Mountstuart Elphinstone.

Selections from the minutes and other official writings of the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone, governor of Bombay. With an introductory memoir online

. (page 30 of 41)
Online LibraryMountstuart ElphinstoneSelections from the minutes and other official writings of the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone, governor of Bombay. With an introductory memoir → online text (page 30 of 41)
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it possessed no rights over the land itself, it could of
course transfer none to the Inamdar. Instances of
disputes on this point have occurred, but have always
terminated in favour of the Mirasdar.

(Signed) J. Macleod,

(A true coi^y.)

(Signed) J. Macleod.



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An Inam is a free grant in perpetuity, without any
implied condition, except that in some instances one-
third of the rent called Inam Tizai is paid to Govern-
ment, when it is not otherwise expressed in the Sannad :
an Inam is, in fact, private freehold, or not, according
to the above condition, but by far most commonly
entirely freehold.

Assignments in Saranjam are held on the conditions
of military service, and are either as personal pay, Zat
Saranjam, or for the support of troops, and the main-
tenance of forts called Saranjam,

Dewasthan are revenues dedicated to the support of
Pagodas ; they are granted on all kinds of property, in
various ways, and are considered permanent.

Sawasthan is a place where a God is supposed to be
actually present, or incarnate ; as Ganpati is supposed
to animate the Living God at Chinchur. Eevenues
dedicated to the support of such persons or temples are
called Sawasthan, and are grants in perpetuity.

The word Sawasthan is believed to be different from
Sarasthcin (own place), which is applied to the territories
of petty Princes or Kiijas, whose districts arc considered
entirely their own, and governed independently by them-
sehes, without any interference on the part of the

Warshasans are originally religious or charitable
pensions, paid either from the Huzur treasury, in
which case a Sannad was not required, or by grants on
the revenues of the Mahals, or any particular parts of
them, which were generally confirmed by Sannad, and
were considered as descending from father to son,
being usually continued by the Mamlatd;irs to the son
or immediate heir of the late incumbent, on application
to that effect. It would ai)pear, however, that on the
death of the present incumbents they may be resumed


or disposed of at the pleasure of Government, and
accordingly, on the Mamhitdar's reporting such circum-
stances, should there be no immediate heir, or should
he be in any way considered unworthy, the Warshasan
is sometimes cither reduced, or taken away altogether.
In cases, however, wdiere Sannads have been granted,
such exercise of power does not seem to have been usual.

Rozinadars are persons receiving a certain charita.ble
donation, daily or yearly ; these, together with allow-
ance to Pirs and Khairats, were for the most part
originally granted b}^ the Mogals, and continued by the
Mahrattas. They seem to be considered nearly on the
same footing with Warshasans, and to be permitted to
go on without much interference.

The same may also be said of Dharmadaws, which
are charitable allowances to religious persons, or for
religious purposes. And Balpurwarishis, which are
generally pensions to the families of persons killed in
the service. Dharmadaws and Balpurwarishis are
usually granted on Sannad, as are sometimes also

Miscellaneous pensions or allowances, not coming
exactly under any of the above heads, are called Killa ;
they are in some cases confirmed by Sannad, and con-
sidered permanent.

A Nemnuk is a fixed annual payment from anj^
particular specified source, whether in money or kind.

An Ithikh is a payment either in money or kind
from a public treasury or store. And a fixed annual
payment (Nemnuk), from any public treasury, is
peculiarly called an Itlakli Nemnuk.

A Nemnuk, therefore, is a grant conferred on any
person as a fixed annuity, either from the Huzur
treasurj^ for which Sannads were not issued, or from
those of the Mahals, or out of any specified source of


revenue, for wliicli regular Sannads were usually
granted. Nemuuks were usually granted, either on
account of past or present services, or were fixed in
lieu, or in part, of some other allowances formerly
enjoyed. Their terms and duration seem to have
depended very much on circumstances : such as were
confirmed by Sannad were usually held to be perma-
nent, though it would appear that during the late
Peshwa's Government they were frequently reduced.

