What is permanent settlement?

Background: In 1772, Warren Hastings took over civil duties after abolishing the dual system of government and noticed the poor state of revenue. In such a situation he focused on land survey for revenue raising as it was the most influential sector in Indian revenue and economy. For this purpose he constituted a Board of Revenue consisting of a Standing Committee. It was the responsibility of the traveling committee to go from district to district and lease land on five-year contracts. This is called leasehold system. It was called Panchshala settlement as the settlement was given for five years, but this system did not do much good

The government fixed the revenue in exchange for a fixed sum, which resulted in no gain but loss to the government. Even if the production on the land increased, only the zamindar would enjoy it and the government would be deprived of this additional revenue. In the failure of this system Ekshala settlement i.e. distribution of land based on annual revenue was introduced. As it was leased out by auction, the lessee had to take the land by committing to pay an exorbitant amount of revenue, putting enormous pressure on the peasants. Also many zamindars lost their zamindari if they did not pay the revenue on time. So this system also could not give much advantage to the British government. This was a short-term solution to a permanent solution to the previous failure, only in this situation does a pakapaka system become very useful.

Permanent Settlement

What is permanent settlement: Lord Cornwallis became the governor of Bengal in 1786. Meanwhile, the Court of Directors continued to push for a permanent and permanent land system. Finally, Cornwallis conducted various experiments in land revenue from 1786 to 19 and introduced ten-year land settlements in Bengal and Bihar in 1789 and in Orissa in 1790. It is also promised that it will be declared permanent if approved by the Court of Directors . After a few years of waiting, finally in 1793, the Court of Directors declared this ten-year settlement permanent, and this ten-year land settlement began to be called a permanent settlement. A permanent settlement is not a separate settlement; Since the ten-year settlement is made permanent, this system is called perpetual settlement.

*Features –

A ) Landlord Centrality : Cornwallis was a scion of a landowning family in England. So he had a weakness towards the zamindar class of Bengal. So he wanted to remove uncertainty from the revenue by tightening the hands of the zamindars. Although land was initially leased, it developed into a landlord-centred land system through permanent settlements. The zamindars and talukdars get the right to usurp land by inheritance.

b ) Rights over land : In the earlier settlements only leases were granted on land, neither the zamindars nor the lessees had any rights over it. So they exploited the peasants to collect as much revenue as possible but in the permanent settlement the actual right of the land was given to the zamindar. Zamindars enjoy several important rights such as gifting, mortgaging or selling land at will.

c ) Rate of revenue : The British government gets a fixed revenue from this settlement as opposed to uncertain revenue and their fear of uncertain financial crisis is eliminated. And the revenue which is fixed is allocated in this case 90 percent of the fixed revenue to the government and 10 percent to the zamindars.

d ) Sunset Act : While this settlement opens up a wide range of rights for the landlords, it also brings some restrictions and rules like the Sunset Act. According to this Act the zamindars were obliged to pay the revenue due to the government before sunset on the last day of the year.

e) Abolition of Zamindars : As the zamindars were given title/right over the land by the British government, it was also feared to take it away through the Sunset Act. Many zamindars were ousted from zamindari by sunset laws. Also the revenue was not waived during drought, flood, epidemic or any other natural calamity.

*Impact :

The Permanent Settlement was a landmark event in the land revenue system of Bengal and India as a whole. This system has had a far-reaching impact on India’s agricultural economy. While this system was beneficial to the British on one side, it was a curse to the peasants on the other. Also in this system many zamindars lost their zamindari, the independent peasants of Bengal gradually turned into tenant farmers. This system reduced the peasants to the lowest level of misery, so the historian Holmes considered it a “sad mistake” .

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1) Who introduced the permanent settlement?

A. In 1793, Lord Cornwallis introduced the Permanent Settlement.

2) Who introduced permanent settlement when?

A. In 1793, Lord Cornwallis introduced the Permanent Settlement.

3) Who introduced the permanent settlement?

A. Lord Cornwallis introduced the Permanent Settlement.

4) When is the permanent settlement launched?

A. In 1793.

5) Where is permanent settlement initiated?

A. In 1793 in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

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