B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

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

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one-fifth, one-fourth, one-third, or even one-half of the shist of the neigh-
bouring villages. These lands were formerly indm or sarvamcinyam given
to Brahmans, who long enjoyed them as such, but being resumed by the
Sarkar, taxes were put upon them in the manner above mentioned. The
descendants of the original holders, or those who may have purchased the
lands from them, enjoyed them for the payment of the fixed shist ; and it
appears that the sale and mortgage of these lands was going on to the
present day, the transfer being fully recognized by the officers of government.

There were ryots who cultivated lands called gaddi battix, which signifies
lands paying rent in kind, which were only met with in the taluqi of Ikkeri,
Sagar, Mandagadde, Koppa, and Kavaledroog.

The ryots in possession of the lands held under the tenures above
described, appear in general to have paid their rents to the Sarkar, not
direct, but through the means of a renter, capable of managing so
intricate a business, from possessing a complete knowledge of all the
local customs. Sometimes the patel was a renter of the village, and
collected the revenue from the people without the intervention of the
Sarkar servants. This sort of village rent had as many varieties as are
indicated by the different modes now to be mentioned.


The ordinary mode was effected by the Amildar, Sheristadar, and some
other servants setting out together in the month of January or P^ebruary for
the purpose of inspecting the crop. During the tour of the Amildar at this
season, he prepared an estimate of the November crops (already in heaps)
in communication with the sheristadars, shekdars, shdnbhdgs and patels, as
also an estimate of the expected revenue from the May crop. In the same
manneran estimate was made of the sugar-cane and other produce now coming
forward, when the total being made out. the rent was given to the patel or
gauda of the village, and the usual rent jiiuchchalike taken from him for the
payment of the amount, including suvarndddyam. The patel being the
sole renter of the village, any suvarndddyam which may have been already
collected was credited to him. He considered himself answerable for the
rest, took charge of all the affairs of the rent, distributed the due shares of
the different crops to the ryots, disposed of the government share in the
manner he thought best for his own benefit, collected kandayam from the
inhabitants, and paid his rent to the Sarkar. In case of any part of the revenue
falling in arrears, either from the death, desertion, or poverty of the ryots,
or from any other causes, the amount, if large and irrecoverable, was
remitted after a full investigation of all the particulars of the case ; otherwise
the renter remained answerable for the payment of the whole of the rent.
This mode of village rent generally prevailed in the faujdaris of Bangalore,
Madgiri, Chitaldroog and Ashtagram.

In the villages of Manjarabad, the village rent was given for two years,
while the rent of one village might be taken by two or three individuals. If a
village were desolated, it was rented to any individual willing to take it.
No rent was payable the first year, but engagements must be entered into
to pay a small rent the second year, increasing the same gradually every
subsequent year, until it came up to the former fixed rent.

In Nagar, there was a permanent assessment called shist. A general
review was made of the lands at the beginning of the year to ascertain the
probability of their being cultivated. The Amildar, when he proceeded to
the village for this purpose in the month of January, ascertained the general
state of cultivation and concluded the rent with the patel of each village.
If, however, the whole land of any individual ryot was kept uncultivated
from poverty, the revenue of that land was remitted. If a part only of the
land of one individual was cultivated, no remission was allowed on account
of the part uncultivated, the whole being included in the jamabandi. The
waram system was but little known in Nagar, but when it did occur, the
usual course of taxing that produce was observed as in other parts of the

The mode of village rent called wojtti gutta was when two, three, or four
individuals (whether of the same village or others) made an offer to rent a
village. After its circumstances were duly ascertained in the usual manner,
and the terms were agreed on, the Amildar granted the rent and took
security for its payment, and in such cases there were no remissions, the
renters being answerable for the amount settled. They were, however,
obliged to enter into fair agreements with the ryots, which were to be


strictly kept, so that the ryots might not have to complain of any exaction
or oppression. If any arrears should be caused by the death, desertion, or
the poverty of the rj'ots after the rent was fixed, the loss must be borne by
the renter. When the ryots were averse to any particular renter or renters,
it was not unusual for them to take the rent themselves, declaring they
would otherwise leave the village. In such cases a preference was given to
their offers.

The mode of village rent called praja gntta may be described as
follows : — The Amildar proceeded to the village at the usual period of the
year (that is December or January), called for all the ryots, and desired
them to enter into engagements of the rent of praja gutta. The amount to
be rented was in most cases the same as in the preceding year. Any lands
which could not be cultivated, either from the death, desertion, or poverty
of certain ryots, was now struck off, and fresh lands, if there were any, added
to the rent ; when a general muchchalike was taken from the whole of the
rj'ots, or from such portion of the principal ones as might engage for the
rent : if the actual produce fell short, the loss was borne by the whole
village. If a higher offer were received, even after the conclusion of these
arrangements, the rent was cancelled and given up to the other, but the rent
in this case would be called wonti gutta. The rent once settled in one year
was allowed to continue for the next three or four years. This kind of rent
appears to have been a last resource, to which the public officers had
recourse when every other had failed ; but these rents, viz.^ wonti gutta
and praja gutta, were only very partially known, and in the faujddri of