A detached village, which has by any circumstances
been separated from the Mahal to which it originally
belonged, is called Phulgam, and such villages in one
district, or belonging to one person, are generally
classed together as a Mahal, under the name of the
Dhutgam of such a district, or person.

The allowances to Pagodas (Dewastan), or generally
ItLikhs in money or kind, from the treasury of the
districts, and the quantities of grain and other articles
supplied, are expressed in the regular accounts ; they
are, however, not accurately fixed, but vary a little
from year to year, as the expenses of the Pagoda may
require, or other circumstances occasion ; they seem,
however, to be pretty constant, and very rarely to have
been resumed, or even reduced. The articles supplied
in kind are many and various : they are usually con-
verted into money, at the average prices of the different
years, from whence the particular accounts are taken ;
and the differences from year to year arc so small as not
to be worth anything.

(True extract),

(Signed) J. Macleod.

The Iluzur Daftar is the records of Government, as
registered by the Government officers. In it were kept


all accounts of the receipt and expenditure of the
revenues of the State, whether the realizations from the
provinces or from whatever source, the expenses of
troops, estahlishments, Injims, and every species of
grant, gift and money transaction whatever, excepting
only the private affairs of the Prince, or such accounts
as it suited not the interest of individuals in power to
leave on record.

The Daftar was kept very complete till the time of
Baji Eav, whose arbitrary and capricious Government
found little advantage in keeping a correct record of its
proceedings ; and besides, in the farming system which
he adopted the advantage of registering the acts of the
revenue servants of Government was in a great
measure lost as it existed under former Peshwas ; it
was a very extensive establishment, consisting of about
200 Karkuns, and divided into several departments for ■
the various branches of business ; the whole was under
the Huzur Faduavis, and was generally distinguished
into Chatle Daftar and Ek Berij Daftar, besides the
Potnavi's Daftar, treasury, and other departments, not
immediately connected with revenue accounts.

The establishment of the Chatle Daftars was always
the Fadnavis, for the transaction of current business ;
that of the Ek Berij Daftar was alwaj^s at Puna, it
being more particularly for the arrangement, registry,
and deposit of accounts.

The business of the Chatle Daftar was distributed
amongst the different branches, as the Fad, Belieni,
Saranjiim, etc.

The Fad was the immediate office of the Fadnavis,
from whence were issued all grants, Sannads, and
orders, and to which were rendered all accounts re-
quired for the information of the Fadnavis from the
other departments. Here all accounts were examined


and passed by the Fadnavis, and daj^-books or journals
(Rozkirds) were kept of all transactions that occurred,
of all sums paid or received, and of all grants or
appointments made or resumed.

The Behera department received the accounts from
the districts, which were made up into official forms
for the inspection of the Fadnavis, as Tallebands,
Azmasli, Behera, etc. The Talleband was a complete
abstract of the actual receipt and expenditure of the
revenues for the past year ; from it was framed the
Azmash, or estimate for the next or current year.
This was a rough estimate compared with the Behera,
which was a corrected statement of all known receipts
and of all fixed authorized expenditure, and formed the
basis of collection for the current year.

The Saranjam department was charged with the
accounts of all Saranjams, Inams, etc. ; in short, all
Dumalhi whatever.

Besides these were the department of accounts
generally (Aisal), of military expenses and contri-
butions (Wari), and such like. These arrangements,
however, varied with the pleasure of the Fadnavis or
the business that might occur.

In the Ek Berij Daftar at Puna were received, arranged
and deposited, all accounts from the other departments,
and from them were framed abstracts of the total re-
ceipts, expenditures, and balances of Government on all
accounts, for the year (called Tarjuma) also Khatavnis;
which are abstracts of all kinds of expenditure arranged
alphabetically under their proper heads, in the manner
of a ledger ; and, in short, the whole of the revenue
and financial transactions of the State were registered
and arranged, and their accounts deposited in this

