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(from Persian zamindar, “landowner”), a land tax system introduced by the English colonial administration in northern, eastern, and central India between the 18th and 19th centuries.

The zamindari established the hereditary landownership rights of zamindars, the upper strata of the feudal class who were the collectors of feudal rents and taxes. The supreme landowner was the colonial administration. There were permanent zamindari, levied for the benefit of the colonial administration and fixed forever, and temporary zamindari, which were reviewed every 20 to 40 years. By the 1950’s, the zamindari was levied on 43 percent of the privately owned land in India and 31 percent of all privately owned land in Eastern Pakistan. The later evolution of the zamindari was accompanied by the formation of a large class of intermediary rent collectors between the main zamindars and the rent-paying direct producers. This hierarchy of intermediaries included 15 to 20 ranks and in some areas as many as 50 ranks.

The agrarian laws passed in India and Pakistan in the 1950’s provided for the elimination of the zamindari through the compensation of zamindars and other rent collectors for their loss of ownership rights to lands being worked by peasant renters; the large landowners retained the large areas of the so-called “homestead lands.” As a result of these reforms in India and Pakistan (and in Bangladesh since 1971), the right to collect land rents has been transferred to the government and the socioeconomic position of the upper land-owning class has been weakened.


Novaia istoriia Indii. Moscow, 1961.
Komarov, E. N. “K voprosu ob ustanovlenii postoiannogo oblozheniia po sisteme zamindari v Bengalii.” In Uchenye zapiski Instituta vostokovedeniia, vol. 12:Indiiskii sbornik. Moscow, 1955.
Kotovskii, G.G.Agrarnye reformy v Indii. Moscow, 1959.
Thorner, D.Agrarnyi stroi Indii. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from English.)


References in periodicals archive ?
The Zamindari system was gradually introduced into certain areas of that Presidency.
Under British rule, the system of zamindari was preserved by the Raj, which accepted the authority of the local rulers of the 'princely states' as long as they demonstrated adequate loyalty to the Empire.
It was a struggle against the autocratic rule of Nizam and the Zamindari system.
In the zamindari system, landlords owned and controlled the use of their land.
Kamini's mother as an old retainer shared an insider's knowledge of the zamindari household and had a closer association with the powerful female members.
And yet, Bankim never approved of the abolition of the pernicious zamindari system that was the root cause of the plight of the peasants.
xii) on the identity of the sannyasi whom members of the princely family of Bhawal and throngs of tenants of what was the second largest zamindari in East Bengal recognized in 1921 as their returned mejo kumar "second prince," who had been declared dead and cremated in Darjeeling in 1909.
After the prolonged struggle for freedom throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, widespread aspirations for social and economic justice impelled a constitutional and planning process that initiated a series of dramatic social reforms during the 1940s and 1950s--the abolition of zamindari (landlordism), the introduction of the reservations system (affirmative action) for scheduled castes and tribes and investment in telecommunications, basic industries and infrastructure.
In Hindi, Premchand had dwelled at length on the vices of the zamindari system and the wretched condition of farmers and landless laborers in the villages.
Tenders are invited for earth work filling in beaches in village bari malawa to manachak in sikhoha khanda and gopalbad zamindari bandh under western part of gopalbad village under sarmera block dist.
The crisis within Congress should be familiar to any historian of the zamindari (land-based) system.
A total of 81 cases under Indian Stamp Duty Act and Zamindari Abolition and Land Reform ( ZALR) Act have been registered against Patanjali Yogpeeth.