The village rent called kulgar gutta was when it was managed by the
kulgars. Of these there might be six or eight in a village, together with
fifteen, twenty, or thirty common ryots. The Amildar proceeded to each
village in the month of December or January, investigated the real state of
the different sources of revenue with reference to the collections in the past
year and the condition of the ryots, fixed the amount of the rent, and gave
it up to one of the kulgars of the village, who sublet his rent to the other
kulgars, who again divided their respective allotments amongst the ryots
under them. The only way they made a profit in their rent was by exerting
themselves to extend the cultivation. The ryots of the village were answer-
able for their rent to the kulgars, these to the chief kulgar, who in his turn,
as the ostensible renter, was answerable to the Sarkar, which in the case of
this rent allowed no remissions. If any of the ryots had either died or
deserted, his lands, as well as claims against it, were divided among the
kulgars themselves. If there were no kulgar in the village to take the office
of renter, a shdnbhog might become so, when he was called the pattegar.

The village rent called chigar katle comes next to be mentioned. A pro-
portion of land including wet and dry, and requiring fifty seers of seed grain,
was called a chigar, of which there might be from sixteen to eighteen in a
village, each paying a fixed rent of from 3 to 5 pagodas ; each chigar was
usually held by several ryots, there being a principal ryot for every chigar of
land, and one of these annually rented the whole village, sub-letting the


different chigars to the other principal ryots : such villages were generally
rented in the month of December or January, when the state of the crops
was ascertained, but this species of rent was only to be found in one taluq,
Hassan, in the faujddri of Manjarabad.

There was also a village rent called blah katlc in the same taluq, the blah
meaning a small portion of land differing in extent from the chigar, but
having the same mode of assessment ; and if any of the ryots died or deserted,
a portion of rent was remitted by the Sarkar, giving that land to others.

Sdyar. — There were certain stations called katks in every taluq,
where the sdyar duties were levied on all articles. The total number of
these stations was no less than 761, varying in number from one to
twenty-one in each taluq. The duties levied were of three kinds :—
I St. Transit duty upon such goods as passed on the high roads without
coming into towns. 2nd. Transit duties on articles passing out of the
towns. 3rd. Consumption duties upon goods used in towns. When-
ever goods arrived at a station, the place to which they were destined
was ascertained, when the duties were levied according to rates said to
be established for the purpose on the spot.

The rates of duties were various, those observed in one station being
different at another. The duties were not charged ad valorem, but
according to the kind of each article, neither was there any regularity
with respect to the quantities chargeable with duties; for example, a cart-
load, a bullock-load, an ass's-load, a man's-load, &:c., were charged with
so many fanams each. In some of the taluqs, goods charged with duties
at one station were liable to be charged again with a reduced but extra
duty at some other place, even in the same taluq ; the extra duty was
called amip and kottamugam. In some taluqs goods were liable to
duties at every station of the same taluq through which they had to
pass. In others, the duties levied on goods conveyed by a particular
class of merchants were different from those charged when conveyed by
others. In some taluqs the duty was at a fixed rate provided they
passed by a certain road. If goods chargeable with duty in one year
should be kept till the next year, and then sent away, they were again
chargeable with duty.

In several of the districts periodical markets were held, generally
once a week, when fixed taxes were levied upon the shops, ist. Every
shop paid a few cash, and this tax was called addi kasu. 2nd. Every
vegetable shop paid something in kind, under the name of fuski.
3rd. Every cloth shop paid a tax of from 2 to 6 cash, called wundige or
shop duty. 4th. There was a tax called fiaftadi, which in some places
was called karve and bidagi, levied on every cloth shop, grain, mutton,
and arrack shop, &c. There was likewise a certain tax upon every


loom ; also upon betel-leaf plantations, areca-nut gardens, sugar-cane
plantations, and upon every plough of the ryots, exclusive of the land
revenue. There was a tax on the cattle of merchants. The taxes on
the above were collected some annually, some monthly, and daily from
temporary sho[)s. In short, there was not a single article exempt from
custom duties.

It is true that tariff tal)les, called prahara fa/fis, exhiljiting the rate
of duty to be paid on each article, were at one time issued by the
Sarkar, and posted up in most of the kattes, but the Government itself
was the first to infringe the rules, by granting kaiils, of entire or partial
exemption, to certain favoured individuals ; and the same mischievous
system was further propagated by the granting of similar kauls by
successive izardars and sub-renters to their own particular friends during
their own period of incumbency, and which became confounded with
those granted by the Sarkar. The consequence was that in the course
of time the prahara pattis were looked upon as so much waste paper,
and each katte came to have a set of mdmul or local rates of its own,
which were seldom claimed without an attempt at imposition, or
admitted without a wrangle. The usual result was an appeal to the
Sayar Shanbh6g of the place, who became the standing referee in all
disi)uted cases, which he may be supposed to have decided in favour of
the party which made it most advantageous to himself.

It became necessary therefore for the trader to purchase the good
will of every sayar servant along the whole line of road by which he
travelled, or to submit to incessant inconvenience and detention. He
was thus subject to constant loss of time, or money, or both ; and the
merchants were unable to calculate either the time which their goods
would take to reach a particular spot, or the expenses wliich would
attend their carriage. I

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 74 of 98)