What is the difference between zamindari and diwani?

I am providing you answer with Zamindari right and diwani rights Under Zamindari system, the zamindars were regarded as the owners of the land. They were given the rights to collect revenue from the peasants and share a part of the revenue with the government. Diwani rights were the rights granted to the British East India Company for collecting revenue from the people on behalf of the Emperor. But the revenue collected was used by the Company for their own purpose of business.

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Zamindar : There are two phases of zamindars ,first phase during mughal period (though this term was in vogue from much earlier times) :During Mughal rule zamindars (actual word is zimmidar derived from zimmedar i.e the one who is responsible for revenue collection) were NOT LAND OWNERS as no concept of OWNERSHIP (land was plenty) existed in that period.A zamindar was responsible for the revenue collection from the land alloted to him and he could be stripped from office if governor/emperor so wished.

Second phase :After permanent settlement of 1793 ,pre-existing zamindar were given OWNERSHIP of land subject to timely payment of collected revenue ..Land was auctioned (Land became sale-able property for the first time in Indian history) in case any zamindar failed to pay his dues.

Jagirdar :Office of jagirdar came into existence after the advent of Mansabdari system (Indian varient of feudal system) during Akbar's reign (though similar type of officials existed in delhi-sultanete period too).Broadly land was classified as 1.khalisa land 2. Jagirs

Khalisa land :land revenue directly went into state coffers.

Jagirs:Individuals/Noblemen were given rights over revenue of the alloted jagirs (land) in-lieu of Military services to the state .Jagirdars kept a legion of soldiers and were responsible for their salaries and other needs.They were usually transferred regularly every 3-4 years lest someone assert sovereignty over alloted jagir !

Whether the land was khalisa or jagir ,revenue collection was done by zamindars but appropriating authority was different in each case.

There is subtle difference b/w jagirdar & mansabdar ,the above mentioned definition is technically of the latter.

PS : The above explanation of Jagir is for “Jagir-i-Tankkhwa” (instead of cash salaries noblemen were given rights over revenue from stipulated land)

There were other types of Jagirs like:

Inam jagir : Given to religious leaders as Charity

Watan Jagir : A type of limited sovereignty over few villages & Cities ,person holding watan jagir wasn’t expected to provide any services to the state.Raja Mansingh held Watan jagir in Amber & Jagir-i-Tankhwa in Hisar. The former (Amber) didn’t have any conditions attached to it ,while latter (Hisar) required him to provide services to the state.

Jagirdar Vs Mansabdar : All Mansabdars were Jagidars but not vice-versa .

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Related QuestionsMore Answers Below

Ganesh Raam
Ganesh Raam, Lived 28 Years in India
Answered Jan 19, 2018


Jagirdar is a title created during the times of Delhi Sultanate. Under Delhi Sultanate, the Jagirdars were allowed to collect taxes, revenues and maintain a standing army. This way, they received benefits and land grants from the Delhi Sultans.

The Mughals continued the Jagirdari system while making slight changes to the way they ruled. Under Mughals, the Jagirdars were allowed to collect taxes, revenues and in turn submit them to the Mughal Coffers. However, the option of maintaining an army was removed. Instead, The Mughals named Nawabs/Mirza[2] who were deputy rulers and viceroys to maintain and control an army. This system helped initially the Mughals to keep the Jagirdar and Nawabs in check.

However, post Aurangzeb, the Mughals were weaker and the Nawabs declared their independence.


A Zamindar is also a Jagirdar in many ways. However, their rank differed under different Emperors and Kings. They are seen as an equivalent of a British/European Aristocrat. A zamindar purchases and allows peasants to work on the land he owns. In turn, he pays in bulk to the empire’s coffers while retaining the independence to rule the lands.

Over the years, Zamindari system turned hereditary and some of the Zamindars were also named as Rajas, Sri, Pillai, Rao, Thakur, Reddy, Thevar under Hindu rulers and Nawabs, Mirza, Chaudari, Khan, Sardar, Malik under Muslim rulers. The British made slight changes to the system while retaining their core functions in collecting taxes and materials.

Post Independence, India enacted the 44th amendment to its constitution which repealed the Right to Property[4]. This in turn allowed the Indian Government to enact laws such as “Zamindari Abolition Act” in 1951, abolishing the Zamindari and Jagirdari systems. The neighboring countries of Pakistan and Bangladesh (Then East Pakistan) also followed suit in the same decade.


[1] Jagir - Wikipedia

[2] Nawab - Wikipedia

[3] Zamindar - Wikipedia

[4] Fundamental rights in India - Wikipedia

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Harsh Vardhan
Harsh Vardhan, Software Development Engineer at Ola
Answered Mar 26, 2016 · Author has 72 answers and 107.4k answer views

Zamindaar were the land owners who held enormous amount of land.  Jagirdaar were the people who did exrta ordinary service for the rulers and large land was alloted to them in recognisation of their service. Land was supposed to be returned to be returned to the ruler after the death of Jagirdaar. But as with caste system, Jagirdaari became heridetery. We may say that there is no difference between second generation Jagirdaar and a Zamindaar.

Economics of both Jagirdaari and Zamindaari was same. Both leased their land to landless farmers in return for the share in the farm produce. Both in turn, had to pay taxes to the rulers. Some of the big Jagirdaar and Zamindaar used to declare freedom in case of weak rulers.

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