The general contents of the Daftar under the


Pesliwas may be described as follows, viz., all acconnts
rendered to the Government of the revenue and ex-
penditure of the districts, with the settlements of them
by Government ; the accounts of districts rendered by the
hereditary district officers, and those of villages by village
officers, of farms, of customs, etc, ; accounts of all alien-
ations of the public revenue, whether Saranjam, Inam,
or otherwise, of the pay, rights, and privileges of the
Government and village officers ; accounts of the
strength and pay of troops, and the expenses of all
civil, military, and religious establishments. In the
Kozkirds were registers of all revenue transactions
generally, together with all grants and payments, and
more particularly the accounts of all contributions and
exactions levied on foreign states, the whole of which
were considered and exhibited in one comprehensive
view in the Tarjumas. The records, however, were
probably not complete to the extent described. It is
said that Nana Faduavis introduced the greatest im-
provements into the Daftar, as he did into the tran-
saction of accounts in general, and during his adminis-
tration, viz., from about 1765^ with the exception of a
few years up to 1796, it was kept with much regularity.
From the accession of Baji Puiv the regular receipts and
deposit of accounts in the Daftar was not only much
neglected, but its establishment was almost entirely done
away, and people were even permitted to carry away
the records or do with them what they pleased. The
Daftar was in consequence much mutilated, and thrown
into great confusion.

After the occupation of Puna, in November, 181 7, the
records were found in different places, in a state of the ut-
most disorder ; but considering all circumstances, tolerably
complete for a period of 88 years — that is, from 1180
(ai) A.D. 1729 inclusive, up to the breaking out of the


war, with the exception of a blank of about seven years,
viz., from 1157 (1757) a.d. to 1163 (1762) a.d. in-
ckisive, of which most of the records were burnt when
Puna was taken by the Mogals ; for the 27 years pre-
ceding this bhmk, the Daftar is moderately perfect, and
for the 32 succeeding years up to 1179 (1796) a.d.
the accession of Baji Eav, the records are nearly com-
plete, particularly from 1774, when Nana Fadnavis
came into full power ; but during the reign of Baji Eav,
the last 21 years, they are by no means full.

It is doubtful how far the accounts in the Daftar
may be depended upon as true and candid statements ;
it is probable that they were often manufactured to
answer the purpose of individuals ; a very remarkable
degree, however, of consistency and relative accuracj^
is to be found in the accounts for many years, such as
must have required no small industry to effect, and the
more ability if the statements are actually false.

Since the foundation of the Daftar establishments,
under the Commission, the Daftar has been completely
examined and arranged into separate districts, and
mostly also into Pargani'is, and its arrangement by
years also is in considerable progress. Full and com-
plete statements of all allowances, as Saranjam (Fauz
and Zc'it) Tainat and such like, have been made out, and
also lists of all Inams, Dewasthans, and Sawanstiin,
Dharmadaws, Kitta, Warshasan, Nemnuks, Nozi-
nadars, Khairats, allowances to Pirs and Fakirs
and Mosques, Balpunwarshi, Maf, Bakshis, Dengi,
Mezwj'ini, Garden and Sanadi lands, Wattan lauds
of Jamindars, and for the Deccan, Karnatik, and
Khandesh, and the Pcshwa's Provinces in the Nizjim's
country, which have also been translated, and forwarded
in Mahr;itt;i and English to the collectors. Similar lists
of the Konkan and Gujarcit arc in progress; the Daftars


of the Konkaii for the Last ten years have been sent to
Bombay. Abstracts of the produce, reductions, and net
revenue of the whole country during the last year of
Baji Kav have been framed by districts, Parganas,
and Mahals, and in more than half the country by
separate villages. For the purpose of authenticating
the above lists, each item has been compared with the
accounts of the two different periods, viz., the latest in
Daftar, from whence it was taken, and another of from
fifteen to twenty years preceding, and verj'- often three
or four different periods of accounts have been com-
pared ; the accurate correspondence which has been
observed among them is very remarkable. In many
cases the particular dates and circumstances of the
original grants have been examined, and with a view
to the final and ready adjustment of any disputed title,
and to ensure immediate reference, an extract has been
made from the Daftar, particularly the Rozkirds, of the
date and authority of all grants whatever, and of all
forfeitures or restorations of grants from the beginning
of the Daftar to the year 17 70, and is now in progress
towards the present time. It is arranged alphabetically
by the names of grantees, like native Khatawni, con-
taining under each the date, circumstances, and par-
ticulars of all Sannads, grants or allow^ances, that were
made, resumed, or restored by Government. This has
been a work of much labour, but when finished will
form a table of authentic reference, by which any
question or doubt, which may at a future time arise,
can at once be settled.

