Zabt and Zamindar under Mughal Empire

Majority of people in medieval India lived in villages and were depended on agriculture.

The fame of a ruler and the popularity of his governance depended on the success of his land revenue policy.

Tax on the produce from agriculture of the peasantry was their main source of income.

The mughals appointed zamindars and introduced the zabt system to collect their revenues.

Let us understand Zabt and Zamindars

The peasants under the mughal empire paid taxes through village headmen or local chiefs.

They were the link between the peasants and the mughal rulers.

The mughals called them zamindars who collected taxes from peasants on behalf of them.

Todarmal, Akbar’s revenue minister surveyed the crop yields and the areas cultivated.

On the basis of the data collected with the survey, the tax was fixed on each crop in cash.

Each province was divided into revenue circles.

Each revenue circle had different revenue rates for individual crop. This system was called the zabt system.

This system was present in those areas where Mughal administrators could survey the lands and keep careful accounts of it.

In some regions, zamindars had authority and were very powerful.

And if the Mughal authority exploits them, it could lead to a rebellion against them.

At times the zamindars and the peasants joined together to protest against the Mughal authority.

Such peasants' revolts challenged the stability of the Mughal empire from the end of the 17th century.

Revision

The peasants under the mughal empire paid taxes through village headmen or local chiefs.

Zamindars where those who collected taxes from peasants on behalf of the mughal authority.

Tax was fixed on each crop in cash as was decided by administrative survey.

On the basis of Todar Mal’s data of survey, tax was fixed on each crop in cash.

Zabt system was present in those areas where land survey was possible and mughal administrators could keep accounts of it.

Later Zamindars became very powerful and if Mughals tried to impose their authority they had to face revolt.

The End