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of inland salt, produced by lixiviating saline earths. 15. Ubbe kdnike — ubbe is the
kettle or vessel made use of by washermen to boil and bleach their cloths ; this was
a tax on each kettle. 16. Kiiri terige, a tax of a certain sum per cent, on flocks of
sheep. 17. Pashioara (Pasha is a fisherman, a net). 18. Gida gdval, a tax upon
wood for building, or fuel brought in from the forests. 19. Gulavina pommu. (Gula
is the name of a plough-share.) This is a separate tax on that instrument, exclusively
of the plough-tax, No. 5, which is professed to be a tax on the alienation of grain.
20. Terad hagalu (opening a door). In a country and a state of society where
window-glass was unknown, this was a most ingenious substitute for the window-tax.
The husbandman paid it, as expressed by the name, for the permission to open his
door. It was, however, levied only on those made of planks, and not on the common
bamboo door of the poorer villagers.


districts to be addressed by the title of Riija, publicly to renounce that
assumption of independence, to disclaim the local prerogatives of
punishment and confiscation without previous authority from the Raja,
and to revert to their original character of obedient officers of the
government. This object was aided by first inviting, and then com-
pelling, them to fix their residence at Seringapatam ; by assigning to
them offices of honour about the Raja's person, and gradually convert-
ing them from rebellious chieftains to obsequious courtiers. The
insurgents in the districts were left, in consequence, destitute of the
direction of their accustomed leaders, and the Jangam priests, deprived
of their local importance, and much of their pecuniary receipts, by the
removal of these mock courts from the provinces, were foremost in
expressing their detestation of this new and unheard-uf measure of
finance, and in exhorting their disciples to resistance. The terrible
mode in which this was put down has been described p. 367. The
new system of revenue was finally established, and there is a tradition
that the Raja exacted from every village a written renunciation,
ostensibly voluntary, of private property in the land, and an acknow-
ledgment that it was the right of the State.

Bedmir. — In the Bednur territory, the west of the country, the most
distinguished ruler was Sivappa Nayak, who reigned 1648 to 1670.
His shist or land assessment, and prahar paiti or rules for collecting
the halat on areca-nut, i!cc., are frerjuently referred to in proof of his
financial skill, and he is said to have framed a scale of expenditure,
including every contingency for each day in the year, for the Sringeri

During twelve successive years, he caused one field of each descrip-
tion of land, in every village, to be cultivated on his own account, and
an accurate record kept of the seed sown, the expense of culture, and
the quantity and value of the produce. He then struck averages of
the produce and prices, and taking the value of one khanclaga (of 50
seers) at one fanam, and the Sarkar share as one-third of the gross
produce, fixed the rates shown in the table on the following page,
land being distributed into five classes, with two rates for each class.

Gardens were measured with a rod, the length of the stone steps at
the Ikkeri Aghoresvara devasthan (18 feet 6 inches English exactly).
This rod was the space called ddya allowed for one tree. The shist
was fixed on 1,000 such daya at various rates. These are not given,
but they appear to have varied from 7 to 25 Bahaduri pagodas.

The shist continued for thirty-nine years from 1660. The following
additions were afterwards made :— In 1700, one anna in the pagoda,
called dasoha, by Chinnammaji, for the support of an establishment



for providing food gratis to all who applied. In 1736, one fanam four
as. per pagoda, called J)a_i;udi\ by Chikka Somasekhara, when the
Moguls threatened an invasion. In 1753, one fanam four as. per
pagoda, called paiii, by liasappa Nayak, to pay the Mahratta chout. on Land requiring one Khand.\ca of Seed. Wet Land.




Class of land.







Value. Quantity



2nd, Madhya-

3rd, Kanish-

Yeremisra, — black,
and black mixed
with sand .

Bettabis, — high
and open red or

Varavindu, — dark
or hght sand with










































4th, Adha-Yatte, — hard, high


5th, Adhama- Urimalal, — hot

dhamam. sand, dry, anc

above level


Dry land, or hakkal, in the Gaddenad, was included in the gadde
shist. In the open country the following rates were fixed per khan-
daga : —









Yere, — black clay

Kari Masab, — dark loam with sand..

