Mahalwari System – A revenue collection system in British India
Mahalwari was a revenue system in British India. It was introduced by Holt Mackenzie.
Holt Mackenzie’s recommendation incorporated in the Regulation 3 VII of 1822 which attained maturity under the Regulation IX of 1833 under the supervision of R. Marttins Bird.
Word Mahalwari is derived from Hindi word “Mahal“, which means house, district or quarter.
Other systems in existence were
Permanent settlement of Bengal
System of land revenue acted as a chief source of income for Britishers. It also helped Britishers to strengthen their economic condition in India as well as control the entire revenue system.
Mahalwari : In this system landlords or zamindars claimed to represent the entire village or a group of villages.
Alongwith the village communities, the landlords were jointly responsible for the payment of revenues.
The village headman or Lambardar was completely responsible for all the recommendations, the survey of lands, preparation of the records of rights in lands, settlement of the land revenues, demand in the Mahals, and the collection of the land revenue.
The settlement was directly made with the village or Mahal by the Settlement Officers, who fixed the rent with the consultation of Lambardar and the rent to be paid by the cultivating tenants.
It was hybrid form of both the previous land settlement, i.e., Zamindari and Ryotwari.
This system was prevalent in parts of Uttar pradesh, the north western province, parts of Central India & Punjab.
The system was known as Mauzawari in United Provinces, Malguzari in the Central Provinces, and village or mahali settlement in pre-independent Punjab.
The system did not work properly and practically, found imperfect, inadequate and fell heavily on the agriculture classes and created widespread discontent among the peasants.
It appears to be very unpopular agrarian system and failed because of excessive state demand.
It seems that the operation of Mahalwari system of land revenue settlement proved to be disastrous for the nineteenth century Indian agriculturists as well as for the administration of English East India Company.
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