Sunday, April 18, 2010


Sijda: Sijda is also called Zaminbos. It is form of respect paid to Emperor or high authority or Divine persona. The person doing sijda performs it by touching the ground with the forehead as act of adoration or worship to God. It was a controversial Mughal court custom. It was popular way of salutation during the Mughal period. Akbar banned it in public but continued it in private meetings. Jahangir encouraged such types of customs. Similar type of customs are Kornish and Taslim. Aurangzeb totally banned it.


Digital Sources

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Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)Mughal Administration (patna University Readership Lectures, 1920)
Society, Culture and Administration in Mughal India

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Accused of Meerut Conspiracy Case 1929

There were thirty two accused in Meerut Conspiracy Case. The name of the accused were as follows.
1. Muzaffar Ahmed
2. Shaukat Usmani
3. Philip Spratt
4. S. V. Ghate
5. K. N. Joglekar
6. R. S. Nimbkar
7. Benjamin. F. Bradley
8. S. S. Mirajikar
9. Abdul Majid
10. Dharani Goswami
11. Gopen Chakravarty
12. Ajodhya Parsad
13. P. C. Joshi
14. Gopal Basak
15. G. M. Adhikari
16. Samsul Huda
17. M. G. Desai.
18. S. H. Jhabwalla
19. H. L. Hutchinson
20. R. R. Mitra
21. K. N. Sehgal
22. G. R. Kasle
23. Gauri Shankar
24. L. R. Kadam.
25. A. A. Alve.
26. D. R. Thengdi
27. S. A. Dange
28. S. S. Josh
29. Shibnath Bannerjee
30. Kishorilal Ghosh
31. B. N. Mukerji
32. Dharamvir Singh
Dharamvir Singh was pronounced not guilty. Shibnath Banneree, Kishorilal Ghosh and B. N. Mukerji were acquitted. D. R. Thendi of Bombay died during the course of the trial. Finally 28 of them were punished. The Sessions Judge R. L. Yorke in Sessions Court at Meerut passed the judgement which was reviewed and upheld with reduced punishments by Allahabad High Court. The advocate for the defendants was Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru. The Special Prosecutor for the Crown was Mr. M. I. Kemp. The Meerut Special Court delivered its verdict on January 17, 1933. The defendants appealed to the Allahabad High Court. The Allahabad High Court upheld the verdict of the Sessions Court Meerut and passed its verdict on August 13, 1933 with reduced sentences.

Source: Encyclopedia of Political Parties Volume 33-35, pp. 689-693, Om Parkash Ralhan (Edit).

Digital References

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High Treason: The Assassination of JFK & the Case for ConspiracyJfk: Case for Conspiracy (2pc) [VHS]
Meerut Conspiracy Case and the Left Wing in India
Stuntwoman / The Swiss Conspiracy [Slim Case]
Cats Don't Laugh

Thursday, April 15, 2010


nankar: It was an exclusive right of a Zamindar during the Mughal period in India. Nankar was a commission of 10% for services rendered in connection with cultivation of land (Siddiqi, p 31. Land Revenue Administration under the Mughals) As per Siddiqi, the credential of a zamindari was established when the right of deriving Nanaker was bestowed upon the person. In other words Namkar was the core of Zamindari status. Secondly, it may be emphasized that the commission was for the services rendered in work of getting cultivation. The rest of the obligation, like the military services could have been included in the sanad which granted the nankar but nankar was paid for the services rendered for getting the cultivation done on the land assigned.

Authority: N A Siddiqi: Land Revenue Administration under the Mughals.

Remarks: The blogger/author of the above definition does not fully subscribe to the explanation about the zamindari as given by the honourable historian N. A. Siddiqi. However, the issue of contention will be discussed separately on the associated blog at

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Digital Resources:

Land Revenue Administration Under the Mughals, 1700-50
The Agrarian System of Mughal India, 1526-1707
Mughal Administration (patna University Readership Lectures, 1920)
The Mughal Administration, Six Lectures

Sunday, April 11, 2010


MAZARA: Since the days of the Mughal rule in India, Mazara is a cultivator who does not have 'the right either to sell or mortgage the land tilled by him.' Even his right to occupancy as well the crop raised by him could be successfully disputed.