Kemman, — red ...

^lalal, — sandy

Imnian, — mixed ...

Gonikal, — gravelly

F. I A.

2' 8

o o

7 S

5 i o

o o

7 I 8

Under the Basvapatna chiefs, Bedar offered higher rents for some
villages than were paid by the old gaudas, who were Kurubar, which
were accepted, which ended in the ryots at length agreeing to pay an
addition to the kulavana of from two to six fanams in the pagoda.
This was the origin of I'irado, which is found in the east of the
Shimoga District.



Haidar AH. — Such was the system before Haidar Ali Khan ; when
he had subjugated the ancient Palegars, he again reinstated several of
them on condition of paying an annual tribute ; and he followed
generally the regulations formerly established, and the peculiar customs
and laws of the different provinces. But he was at all times accessible
to complaints, and never failed to pursue to its source the history of
an irregular demand, and to recover it with additional fines from the
exactor. It is true that the amount was never returned to the com-
plainant, but it frequently produced the dismission of the offender ;
the certainty of investigation tended to restrain oppression, and, as
Haidar was accustomed to say, rapacity in this case was nearly as good
for his subjects, and much better for himself, than a more scrupulous
distribution of justice. For though he left the fiscal institutions of
Chikka Deva Raja as he found them, he added to the established
revenue whatever had been secretly levied by a skilful or popular Amil
and afterwards detected : this produced a progressive and regular
increase, and the result of complaints gave occasional, but also toler-
ably regular, augmentations.

Two Brahmans, with the title of Harkaras, resided in each taluq.
Their duty was to hear all complaints, and to report these to the office
of the revenue department. They were also bound to report all waste
lands. This was found to be a considerable check to oppression and
to defalcations on the revenue.

Tipu Sultan. — But Tipu .Sultan, not approving of the old regulations,
introduced a new system through all his dominions. He divided the
whole into tiikadis of five thousand pagodas each, and established the
following officers in each tukadi : — One Amildar, one sheristedar, three
gumastas, one tarafdar to each taraf, six atlhavane peons, one golla (or
headman) to seal and keep money, one shroff and one munshi. To
twenty or thirty tukadis was attached an Asuf cutcherry : the official
establishment of each of them was — first and second Asufs, two
sherista, two gumastas willi five men each, forty peons, one shroff, one
munshi, one mashalchi to attend the office, one Persian sheristedar,
and some gumastas to keep the accounts in Persian. In this manner
an entire new system of management was introduced. Mir Sadak, the
president of the Asuf cutcherry, circulated such new orders as were
necessary, under the signature and seal of the Sultan, to the Head
Asufs of the Revenue Department, which they communicated to
Amildars under them, and these sent them to the Tarafdars with
directions to have them notified throughout their districts. He dis-
pensed with the Harkaras appointed by Haidar, and this measure of
economy contributed much to the oppression of the people.

Q Q 2


The accounts of revenues were made out in the Kannada character
by the tarafdars ; fair copies of which they communicated to the
Amildars, in whose office they were translated into Mahratti, and a
copy of each preserved by the sheristedars in the Kannada and
Mahratti languages. A third set was kept in Persian.

The following salaries were attached to offices : — In the Tukadi
Office the Amildar got lo pagodas ; sheristedar, 5 ; gumasta, 2 ;
munshi, 2 ; goUa, 8 fanams ; shroff, 8 ; attavane peons, 6 ; naiks, 8.
The sunkadars had no pay, being renters in several districts. In the
Asuf cutcherry, Asufs from 50 to 60 pagodas each ; sheristedars, from
25 to 30 ; gumastas, Persian 8, Kannada 6, Hindavi 7 ; munshi, 8 ;
goUa, 2 ; shroff, 2 ; kazi, 5 ; his duty was to administer justice to the
Musalmans, and all of that religion who neglected to come to perform
the iiamdz in the mosque on Friday were liable to be fined or punished
by the kazi.

