Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
After the Zamindari Abolition Act, misusing the 'land to the tiller' rule, new zamindars were born as there was no prescribed ceiling limit of the land.
He criticized the zamindari system based on the Permanent Settlement introduced by the government, praising the ryotwari system of land tenure based on peasant ownership that provided him with all his needs.
The senior party leader advised the Prime Minister to study history and learn that it was the Congress who abolished the 'zamindari system'.
The migration flow stopped by 1940s when the tea gardens stopped expanding and the land management system underwent major transformation after the abolition of tribal zamindari system in the 1950s.
Yet British neglect of the region's traditional tank irrigation caused a breakdown in the traditional patron-client relationships between zamindari (tax middle-men) and the local populace.
Then this road struck to north of Dacca through the Bhowal Zamindari to Sherpur Atiya; this road led to shahzadpur across the Karetya (Mymen singh district) ultimately end on Bogra.
(36) Firoj High Sirwar, "A Comparative Study of Zamindari, Raiyatwari and Mahalwari Land Revenue Settlements: The Colonial Mechanisms of Surplus Extraction in 19th Century British India," Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences 2:4 (2012) 16-26; Thomas Metcalf, The Ideologies of the Raj: The New Cambridge History of India, V0I.4 (Cambridge, 1994), esp.
It is a very old zamindari. It came into being in the beginning of the 15th century.
Irrigation Department to furnish Certificate that all Zamindari Bunds have been removed.
In the early years of our republic, we were very clearly in the first camp: the Hindu Code laws and the zamindari abolition demonstrated our early leaders as representatives who made decisions for an Indian public that, if polled, would probably oppose the moves.
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.e., West Bengal in India.
Kachchatheevu was part of the zamindari of Raja of Ramnad; when zamindari was abolished it became a part of Madras Presidency.