The main factor of ascertaining the status of the tiller is the ownership of the land and the authorities which recognized it while dealing with the tiller. On this basis, mazara and asami forms a social group. They never dealt directly with the government officers on the issue of land revenue. Even the government officers during the Mughal times were instructed not to directly approach the asami or mazara for the collection of the revenue. (Reference: Dastur-ul-Amal-i-Mahdi)

The above two paragraph are based on the references given in the Persian documents as quoted by Noman Ahmed Siddiqi.

The British officers had used the word Village Community for the habitants of a village. For them the cultivators or the peasants formed the brotherhood of cultivators. The British documents identify the cultivator as zamindar. (Moreland)

Digital Reference:
The Cambridge economic history of India, Volume 2 By Tapan Raychaudhuri, Dharma Kumar, Meghnad Desai, Irfan Habib, p 11

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Special Remarks:

Habib, Irfan: The Agrarian System of Mughal India, Oxford University Press, 2004, ISBN 0 19 565595.
Siddiqi, Noman Ahmad, Land Revenue Administration Under the Mughals, 1989, ISBN 81-215-0477-X

Land Revenue Administration Under the Mughals, 1700-50

Saturday, April 10, 2010


abadi: Abadi refers to an area under habitation in a village during the Mughal Empire period in India. It was a term which specified the area under cultivation belonging to habitants in a village in the revenue records of the Mughal administration. It was recorded in the revenue records maintained since the days of Akbar.

Later, the term became the part of general speech and invariably refers to an area under habitation.

Digital Reference:


Edit Report

Land Revenue Administration Under the Mughals, 1700-50

The Agrarian System of Mughal India 1526-1707


Mauza: As per Siddiqi, "The primary unit of land revenuw administration in the first half the eighteenth century was the mauza or a village."
In the Mughal Empire, the common people called a village goan or deh or pind. Hence, the word mauza was used in revenue records. In revenue records a mauza covered a specific 'arable land, abadi, pools, grooves grooves, nullahs, forests and waste land.(As per the contents of Dastur-ul-Amal-Alamgiri quoted in Land Revenue Administration Under the Mughals by N. M. Siddiqi)

Digital References:

Authority: Siddiqi, N. M., Land Revenue Administration Under Mughals, ISBN 81-215-0477-X


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AvatarAvatarLand revenue administration under the Mughals, 1700-1750The Land Systems Of British India V1: Being A Manual Of The Land-Tenures And Of The Systems Of Land Revenue Administration Prevalent In The Several Provinces

Friday, April 9, 2010


arzdashts: It was a petition or an official communication addressed by a subordinate to his superior. A parwana is official directive from a senior to junior.

Digital Source:

Siddiqi, Noman Ahmad, Land Revenue Administration Under the Mughals, 1989, ISBN 81-215-0477-X

Additional Remarks: Check parwana



parwana: It was basically an order issued by an officer to his subordinate during the Mughal period of India history. It was more significant when such an order was issued by departmental heads such as Diwan-i-ala or Sadr-u-Sudur endorsing a grant of a jagir or madad massh land. Generally, it was an order for a higher authority to its subordinate which demanded execution.

Digital Source:

Siddiqi, Noman Ahmad, Land Revenue Administration Under the Mughals, 1989, ISBN 81-215-0477-X

Edited Report

Additional Remarks



Farman: Farman was a royal order bearing the seal of the emperor during the Mughal period of Indian history. Every piece of official document was not a farman. A farman was an order directly from the Emperor.

Digital Source:

Siddiqi, Noman Ahmad, Land Revenue Administration Under the Mughals, 1989, ISBN 81-215-0477-X

Additional Remarks:

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Sunday, April 4, 2010


As per the Persian documents of the Medieval India, Muqaddam was a headman of a village. He was ,by profession, a peasant of the village which he headed. He could sell and buy land for the village and settle the common treasury of the village in that position. His position was hereditary, however, it could also be bought and sold. He was never a government servant but a person holding that position could be dispossessed of his status by the revenue official.

In south India (Dakhin), a similar position was enjoyed by a ‘Patel’.

In Braj documents, the same Muqaddam was translated as ‘Panch’ or ‘panch mukadam’.

Recommended Authority:
Habib, Irfan: The Agrarian System of Mughal India, Oxford University Press, 2004, ISBN 0 19 565595, pp. 160-161.

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