List of Zamindar : Vote for your favorites.
A zamindar in the Indian subcontinent was an aristocrat. The term means "land owner" in Persian. Typically hereditary, zamindars held enormous tracts of land and control over their peasants, from whom they reserved the right to collect tax on behalf of Taluqdars and imperial courts or for military purposes. Their families carried titular suffixes of lordship, such as Babu, Sri, Rai, Pillai, Rao, Chaudhuri, Khan, Sardar, Malik, Thakur, Wadero, Reddy, and Thevar. In the 19th and 20th centuries, with the advent of British imperialism, many wealthy and influential zamindars were bestowed with princely and royal titles such as Maharaja (Great King), Raja (King) and Nawab.
During the Mughal Empire, zamindars belonged to the nobility and formed the ruling class. Emperor Akbar granted them mansabs and their ancestral domains were treated as jagirs. Under British colonial rule in India, the permanent settlement consolidated what became known as the zamindari system. The British rewarded supportive zamindars by recognizing them as princes. Many of the region's princely states were pre-colonial zamindar holdings elevated to a greater protocol. However, the British also reduced the land holdings of many pre-colonial aristocrats, demoting their status to a zamindar from previously higher ranks of nobility.
The system was abolished during land reforms in East Bengal (Bangladesh) in 1950, India in 1951 and West Pakistan in 1959.
The zamindars often played an important role in the regional histories of the subcontinent. One of the most notable examples is the 16th century confederation formed by 12 zamindars in the Bhati region, which, according to the Jesuits and Ralph Fitch, earned a reputation for successively repelling Mughal invasions through naval battles. The confederation was led by a zamindar-king, Isa Khan, and included both Muslims and Hindus, such as Pratapaditya. The zamindars were also patrons of the arts. The Tagore family produced India's first Nobel laureate in literature in 1913, Rabindranath Tagore, who was often based at his estate. The zamindars also promoted neoclassical and Indo-Saracenic architecture.Read more...
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