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where the Urdu or camp language was gradually formed. (Vide note Art III. No. VIII., on the Urdu language.')
In some of the notices of the lower castes, the glossary will be found deficient. Under the word kolhu or oilman, no notice is given of the very large caste of Mahommedans, who follow the occupation of making mustard oil, and who are totally distinct from the Hindu Teli; nor under karigar, which siguifies workman, is there any allusion to another exceedingly numerous section of men of the same religion, who follow the occupation of weaving; who, though gradually giving way to the influx of piece goods, supply one-half the clothes of the village population, and are quite separate from the Tanti or Hindu caste of weavers. Again, while Dutt and Ghose are rightly set down as divisions of the Kayast, or writer-caste in Bengal, Bose is said to be a mere adjunct to names, whereas it is a distinct class or far of the same caste, and Mittra or Mitter, the fourth great division of the writer-caste, is not specified at all.
The various terms of rent-free tenures in Bengal, such as those given for the support of Brahmans, Hindu temples, the tombs of Mahommedan saints, and for Mahommedan ascetics, are briefly but correctly stated. Some additional information might, we think, have advantageously been given on the operation of the resumption laws and the policy of Government in this respect : the more so, as two good columns have been written on the various kinds of Inams prevalent in the west and south of India. Under the term lakhiraj or bazyaft, once of great significance, something might have been added as to the process and effect of resumption in Bengal. These lawful and proper measures, to which unfortunate delay, permitting and encouraging the transfer of real property, gave a great appearance of harshness, for all practical purposes, terminated about fourteen years ago. The extensive machinery of Special Deputy Collectors, and Special Commissioners was abolished. The additional rent-roll was made up, and it was found that while the expense of resuming lands had cost Government altogether about 120 lacks of rupees, the yearly addition to the national income was about forty lacks. We speak from the remembrance of official papers, but we are inclined to think that the above figures will be found nearer the mark than those given in Mr. James Young's valuable Revenue Hand-book, where the Bengal resumptions are said to have cost in all eighty lacks, and to have brought in thirty lacks a year by the rent-roll
. The policy of Government at the commencement of active operations was freely canvassed, and some of the ablest and most vigorous pens were employed to attack or defend resumption suits. The hardship really was, not that zemindars and others should be compelled to restore possessions illegally obtained, or to show documents for their claim to exemption, but that in the years that had elapsed, during which only languid and unconnected attempts had been made by the established revenue authorities, property had changed hands by private transfer, and documents had been lost, and every temptation was thus held out for the manufacture of title deeds, with the signets of Viziers and Nawaubs. In this sudden start to life of Government, which arose like a slumbering giant to require its own, lay the real grievance to owners of real property, which to this day has not ceased to be acutely felt. Yet the Government, as operations were carried on, gave birth to many measures calculated to sooth irritation and to relieve pressure. Broadly, the resumptions were to take in every estate, or all lands alienated since the year 1765. But exceptions were successively made in favour of grants, which had passed under the review of the old provincial courts in the last century, the annual produce of which was not above 100 rupees; of all grants made before the year 1771, not exceeding ten beegahs, and appropriated to religious purposes; of hereditary grants held since the year 1765, by mere prescription without any formal title deed; of grants not exceeding 100 beegahs in extent; of grants which being divided into several lots never reached the amount of fifty beegahs in any one particular village, a chance being thus given to the owner of more than 100 beegahs, if his land lay scattered in two or three villages ; of all grants under ten beegahs which had been held rent-free since the 1st of December, 1790; of all grants bond-fide appropriated to religious and charitable purposes; and of grants held rent-free for thirty years, which last could only be assessed by the special orders of Government. To these were added a proviso that the revenue to be assessed on rent-free lands, identified and resumed, should not exceed onehalf the rental, which practically means that such estates have been taxed at eight annas a beegah, the gross rental being taken at one rupee. We believe, however, that this rule, meant as a relief or an indulgence, will be found to impose a heavier burden than what many of the permanently settled estates have to bear. The professional survey, which is to show the taxation on the area of land, will, we think, bring to light many instances where the demand on account of Government, is not one quarter of the rental, nor one-twelfth of the produce of the land.
The resumption operations, which had a languishing, we may say, a mere nominal existence for some years after the abolition of the machinery of the special courts, have been completely stopped as regards Government. Landholders and farmers may, however, claim to assess all lands under one hundred beegahs, held rent-free by middlemen or ryots within the limits of their
estates. Suits to determine the right to rent may be tried in the collectorate or the civil court. Whether, as Government has withdrawn its grasp from these alienations, be they originally lawful or not, it were not desirable that all suits of the kind should terminate, and that those who have the good fortune to hold small parcels of land exempt from payment of rent, should be permitted to hold them without fear of a law-suit, is a question which we should feel inclined to answer in the affirmative. These bits of land, held by Brahmins, Faquirs, saints, and oftener by men of secular professions, though bearing no proportion to the area of land-paying rent, are very numerous. They are to be met with in almost every district. They are valuable, not so much from their productiveness, for it may well be imagined that the soil least productive was generously given away, but from their simple exemption from any tax. They tend to the advantage of the agriculturist, for we are happy to say that there is a sort of tacit understanding between the cultivator and the grantee that the former shall not pay too highly to the latter, when everything to him is clear profit. Fourteen annas or one rupee a beegah is a very common rate for lakhiraj land, and to possess a neat piece of twenty or thirty beegahs, house or garden, is often the life-long ambition of a respectable householder. We should be glad to think that few suits for such lands were to be instituted in future. We may put aside this subject with two remarks : the first, that resumptions which it took forty years to dispose of in Bengal, were disposed of in six years in the Punjab; and that no man, but a theoretical Member of Parliament, would ever imagine that the Inam commission in Bombay had the slightest connection with the mutiny in Bengal.
