of the shdstras, which authorized him, by no
very forced construction, to attack the husbandman by a variety of
vexatious taxes, which should compel him to seek relief by desiring to
compound for their abolition by a voluntary increase of the landed
assessment : and this is the arrangement which generally ensued ;
although, from the great discontent excited by the taxes, the com-
promise was generally made on the condition of excepting some one or
more of the most offensive, and proportionally increasing those which
remained. But the Rdja, with that profound knowledge of human
nature which distinguished all his measures, exempted from these new
imposts all the lands which were allotted to the provincial soldiery in
lieu of pay, according to the ordinary practice of the smaller Hindu



592



ADMINISTRA TION



States and thus neutralized, in some degree, the opposition to the
measure, and ensured the means of eventual compulsion. Subjoined
is the detail of these taxes. ^ The whole .system is stated to have been
at once unfolded, with intimation that it would be gradually introduced
according to circumstances ; but the commotions which it produced,
by leading to measures of extreme severity, precipitated its total and
abrupt introduction.

One of the earliest measures of this Raja's reign had been to compel
the dependent Wodeyars and Palegars, who, like his own ancestors,
had commenced the career of ambition by affecting in their respective

' Mane terige, or house-tax. 2. Htil kaita, a lax upon the straw prockiced on the
ground which already paid kandaya, or the land-tax, on the pretence that a share of
the straw, as well as of the grain, belonged to government. 3. Deva Ray tttta —
utta is literally loss, the difference of exchange on a defective coin. Deva Raj, on
the pretence of receiving many such defective coins, exacted this tax as a reimlnirse-
ment ; this was now permanently added to the ryots' payments. It was different
according to the coins in use in the several districts, and averaged about two per
cent. 4. Bergi — a patel (for example) farmed his village, or engaged for the pay-
ment of a fixed sum to the government ; his actual receipts from the ryots fell short
of the amount, and he induced them to make it up by a proportional contribution.
The name of such a contribution is hergi, and the largest that had ever been so
collected was now added, under the same name, to the kandaya of each ryot.
5. Yeru siinka — sunka is properly a duty of transit on goods or grain ; yerii, a
plough. The ryot, instead of carrying his grain to where a transit duty is payable,
sells it in his own village. The yeru sunka was a tax of one to two gold fanams on
each plough, as an equivalent for the tax which would have been paid if the grain
had been exported. 6. Jdti mdnya, a tax upon the heads of those castes {Jogi,
Jangam, &c. ) who do not come within the general scope of Hindu establishments,
and form separate communities which occasionally oppose the Brahminical rule. On
every occasion of marriage, birth, or law-suit, or quarrel, a certain fine was levied on
each house concerned as parties or judges, and a chief of each caste was made
responsible for the collection. 7. Magga kandaya or loom-tax. 8. Kutike terige, a
tax on fornication. 9. Aladive terige, a tax upon marriage. 10. Angadi pattadi, or
shop-tax. II. Angadi passera, a tax upon the movable booths which are set up
daily in the middle of the bazaar streets. 12. Kavadi terige (kavadi is the name of
a bullock saddle) a tax upon bullocks kept for hire. 13. Mdrike (selling), a tax
upon the purchase and sale of cattle. 14. Uppin mala, a tax upon the manufacture



Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 70 of 98)