What is the Mahalwari System?
The Mahalwari System was introduced by the Englishman Holt Mackenzie in the year 1822 in the North-Western Provinces of Bengal. Later it was popularized by Lord William Bentick in Agra and Awadg and with time extended to Central Province, Agra, Punjab, Gangetic Valley, North-West Frontier, etc of British India.
Mahalwari System was a little modified version of the Zamindari System. It had provisions of both the Ryotwari System and the Zamindari System. Under this system, the revenue was collected from farmers by the village leader on the behalf of the whole village.
Features of Mahalwari System
- Under the Mahalwari System, the land was segmented into Mahals and accounted for one of more villages.
- The revenue was fixed for the Mahal as per the crop production assessment. So the Mahalwari system was periodically revised.
- Every individual farmer had their share in that fixed revenue, and the collection of the revenue was operated by the village leader or village head under the Mahalwari system.
- The state had a 66% share of the rental value, and the settlement was done for a period of 30 years. After the implementation of this system, the income of the government increased.
Drawbacks of Mahalwari System
Mahalwari System was the revised system of the earlier two systems and it had the following drawbacks.
- According to this system, the farmers had to pay revenue even in the condition of drought.
- The survey was based on faulty assumptions that opened a space for corruption and manipulations.
- At times the company used to spend more on the collection than the collected revenue.
- If the farmers failed to pay revenue then the land was seized by the money leaders.
- Mahalwari System failed later due to its incomplete policies.
Mahalwari System’s Impact on the Socio-Economic Condition of Peasant
- Near the end of the colonial period, the burden on the peasant of interest payments was high, and the rent and debt were around 14,200 million.
- The zamindars gave loans to the laborers or farmers and asked for free labor in return. Due to this the farmers or the laborers could as for wages.
- The upper cast had control of the land. The rich farmers were able to invest in seeds, fertilizers, and other farming resources. While the lower cast people suffered a lot as they didn’t get agricultural support.
- Due to all these reasons, agriculture started to show signs of decline during the last declaration of colonialism.
- Most of the farmers were hardly left with money to invest again in agriculture. Most of their income went into paying taxes.
Mahalwari System UPSC
Mahalwari System is an important topic of modern history, and questions from this topic are asked in both UPSC Prelims and Mains. Candidates must focus on Mahalwari System UPSC to fetch optimum marks from the Modern History section. Candidates can cover the topic from UPSC Books or NCERT Books for UPSC. After completing the topic, applicants can also solve UPSC Previous Year Question Papers to revise and analayse.
Mahalwari System UPSC Questions
Here are some sample questions from Mahalwari System in both Prelims and Mains exams.
With reference to Mahalwari System, consider the following statements.
- Peasants were directly responsible for the payment of land revenue. Zamindars were not involved.
- The peasant might sell or mortgage their land at any time.
- The system was established in the United Provinces' western region, Punjab, and parts of the Central Provinces.
A- 1 and 2
B- 1 and 3
C- 2 and 3
Correct - C , Zamindar was a revenue collecting intermediary between peasants and the government.
Mains- What were the Land revenue settlements by the Britishers in India? Discuss its impact on Indian Peasants
Mahalwari System UPSC Notes PDF
As we have mentioned before that the Mahalwari System is a vital part of Modern History. Modern History is a part of UPSC Prelims Syllabus and UPSC Mains Syllabus as well. That’s why candidates must keep a printout of the notes. To make things easier we have provided a direct link to download the above-mentioned notes on Mahalwari System for UPSC below.