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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Important Aspects of Land Ownership in Garhwal from 1815-1947

Characteristics of Ibbetson Settlement in Garhwal -20

                            British Administration in Garhwal   -76      
History of British Rule/Administration over Kumaun and Garhwal (1815-1947) -94

            History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon and Haridwar) -931
                              By: Bhishma Kukreti (History Student)

 The history of land ownership in Garhwal under British is very interesting. The initial Sayanas (Jamindar, Thokdar) those could have agreement with British offices used to request farmers for taking agriculture works in their owned land. Sayanas agreed for paying tax for huge land region but farmers were eager for settling and taking agriculture works as per their choices. British had agreement with village chiefs (Gram Padhan) for tax payment. However, the farmers under Padhan were so poor that Padhan used to pay tax on their behalf and were compelled for offering them ownership position (Hissedari or Khaikari). Slowly, after increase in prosperity and time gap, farmers came became aware that if they got land ownership, British government would protect their rights.
                 In 1842, Sayanas played tricks that they became Hissedar for land of their own brothers and Batton had to deal such complexities. Batton had to take matters for all types of crimes including land settlement. There was no help for Batton. The previous settlements had many flaws and Batton had to correct those flaws too. As soon as Beese settlement (twenty years settlement) came to an end, the Hissedar and Khaykar became aware for their land ownership rights. There was increase in land ownership disputes in the courts. In Trail period, there were nominal differences between Hissedar, Sirtan and Khaykar. Due to low population, the farmers were in stronger position for taking agriculture works from Sayanas etc. By 1864 (Becket land settlement), there was increase in population and less fertile land was available. Every famer was interested for making him as ‘Hissedar’.

     Becket made list of the villages where Khaykars were there but there were no Hissedar for those villages. Pau also prepared a list of Khaykar villages. In most of cases, Khaykar became more prosperous than Hissedar due to hard works. Hissedar were only for the sake of paper works.

    Trail wrote in 1823 that Garhwalis love their land as mother and did not like to sell or offer their land to others. Garhwalis perceived selling mother land as ‘neech kam’ (lowest degree of act).
 There were following types of mortgaging the land –
 Dhali-Folo (Scattering)- In this type, the owner offered land ownership to the buyer
Mat- The land owner mortgaged the land to the money lender but pay tax regularly. After death of seller the land buyer started paying tax.
‘Sashart Mat- The seller kept condition that as soon as he or his heirs get chance to repay the loan the new owner would hand over the land to original owner.

Bandhak- The land owner kept land mortgage for a fixed period and if not repay the loan the money lender used to become land owner.
  When in initial stage of British rule, there was clarity for land ownership, the people could sell their land with ease.
 Trail wrote in 1825 that due to clarity in land ownership in Kumaun and Garhwal, the famers from Tehri and Nepal started migrating to Garhwal and Kumaon.  

Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti Mumbai, India, bckukreti@gmail.com 3/12/2016
History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -932
*** History of British Rule/Administration over British Garhwal (Pauri, Rudraprayag, and Chamoli1815-1947) to be continued in next chapter
(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
 1-Shiv Prasad Dabral ‘Charan’, Uttarakhand ka Itihas, Part -7 Garhwal par British -Shasan, part -1, page- 234-248
2-Ibbetson, A.W., Revenue Settlement of Garhwal District, pages
3-Pauw, Garhwal settlement report, page 42
4- Tara Datt Gairola, Selected Revenue decisions of Kumaun. Page 222-223
5- Atkinson , Himalayan Districts, page 493, 464, 312

History of British Rule, Administration , Policies, Revenue system,  over Garhwal, Kumaon, Uttarakhand ; History of British Rule , Administration , Policies Revenue system  over Pauri Garhwal, Udham Singh Nagar Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies ,Revenue system  over Chamoli Garhwal, Nainital Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies ,Revenue system  over Rudraprayag Garhwal, Almora Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies ,Revenue system  over Dehradun , Champawat Kumaon, Uttarakhand ; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies, ,Revenue system  over Bageshwar  Kumaon, Uttarakhand ;
History of British Rule, Administration, Policies, Revenue system over Haridwar, Pithoragarh Kumaon, Uttarakhand;