What are the characteristics of a good land tenure system in India?


Land tenure system:

Land is a gift of nature. We produce several things from the land. In India, in ancient times, the land belonged to the almighty or the society. Although the land is tilled by the individual farmer, the ultimate ownership of it rests in the government, who charge revenue from the individual farmer.

In India there came a time when a middle man appeared on the scene. He realised revenue from the individual farmer and paid something to the government. This was not at all a very healthy position. Land tenure system should be congenial for the development of land and also for agricultural production.


If these are not there, the society shall suffer. Land tenure system has improved not only to the government. But also to the society at large. Its importance may be studied from the following three angles:–

A) Importance of land tenure from the view of the government.

b) Importance of land tenure from the angle of the farmers and,

c) Importance of land tenure from the angle of the society.


a) Importance of the land tenure from the point of view of the government:

The government earns revenuer from the land agriculturists pay revenue to the government. And in return get certain facilities. If the land tenure is of a healthy type, the government shall gain economically and they shall be able to provide different facilities to the farmers.

b) Importance of land tenure from and angel of the Farmers:

Land tenure is also important from the point of view of the farmers, if they have favorable conditions; they are bound to concentrate on higher production. If the farmers are convinced of their ownership of the land they do not have army interest in it.


c) Importance of land tenure from the angel of the society:

Land tenure is also important from the point of view of the social economic condition. If the ownership of the land vests in big land lords and farmers; it is remnant of feudal order and in such a system the land shall not fetch good product and equitable distribution. In such countries, the farmers are generally subject to various types of exploitations.

On the other hand of the land, they shall not have any uncertainty about their rights over the land and in that event they shall be free from the exploitation. In such a situation they generally centered on agricultural production. They also increase the agricultural production.

Land tenure system in India past and present:


Land tenure system of this country before the present was of the following three types—

A) Zamindari system b) Mahalbari system, and c) Royatbari system.

It would be worthwhile if we have a look at these systems of land tenure a bit in detail—

a) Zamindari system:


In this type of land tenure, the middle man or the land lord is the owner of the land and he realised land revenue from the small farmers and pays it to the Government. He got a particular percentage of the land revue realised from the farmers. In such system of land tenure because the farmers do not have direct relation with the Government. They are subjected to all sorts of exploitation. This system was prevalent in Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and east while state of Madras.

This system of land tenure had certain qualities as well as drawbacks. This system worked well where the Zamindars were educated and realised the importance of the land reform and improvement in agriculture. This system did not work will where the Zamindars were interested in realising land revenue.

b) Mahalbari system:

In this type of system, not only the single or the Zamindar was responsible for payment of land revenue but other farmers were also responsible for it. It means that the residents of a village were collectively and sincerely responsible for payment of revenue. In such a type of land tenure there was also a head of various Zamindars here also the farmers did not have direct relationship with the Government. This type of system was prevalent in the Uttar Pradesh, in the region which was known as Boudh and in Madhya Pradesh, Punjab etc.

In this system, although the Government did not have much difficulty in realising the revenue but the farmers were not happy. They suffered from exploitation and many other drawbacks. In this type or system and land lords who were known as Mahalbords had full control over the internal arrangement and so they exploited farmers as they like.

c) Royatbari system:

In this type of land tenure, the property right of the land vested on the Government. And the farmers paid the revenue to the Government, for cultivation on that land so long as the farmer paid the revenue, he could not be rejected from the land. Farmerly this system was prevalent in 2/3rd of Madhya Pradesh, Bombay, Assam etc. But now it is to be found in almost all the places where Zamindari and Mahalbari system have been abolished.

This system of land tenure allowed the farmers to have direct relationship with the Government. It is also helpful for the Government. When the land increases the revenue also increases the farmers also have right over the land and so they are interested in improving and making it useful.

This system had only one defect that it is controlled by the Government, employees and so they sometimes caste trouble to the farmers.

Present system of the land tenure:

The present system of land tenure –farmer oriented they have the right over the land, provided they cultivate it. In case they do not cultivated and pass it to someone else they loose the right. The patha or the proof of the ownership is given only to the man who tills the land.

There are certain rates of land revenue in different states and the farmers are required to pay it. It only indicates that the ultimate ownership of the land rests to the society. The farmers are the masses because they till and cultivate the land.

Characteristics of a good land tenure system:

The land tenure system which can be useful for the farmers as well as the Government is called a good land tenure system. Such a land tenure system should be progressive and useful for the society. It must possess the following characteristic.

1) Cerling of the holding 2) Ownership of the former on the land 3) Security of the farmers 4) Facilities for the agriculturists.

Let us discuss them one by one in detail:-

1) Cerling on the holding:

For a good land tenure system, the holding of a farmer should be economical. It would neither be too small nor beyond the capacity of the farmer to till it. If the farmer gets too much land, the becomes a Zamindar and louses interest in self work. Such a holding deprives other of the land. In order to avoid this drawback ceiling has been fixed on the land. Now it is not possible for the farmers to have land more than the prescribed unit.

2) Ownership of the farmer on the land:

For a good land tenure system. The ownership of the land vests in the farmer. He should have to carry out the programme of agricultural production in the way he likes. He should also have the right to sell it or alienate it in the way he likes. He should have the feeling that he is the master of the land without such a feeding he is notable to invest in the land that belongs to him.

3) Security of the farmers:

The land tenure system should be such that the farmer feels secure not only about has right over the land but other things in the matter. He should have the facility to get loans by mortgaging the land for agricultural purposes as well as other things. He should be assured that the land shall go away from him. If all these things are there, the land tenure system shall be called good and progressive.

4) Facilities for the agriculturists:

In a progressive land tenure system, the farmers get facilities for higher production and improvement of agricultural facilities. They should be assured of improved seeds, manner and fertilisers, implements and other facilities for irrigating land and improving the production. If the land tenure system does not guarantee all these things. The farmer shall not be able to do justice to their job and higher production shall not be possible.

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