JAGIR SYSTEM OF THE MUGHALS 18th Dec 2017

JAGIR  SYSTEM  AS  A  FOLLOW  UP  OF  IQTA  SYSTEM  

Assignment of revenue from a limited and specified territory had been considered as the most convenient arrangement in lieu of payment for services to the state. Iqta was the term used during the Sultanate period.

The Mughal Emperors, too, did the same. These assignments were given in lieu of cash salaries. The areas assigned were generally called jagir, and its holders jagirdar. Sometimes terms like ‘iqta’/’iqt’adar’ and tuyul/tuyuldar were also used, but very
sparingly.

However it was not land that was assigned, but the income/revenue from the land/area was given to the jagirdars. This system developed over a period of time and underwent many changes before stabilising. However, the basic framework was developed during Akbar’s reign.

WAJH  SYSTEM  DURING  BABUR

Babur, after his conquest, restored to the former Afghan chieftain; or conferred upon them assignment of approximately more than one-third of the conquered temtories. The holders of such assignments (wajh) were known as wajhdars (wajh means
remuneration). A fixed sum was assigned as wajh out of the total revenue of the area. The rest of the revenue of the territories was deemed to be a part of the khalisa. The zamindars continued in their respective areas, but in other conquered areas Babur ruled through hakims (governors). The same pattern perhaps continued under Humayun.

JAGIR  SYSTEM  DURING  AKBAR

During Akbar’s period all the territory was broadly divided into two: khalisa and jagir. The revenue from the first went to Imperial treasury and that from jagir was assigned to jagirdars in lieu of their salary in cash (naqd) according to their rank.

Some mansabdars got cash salary, and, hence, they were called naqdi. A few were given both jagir and cash. The bulk of the territory was assigned to mansabdars according to their rank.

The estimated revenue was called jama or jamadami as it was calculated in dam (a small copper coin, 1/40th of the silver rupaya on the average). The jama included land rvenue, inland transit duties, port customs and other taxes which were known as sair Jihat.

Another term used by the revenue officials was hasil, that is, the amount of revenue actually collected.  The revenue officials used yet another term, that is, paibaqi. This was applied to those areas whose revenue were yet to be assigned to mansabdars.

Under Jahangir,almost 9/10 of the territory was assigned in jagir and only 1/10 was available for the khalisa. The ratio of jagir and khalisa kept fluctuating at different times during the Mughal rule .

SHIFTING  OF  JAGIR  HOLDERS

Another important feature of the jagir system was shifting of jagir-holders from one jagir to another for administrative reasons. This system of transfers checked the jagirdars from developing local roots. At the same time, its disadvantage was that it discouraged the jagirdars from taking long term measures for the development of their areas. They were merely interested in extracting as much revenue as possible in a short time.

TYPES  OF  JAGIRS

There were generally four types of revenue assignments:
a) jagirs which were given in lieu of pay, were known as jagir tankha;
b) jagirs given to a person on certain conditions were called mashrut jagirs;
c) jagirs which involved no obligation of service and were independent of rank were called in’am jagirs, and
d) jagirs which were assigned to zamindars (chieftains) in their homelands, were called watan jagirs. Under Jahangir some Muslim nobles ware given jagirs resembling to watan jagir called al-tamgha.
Tankha jagirs are transferable every three or four years, watan jaglirs remained hereditary and non-transferable.

MANAGEMENT  OF  JAGIRS

The jagirdar was allowed to collect only authorised revenue (mal wajib) in accordance with the Imperial regulations. He employed his own officials (karkun) like amil (amalguzar), fotadar (treasurer), etc. who acted on his behalf. The Imperial officials kept watch on the jagirdars. The diwan of the suba was supposed to prevent the oppression on the peasants by the jagirdars.