[PDF Notes] Land Revenue System of Ala-ud-Din Khilji

Ala-ud-Din made many reforms in the field of land revenue. It was ordered that all land was to be measured and then the share of the state was to be fixed. The post of a special officer called Mustakhraj was created and he was given the duty of collecting unrealised balance of land revenue from the peasants.

In order to check bribery and corruption among the revenue officials, their salaries were increased. On certain occasions, the papers of the Patwaris were personally scrutinized. Ala-ud-Din did not force the peasants to pay land revenue in cash. As a matter of fact, he preferred to get the same in kind.

Zia-Barani has criticised Ala-ud-Din for heavy taxes. The latter charged half the produce as land revenue while the demand of the state used to be 25% or 33% before Ala-ud-Din.

That was probably due to the fact that Ala-ud-Din was in need of a larger amount of money for the maintenance of his army. At the same time, it is not to be forgotten that Ala-ud-Din took steps to safeguard the peasants from the demands of the corrupt revenue officials and the latter were punished severely even for petty offences. It is pointed out that for misappropriation of one single Jital, the revenue collectors were tortured.

The condition of the revenue officials became very bad in the time of Ala-ud-Din. We are told that the wives of the Khuts and Muqaddams went and served for hire in the houses of Mussalmans, “Men looked upon revenue officers as something worse than fever. Clerkship was a great crime and no man would give his daughter to a clerk.”

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