In the name of full disclosure, I am not an expert on Hindi, India, or literature. The explanations you find here are the compilation of what I can find on a given term or a phrase. If you see a mistake or if you would like to contribute, please let me know by posting a comment. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Zamindars and the Zamindari System

" 'After your Zamindari Abolition Bill goes through, you will become a hero throughout the countryside.' " (p. 19)

Zamindar literally means a “landowner”, and comes from the Persian words, "zamin" meaning land and "dar" meaning holder.

In British Colonial India, zamindars were landlords and tax collectors. They paid taxes directly to the British authorities while keeping a portion for themselves. This system, the Zamindari system, for collecting taxes from peasants began during the Mughal Era, and is similar to feudalism in Medieval Europe.

The Zamindari system was mostly abolished in India after it became independent.


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