From Wilks the following further details are extracted, regarding
what Tipu Sultan in his memoirs styles his " incomparable inventions
and regulations," some reference to which has been made in p. 409 : —
"The code of military regulatio?is contained elementary instructions
for the infantry, which were as well given as could be expected from a
person copying European systems, and unacquainted with the elements
of mathematical science ; the invention of new words of command
would have been a rational improvement, if the instructions had
thereby been rendered more intelligible ; but the substitution of obsolete
Persian for French or English gave no facility in the instruction of
officers and soldiers, who, speaking of them in mass, may be described
as utterly ignorant of the Persian language. The general tendency of
the changes, effected in the whole of his military establishment, was
to increase and improve his infantry and artillery at the expense of the

The Jleet was originally placed by Tipu under the Board of Trade.
The experience of two wars had shown that it would always be at the
mercy of a European enemy; and it seemed to have been chiefly con-
sidered as a protection to trade against the system of general piracy
then practised along the western shores of India, up to the Persian
Gulf The loss of a moiety of every resource in 1792, gave a new
scope and stimulus to invention ; and the absurdity was not perceived
of seeking to create a warlike fleet without a commercial navy, or of
hoping, literally without means, suddenly to rival England in that
department of war which was represented to be the main source of her
power by the vakils who accompanied the hostages, and had been
specially instructed to study the English institutions. This novel


source of liope was not finally organized on paper till 1796, and can
scarcely be deemed to have had a practical existence. He began in
1793 "ith ordering the construction of a hundred ships; but in 1796
he sunk to twenty ships of the line and twenty frigates ; eleven Com-
missioners, or Lords of the Admiralty {Mir-e-Yem), who were not
expected to embark ; thirty Mir Bahr, or Admirals, of whom twenty
were to be afloat, and ten at court for instruction — a school for sea-
manship which it is presumed a British Admiral would not entirely
approve. A 72-gun ship had thirty 24-pounders, thirty i8-pounders,
and i2-nines; a 46-gun frigate had twenty 12-pounders, as many nines,
and six 4-pounders ; the line-of-battle ships were 72's and 62's ; and
the men for the forty ships are stated at 10,520. To each ship were
appointed four principal officers : the first commanded the ship ;
the second had charge of the guns, gunners and ammunition ; the
third, of the marines and small arms ; the fourth, the working and
navigation of the ship, the provisions and stores ; and the regulations
descend to the most minute particulars, from the dockyard to the
running rigging ; from the scantlings of the timbers to the dinner of
the crew.

The commercial regulations were founded on the basis of making the
sovereign, if not the sole, the chief, merchant of his dominions ; but
they underwent the most extraordinary revolutions. On his accession
he seems to have considered all commerce with Europeans, and parti-
cularly with the P^nglish, as pregnant with danger in every direction.
Exports were prohibited or discouraged ; first, because they augmented
to his own subjects the price of the article; second, because they
would afford to his neighbours the means of secret intelligence ; and
third, because they would lift the veil of mystery which obscured the
dimensions of his power. Imports were prohibited, because they
would lessen the quantity of money, and thereby impoverish the
country ; propositions which may indicate the extent of his attain-
ments in political economy : and such was the mean adulation by
which he was surrounded, that domestic manufactures of every kind
were stated to be in consequence rapidly surpassing the foreign, and a
turban of Burhampoor would be exhibited and admired by the unani-
mous attestation of all around him as the manufacture of Shahar Ganjam.
It was under the influence of this utter darkness in commercial and
political economy, that in 1784 he ordered the eradication of all the
pepper vines of the maritime districts, and merely reserved those of
inland growth to trade with the true believers from Arabia. The
increase of this article of commerce l)ecame, some years afterwards,
an object of j)avticular solicitude, liul it is uncertain whether the


prohibition of growing red pepper or chilli, was to be considered as a
commercial regulation, to increase the growth of black pepper, or
as a medical regimen, or as a compound of both motives. It is a
general opinion in the south of India, that the free use of red pepper
has a tendency to generate cutaneous eruptions, and the Sultan
certainly prevented its entering his harem for six months ; whether in
that period he did not find the ladies improved in the smoothness of
their skin, or was influenced by other causes, he withdrew the pro-
hibition of culture about a year after it had been promulgated.

