What were the reasons for the abolition of Zamindari system in U.P. ?
Reason for the abolition of Zamindari system according to the U.P Zamindari abolitions Committee Report, the following are the most important causes which led to the passing of the U.P.Z.A & L.R. Act, 1950:-
1. Abolition of Zamindari system was Necessary for increasing Agricultural Production –It may be noted that there exists an intimate relationship between land – tenures and agricultural production and the latter cannot be materially improved without mending the former . The peasant will not work to his full capacity nor will he invest his resources in improving his land unless he is certain that he will enjoy fruits of his labour and the benefits accruing from the investment. Under the zamindari system, peasants were not recognized as owner of the land. In most cases tenants could be ejected by the zamindars who were rent-receiving non-cultivating but still the owners of the land .The zamindar had the right to cultivate the land assiduously or indifferently .The zamindar (landlord) had the right to keep the land idle. He had a right to fix initially any rent he pleased but after the expiry of ten years the rent becomes liable to enhancement or abatement .In certain cases he had right to eject the tenants thus the cultivators had no fixity of tenure and fixity of rent. This defective land system was one of the causes of low productivity of agriculture in India during British period. Thus in order to increase the agricultural production it was necessary to remove the intermediaries who were parasites racketeers operators of the tenantry and the source of all the ills of rural society.
2. Everybody must work- The concept that who does not make a return in the share of produce or social service equivalent to or more than what he consumes is a drone and drag on social and economic progress . Every section of people must perform a definite economic function .The various classes of intermediaries functioning as rent-receivers whether as zamindars or taluqdars or under-proprietors or other subordinate holders, did nothing to improve the land and left the land and the tenantry where they were and indeed in a plight worse than before. In order to make everybody work it was desirable to remove the zamindars.
3. The zamindari-system was uneconomical to the state- it may be noted that in order to collect Rs. 682 lakhs as land-revenue and Rs. 71 lakhs as local rates the state forwent no less than Rs. 1000 lakhs in maintaining the landlord-system for the collection for its dues .None but a most extravagant person would employ an agent which costs him about one and a half times the amount collected. Moreover the land revenue received by the state from the zamindars (landlord) was less than 7 crores of rupees whereas the rent received by the zamindars from tenants amounted to 18 crores of rupees thus zamindars appropriated more than 11 corers of rupees annually. Thus in order to increase the state revenue, the abolition of zamindari become necessary.
4. Landlordism was British evil- It may be noted that the zamindar class was created as a social base by the British to help them in consolidation and maintaining their rule and acted as a check on progressive forces. History tells that in Avadh after the first independence war of 1857, the estates (taluqas) were given to those who had given shelter to English people during the revolution or who had handed over the freedom fighters to the British Government .Thus zamindars were granted lands as a bakshish (reward) for their act, which may be called a treachery to the nation therefore the abolition of zamindari system was necessary to prevent any further accrual of benefit to treacherers descendants since the evil of landlordism was a British creation hence it must end with the British rule of India.
5. Zamindars have betrayed the trust reposed in them- The Britishers in India had expressed a pious hope that the landlord would look after the welfare of the tenant and improvement of the soil. That he would act like an English landlord who provides homestead and improves the quality and fertility of land. But these hopes have however remained expressions of pious wishes. Instead of improving the condition of the cultivator and the soil the landlords have been responsible for the steady impoverishment of both . They have indulged in rack renting and illegal exactions. While on the one hand, the state share in the rent collected has progressively decreased, the margin of profit left to the landlords has increased.
6. Further Continuance of Zamindari may have Led to a Bloody Revolution- It may be noted that the zamindari system had reached a stage when it would not have been tolerated by the peasantry any longer without putting our national economy and social security in danger. The zamindars had always been oppressors of the tenantry and the source of all the evils of rural economy. The age –long simmering discontent occasionally bursting into acts of open defiance and sometimes of violence in our state had reached a critical stage. The discontent might develop into revolt and our social security might be threatened by the outbreak of violence. If the zamindari abolition was held over for a few years . Abolition might mean expropriation without compensation and quite possibly bloodshed and violence.
The system of Zamindari was believed to have become obsolete and out dated institution hence discredited everywhere in the world. All through the world there was a wave flowing a process operating to break the larger estates and handing over land to landless labourers in order to solve the problem of poverty. In the context of these world developments ,it was sheer folly for the zamindars in India to insist upon the inviolability of their rights.