Besides the records immediately connected with
revenue, from which much matter still remains to be
extracted, the Daftar contains many materials of curious
general information. Thus the series of accounts of
the districts and villaires afford a view of the com-


parative state of cultivation and improvement, and
assessment of the country at different times. Those of
the armies and establishment, and particularly the
Eozldrds, show the progress of the Mahratta conquests
and dominion, and the most important acts and events
of their Government ; and the Tarjummas furnish
complete statements of their general wealth and

(Signed) J. Macleod.

(True Copy.)

(Signed) J. Macleod.

Puna, 15th September, 1819.

Translation of a Ydd of a Niimdepatra (Award).

Draught of a Niwadepatra to Mudoji Naik Nim-
balkar, Deshmukh of Prant Phaltan.

You came to the presence at Purandhar, and stated
as follows : ' My great-grandfather, Bijjiji Naik,
had four sons : the eldest Mahadaji Naik, the second
Gokaji Niiik, the third Wungaji Naik, and the
fourth jModhaji Naik ; three of these died without
issue. Modhaji Naik had two wives, the elder Siwaw,
the younger Jiwaw. First Jiwaw had a child, Janoji
Niiik, and afterwards Siwaw had a son, named Bi-
jaji Niiik. Madaji Naik, the eldest son of the first,
Bijaji Naik, possessed the Jahagir of the Parganna
of Khattaw, and other Mahals, and resided at the
Thana of Khattaw, which belonged to him. Madaji
Naik took (the young) Bijaji Naik for his adopted
son, and died at Gwalior. The Wattan and Jahagir
were continued to J->ij;iji Naik, and afterwards the
deceased Jhalioo Maharaj gave Rajis Bai in marriage
to Modhoji Niiik, son of Janoji Naik, and the


Maharaj desired Jiinoji Naik's father to give liim a
village for his subsistence. His father, however, would
not comply, but was offended, and went into the Mogal's
country after him ; Janoji Naik and his son Mud-
hoji Naik enjoyed the Jahagir. At that time the
"VVattan was held by my Gumasta. I returned to my
Wattan about twenty or twenty-two years after the
death of the father of Bijaji Naik, in the Mogal's
country, and during the lifetime of Mudhoji Naik,
who then gave me in the Pagoda his sword and shield
and place, as his elder, and was about to give up the
Wattan to me when he died ; on this the deceased
Madho Rav Pandit Pradhan confirmed to me my
Wattan and Jahagir, which I accordingly enjoyed for
six or seven years. But during the troubles which
occurred on the death of Narc4yan Rav Pandit Pradhan,
Saguntdbai, wdfe of Mudhoji Naik, got the Wattan
and Jahagir for herself, and now enjoys possession of
them. But I am the elder in the Deshmukhi. I
have never to this day shared my Wattan with any of
my younger relations ; I make the main allowance for
their support, but do not allow them to interfere. I
now pray that orders may be given for my rights, which
have existed for many years, being restored, and con-
tinued in the same way for the future.'

Mudhoji Niiik bin Bijaji, with their seals, etc.,
addressed to Bijaji Naik bin Mahadaji Naik. Upon
this an order was given to Sagunabai to send an agent
on this affixir to the presence, and Narshinw Rav
Konlier was sent by her for this purpose. Narshinw Rav
Konher asserted that Madaji Naik had never adopted
Bijaji Naik, that Mudfiji Naik is the sou, Bijaji
Naik the j'ounger brother of Janoji Naik, who was
the father-in-law of the Bai, and the eldest sou of the
first Mudoji Naik, and Mudoji Naik has therefore



