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Permanent settlement

Posted on : 08 Feb 2020

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  • Cornwallis, the second Governor-general of Bengal introduced the system of Permanent Settlement in 1793. Under this system, ‘zamindars’, who earlier only had the right to collect revenue, were established as the proprietors or owners of the land.
  • The state’s demand for land revenue was permanently fixed and if the zamindars were unable to pay the full tax on time, their lands would be taken away and auctioned by the state.
  •  The state tried to create an enterprising class of landowners, who would try to improve crop production in their fields to earn profits.
  • Also, it would be simpler for the state to deal with a limited number of zamindars than with every peasant, and a powerful section of society would become loyal to the British administration.
  • Zamindar's right of ownership was made hereditary and transferable, on the other hand, the cultivators were reduced to the low status of mere tenants and were deprived of longstanding rights to the soil and other customary rights.
  • This system led to the greater impoverishment of the tenant-cultivator because of the burden of high revenue assessment. It also caused great difficulty for zamindars, many of whom were unable to pay the revenue on time and lost their lands. A large number of traditional zamindar houses collapsed.
  • The system also encouraged sub-infeudation i.e. many layers of intermediaries between the zamindar and cultivator, adding to the woes of the peasantry.
  • The tenancy of Bengal was left entirely at the mercy of the zamindar.
  • The Permanent Zamindari Settlement was later extended to Orissa, the Northern Districts of Madras, and the District of Varanasi.

Article Related Questions

  1. Consider the following statements regarding the Permanent settlement introduced by the Britishers
    1.It was introduced by Alexander Reed.
    2.The Zamindar’s right of ownership was made hereditary and transferable.
    3.The system remained confined only to the province of Bengal.
    Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  2. 1.1 only

    2.2 only

    3.2 and 3 only

    4.1 and 3 only

    Right Ans : 2 only

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