From the personal reports of the vakils who accompanied the
hostages to Madras, his attention was called to a proposition, however
strange, yet stated to be generally admitted among the most enlightened
persons at Madras, that the power not only of the English Company
but of the English King, was founded in a material degree on com-
mercial prosperity ; and the Sultan devised an extensive plan for a
similar increase of power ; still, however, pursuing the principles
which he conceived to be sanctioned by the example of the India
Company, of combining the characters of merchant and sovereign.
In a long and laborious code of eight sections, he established a royal
Board of nine Commissioners of Trade, with seventeen foreign and
thirty home factories in the several Districts ; furnished with extensive
instructions for a profitable system of exports and imports, by land
and by sea, and a strict theoretical control over the receipts and dis-
bursements ; the monopolies, however, continued to be numerous, and
those of tobacco, sandalwood, pepper and the precious metals were
the most lucrative.

One, however, of the sections of commercial regulation is so per-
fectly unique that it may afford entertainment. It professes to be
framed for the attractive purpose of " regulating commercial deposits,
or admitting the people at large to a participation in the benefits to
accrue from the trade of the country." Every individual depositing a
sum not exceeding five hundred rupees was declared entitled at the
end of the year to receive, with his principal, an increase of 50 per
cent. For a deposit of from five hundred to five thousand, 25 per
cent. Above five thousand, 12 per cent,, with liberty at all times and
in all classes, to receive, on demand, any part of the deposit together
w'ith the proportion of interest^ up to the day. These variations of
profit, in the inverse ratio of the deposit, were probably intended to
show his consideration for the small capitalist, but a project for
enticing his subjects into a swindling loan was too glaring to be mis-

' The word interest is not employed, usury being at variance with the precepts of
the Koran ; profit is the term used.


understood. At a very early period of his government, he had, in an
ebullition of anger, extinguished the business of banker, and monopo-
lized its dependent and most profitable trade of money-changer. He now-
issued an ordinance, converting the trade of money-changer and broker
into a monopoly for the benefit of Government, furnishing coin for the
purpose, from the treasury, to servants paid by regular salaries. It
was, however, reported that the dealers kept aloof from transactions
with the government shops, that the expenses far exceeded the profits,
and that it was necessary either to abandon the jilan, or to enlarge it
so as to embrace not only regular banking establishments but com-
mercial speculations necessary to their prosperity. A part of this plan
was therefore gradually introduced, and the funds in the hands of the
money-changers were employed in advantageous loans.

The regulations of revenue, professing like those for pecuniary
deposits to be founded on a tender regard for the benefit of the people,
contained little that was new, except that the nomenclature and the
institutions of Chikka Deva Raja and Haidar were promulgated as the
admirable inventions of Tipu Sultan. One improvement occurs, not
undeserving the modified consideration of Western statesmen who
value the health or the morals of the people. He began at an early
period to restrict the numbers and regulate the conduct of the shops
for the sale of spirituous liquors, and he finally and effectually
abolished the whole, together with the sale of all intoxicating substances,
and the destruction, as far as he could effect it, of the white poppy and
the hemp plant, even in private gardens. For the large sacrifice of
revenue involved in this prohibition, the extinction of Hindu worship
and the confiscated funds of the temples were intended to compensate,
and would, if well administered, in a degree have balanced the tax on
intoxicating substances : the measure commenced at an early period of
his reign, and the extinction was gradual, but in 1 799 the two temples
within the fort of Seringapatam alone remained open throughout the
extent of his dominions.

Of his system of police, the following extract from his official
instructions may suffice : — " You must place spies throughout the whole
fort and town, in the bazaars, and over the houses of the principal
officers, and thus gain intelligence of every person who goes to the
dwelling of another, and of what people say, «S:c., iS:c." All this
Haidar effectually did, and all this Tipu Sultan only attempted. No
human being was ever worse served or more easily deceived."