no claim to seniority. Having stated tins, he produced
a Muliuzar, with its seals, etc., naming Bijaji Naik
bin Mudhoji Naik, upon which the papers of both
parties were examined in the Huzur. Mijalos Mud-
hoji IS[c4ik produced his papers, and in his Eajpatra
and Muhuzur appeared the name of Bijaji Naik bin
Madaji Naik ; and Narshinw Kav Konher produced
his Muhuzur, in which was written Bijaji Naik bin
Mudoji Naik. As no decision could be formed from
the papers of the two parties, therefore you (Mudoji
Naik) were asked what is to be done now. On which
you replied: ' Since no decision can be given on this
Eajpatra and Muhuzurs, let the Deshpandes, Patils,
and Kulkarnis of the district be sent for and examined,
and whatever decision is made on their evidence, that I
agree to obey.' Narshinw Eav Konher, having con-
sulted with the Bai, answered : ' Since Modoji Naik
says that Madaji Naik adopted Bijaji at Khattaw, and
that he will prove this by the evidence of the inhabit-
ants of Khattaw, this evidence I agree to ;' on which an
order was sent from Government with some messengers
to Khattaw, who brought back some witnesses with
them, and some others who happened to be here on their
own affairs, were pointed out by you. At length twenty-
six witnesses were examined, in the presence of both
parties, in the temple of Sopandew. These witnesses
deposed that Sagunc4 Bai had given a letter to
Bhikaji Mankeshwar, and sent him to them (the
witnesses) desiring them to make inquiry and inform
her whether Mahadaji had adopted Bijaji Niiik or
not ; and that Bhikaji Mankeshwar had told them
many matters besides, from which they understood the
business. In reply to this, they wrote that they would
not interfere in the business ; that she would be in-
formed of the whole by Bhikaji Mankeshwar himself.



After this they (the tleponents) came to Sjiswad, when
they took an Abhaya Patra (writing of security or in-
demnity) from E.'ijshri Mudoji Naik, who engaged,
that as the}' had been brought to the presence to give
evidence respecting his Wattan, shoukl any trouble ever
arise to them regarding the matter, he slioukl be
answerable for it ; that the deponents had made out a
writing amongst themselves (Sunepatra) that what-
ever Sultanji bin Manaji and Sultanji bin Baihiroji,
Pai-ture Deshmukhs, should say, they would all swear
to ; to this they all agreed. These papers they brought
and produced to the Sarkar, upon which they were all
closely cross-examined by the Sarkar in the following
manner : ' What was the reason that you wrote these
letters to Saguna Bai and the Naik, and made such
an agreement amongst yourselves ? what reliance can
we now place on your testimony, without an oath ?
You must discard this paper of yours, and speak the
truth.' They were then taken to the Mandap of three
Sopandev at Saswad, and interrogated in the follow-
ing order : Roule Kasi Deshpande, Kussu Durga
Deshpande, Jiwaji Kumbhar, Bahirji Kumbhar, Gan-
gaji Kumbhar, Subhanji Lobar, Shaitu Mahar, Dawya
Mahar, Satwa Malnir, Mulga Mahar, Sukhoji Sutar,
Sidhoji Sutar, Bhikaji Gurav, Tukoji Gunia, Chanda
Nawri, Janoji Nawri, Anaji Chambluir, Hiroji Clnimbhar;
these above eighteen persons gave a writing that
they knew not whether Bijaji Naik adopted a son
or not. Sultanji bin Bahirji Deshmukh, Tukoji vallad
Eiinoji Pj'irit, Yyinkaji Ginnaji Palhi, Hussen Shaik
Hazrat Kazi, Dongraji Naikwarri, Tazkhan Naikwarri,
Bhik Joshi, in all eight persons, gave a writing, that
their ancestors had told them that Mahadjiji Naik had
adopted Bijaji Naik. They were then asked what reason



their ancestors had for telHrig them ? On which the

Online LibraryMountstuart ElphinstoneSelections from the minutes and other official writings of the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone, governor of Bombay. With an introductory memoir → online text (page 30 of 41)