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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 ?
Her zamindari was let out and brought under Government management.
In 1698 the Company had obtained from the Mogul Emperor, the Zamindari right over three villages, namely Sutanati, Kolkata, and Govinpur which in due course were to grow into the city of Calcutta that later became the capital not only of the Bengal Presidency but also of British India until 1905, and now its official name is Kolkata, the capital of the state/province of Paschim Bangla, i.
It's set in a period when zamindari (feudalism) system was on the brink of collapse," said Motwane.
Kachchatheevu was part of the zamindari of Raja of Ramnad; when zamindari was abolished it became a part of Madras Presidency.
Mr Mittal ought to have realized that India has long abolished the zamindari system, under which families owned vast, private fiefdoms, where they used to have virtual free runs.
The interiors, meticulously crafted by artist Narayan Chandra Sinha, resembles an art gallery and an old Kolkata Zamindari house.
The main source of income for the upper and middle class Muslims in north India had for centuries been Jagirdari, zamindari and government service.
Feudalism, absentee landlords and Zamindari are an archaic institution, indicating underdevelopment and subsistence agriculture.
15) Disputes within Tamil zamindari (landlord, tax collector) households over property and inheritance were resolved by courts through the delimitation of concubinage from wifehood.
After the abolition of Zamindari and Jagirdari, rights of land ownership was taken away by the Government.
These Nawabs, Sardars, Jagirdars, Zamindars and Khan Bahadur, possess thousand of acres of land (Villages, Dehs, Begas etc under a Jagirdari and Zamindari system) unquestionable, tax-free and with no co-sharer.
There has been a considerable improvement in social development due to abolition of zamindari and jagirdari systems, awakening of women and the rise of a middle class.