We have now finished our strictures on either erroneous or defective information. It is next to impossible that in so copious and comprehensive a work, there should not be found by any person with moderate local knowledge, something which he could amplify or amend. In fact, the Glossary was commenced on this very principle, viz. of getting at out-of-the-way information in holes or corners, and it is the failure to respond to the call for materials that has thrown the compiler back on some imperfect or impure sources, and has excluded him from others altogether. With Mr. Wilson's general qualifications for the task, no one will be disposed to quarrel, and even his determined way of spelling the native words in corresponding English letters, can offend no tyro, seeing that the corruptions are given in the index as accurately as corruptions ever can be, which in one and the same document are often spelt in two or three different ways. Sometimes, however, where oriental words have been regularly Anglicised, this scrupulousness is Deo., 1857.
carried a little too far. We doubt if many well-read men would at the first glance recognise our powerful enemies, the rulers of Mysore, in their original costume of Haidar and Tipu, and as for the divisions of the country generally, given under the word
we doubt if many persons were aware that the railway properly runs through Bardhman, or that Katak was the capital of Orissa. At the same time the corruptions constantly try our patience the other way. For instance, being attracted by the curious term Weedyman, we turned to the glossary, and were astonished to find that this was a mere corruption of the Sanskrit and Mahratta Vidhyamana, one who is present, as a witness, on a money transaction. After this we can pardon Mr. Wilson's ebullition of feeling at Kabuliat and its corruptions, and at Hul Fun, for Halfan, "judicially, on oath,” which Mr. Wilson evidently thinks the basest of bad jokes.
In conclusion, we venture to think that this Glossary, so far from being a temporary or occasional work, may become a regular permanent text-book for all persons, whatever their bias or profession, or in whatever part of India resident, who desire information on strange rustic agricultural terms, on plants and their produce, in regard to which the glossary is very well furnished, and on the principal castes, festivals, and customs, which, with a generic resemblance in the main, vary so much in particular districts and provinces. We see no reason why there should not be a second edition of such a work, corrected and enlarged by additional research and information. We do not think that Mr. Wilson has named amongst the books that he has consulted, the curious and instructive work entitled topography of Dacca, by Dr. Taylor, compiled, under one of those general requisitions from Government to which one official in fifty deigns to pay attention, as far back as 1840: nor a neat little and unpretending, but useful book by Mr. P. Carnegy, a deputy magistrate in the Upper Provinces, entitled “kutcherry technicalities," nor do we think that Mr. Wilson is just to the Bengali Dictionary of Carey, when he terms it “ singularly defective in technical and colloquial words.” We also must again
There is some incorrectness in the correct spelling of the different Bengal zillahs. West Burdwan is Bancoorah or Bankhunda, Chittagong is Chatgaon not Shatgaon. Jessore is Jashar, not Jaisur. Silhet is not Silhat, but Srihat, and Tippera is Tripura, not Tripara. If we are to have a correct orthography, Mr. Wilson cannot be too particular. It is not right, either, to say that the Commissionerships of Assam, Arracan, Kachar, Hazaribagh and Tenasserim have been recently included among the zillas of the Lower Provinces. The above places are still what they ha always been, non-regulation provinces, and nothing has been done except to extend to them the supervision of the Board of Revenue, Tepasserim, too, we helieve, is now under the Government of India, not the Government of Bengal,
express our surprise that every thing in the shape of proverb or couplet, with which all Indian dialects abound, has been rigidly denied admittance to the Glossary. If Mr. Wilson holds the opinion that quaint saws in prose or verse, current amongst rustics, are “ beneath the dignity" of a glossary, we must differ from him, deeming as we do that a terse and pithy couplet often takes deeper root in the memory than the most lucid narrative or the most labored explanation. Such are, in fact, the condensed sense of the wise men of past and present generations : they relieve the tedium of dry and protracted disquisitions, and give colouring and life to the occupations of tribes hardly known. It is their point and frequency that lends such a charm to Sir H. Elliot's work, and Mr. Wilson, who wisely has not been above noting the slang of professional Thugs and robbers, just as Lord Macaulay did not disdain to dive into the London Spy and Tom Ward for materials for his History, might with good effect have scattered a few Hindi and Persian proverbs through his text.
We should have been glad, for instance, to have met some of the quaint or descriptive verses from Sir H. Elliot's store, which tell us that a hundred weighmen, cheats as they are supposed to be, with their false measures, are not equal, in craftiness, to one single inhabitant of Bundelcund; how highly esteemed is the agricultural caste of the Kurmi, for the reason that the wife, sickle in hand, follows her husband to the field and weeds it in his company; how the ryot is seen strutting about with elated countenance on the day when the first fruits of his harvest are brought home, but moving dejectedly when, as a necessary consequence, the peon of the landholder makes his call for rent; or how under a strong feeling that men whose lives do not expose them to the sun, should not be sun-burnt, a prudent person is forbidden to get into a ferry-boat with a dark-coloured Brahman, or a light-coloured Chamar-in other words such persons, being unlucky, should be forbidden, under the Horatian precept:
Solvat phaselon. We trust that the learned compiler may have an opportunity, by the demand for his glossary, of considering the value of our partial strictures. We repeat that complete accuracy was not to be expected in a first issue, and in our comments, we have been guided by that local and departmental knowledge, by which a man at his particular trade or business ought to be more confident than one who embraces so wide a range of country, or by which an untravelled individual may be a better guide to his