The Regency of Pumaiya^ 1 799-1810.

Of the system of administration as established under the Divan
Purnaiya, an account is given in a report from the same pen, under
date 1804, from which the subjoined particulars are derived : —

Tipu Sultan attempted the subjugation of the whole of the Palegars,
and the annexation of their lands to those of the Sarkar ; but under the
complicated system of fraud and malversation of every kind which
prevailed, a large proportion of the palyams which continued to be
represented at the Presence as under Sarkar management, were, by a
mutual collusion of the Palegar and Amil, held by the former ; and the
degree of authority which should be exercised by the latter, came at
length to depend on the sufferance of the Palegar, who had often but
slender claims to that title. On the establishment of the present
government, there were, accordingly, few districts that did not furnish
at least one claimant, possessing or pretending to the hereditary juris-
diction. The mischief was not confined to the revival of former
pretensions ; in some cases the patels, and in others the officers of
police, emulating the Palegar character, and copying their history,
sought to obtain the independent rule of their respective villages and
the privilege of encroaching on their neighbours ; and the ryots who
could afford a bribe were generally successful in procuring a false entry
in the books of the District, of the quantity of land for which they paid
a rent. In some districts attempts were made by the newly-appointed
Asufs or Amils to reform these latter abuses ; but the frequent, and
latterly the systematic, assassination of such reformers terrified their
successors ; and these feeble and ineffectual efforts served only to
confirm the most base and abject reciprocation of licentiousness and

With a view to compose and encourage the well-affected, and to
obviate unnecessary alarm in those of an opposite character, the new
Administration commenced its proceedings by proclaiming an un-
qualified remission of all balances of revenue, and the restoration of the
ancient Hindu rate of assessment, on the lands, and in the sayar.

For the maintenance of public authority, a small but select body of
cavalry, infantry and peons was collected from the ruins of the Sultan's
army ; and for the preservation of interior tranquillity, a plan was
adopted which deserves to be more particularly described. The
ancient military force of the country consisted of peons or irregular
foot, variously armed, but principally with matchlocks and pikes ; these
men, trained from their infancy according to their measure of discipline
to military exercises, were most of them also cultivators of the soil, but


the vacant part of the year had usually been allotted to military enter-
prise, and when the circumstances of their respective chiefs offered
nothing more important, these restless habits led them to private
depredation. It was necessary that men of these propensities should
either be constantly restrained by the presence of a large military force,
or be made by proper employment to feel an interest in the stability of
the government ; and there was no hesitation with regard to this
alternative if the latter should be found to be practicable. Haidar All
had employed large bodies of these men in his garrisons and armies.
Tipu Sultan had diminished their numbers for an increase of his
regular infantry ; but neither of those chieftains steadily pursued any
systematic plan on this important subject.

The system adopted by the Divan was, to engage in the service of
the State at least one individual from each family of the military ; to
respect the ancient usages of their several districts with regard to the
terms on which peons were bound to military service; in all practical
cases to assign waste lands in lieu of one-half of their pay, according to
the prevailing usage of ancient times. Their local duties were defined
to consist, in taking their easy tour of guard in the little forts or walled
villages to which they were attached ; and in being ready at all times
to obey the calls of the officers of police.

Their village pay, half in land and half in money, varied from 2 to 3 Rs.
per month, with a batta of 3^ if called out from their respective dis-
tricts ; when frecjuent reliefs, according to their domestic convenience,
were always allowed. One thousand of them were prevailed on to
enrol themselves for occasional service as dooly bearers, and 450 of
that number served with the Company's army ; and 817 of the number
perform the duty of runners to the post-office of the (lovernmcnt of

The number of peons thus enrolled, exclusively of those in constant
pay, amounted during the two first years to 20,027 persons ; and their
annual pay to 225,862 Kanthiraya pagodas. Better information and
improved arrangements enabled the Divan in the third year to reduce
the number to 17,726; and the expense to 184,718 Kanthiraya pagodas.

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 71 of 98)