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of all fervice, he claffes the pofleflion a* Inaum.
Mr. Grant informs us, that Zemindary tenure in Bengal implies official fervice, and that if it was an heritable grant, it would be Al-tumgha, only in ufe fince 1765*; confequently a definition of thefc two important terms in the revenue divifion of India, mifapplied as a general definition of Jageers and Zemindaries of the Moghttl government, muft involve us in infinite confufion; and this has actually happened, by referring to the interefted native officers for proper definition of thefe terms. The impropriety and fallacy of the evidence of the officers who anfwered the queftions propofed by the Governor and Council in 1773, is fully ftated by Mr. Grant +; it will therefore be only neceflary fummarily to refer to a fentence in his analyfis of the revenue of Bengal. "We muft admire the candor and fimplicity of the Pundits or
* Inquiry into the Nature of Zemindary Tenures, p. I. Debrett, 1790.
t Inquiry into Zemindarj Tenures, p. 37.
learned Brahmin Hindoos, when applied to> in 1773' to expound the doctrine of fuo ceffion to Zemindaries in Bengal; whether by civil, or hereditary right, it devolved to the lineal defcendant of the laft occupant^ or in virtue of Sunnud of the Prince? They declare, " it is not written in the Shafter" or divine books fuppofed to be promulgated 4,000 years before the political inftitutes of the Moghul Emperors iri Hindoftan; and we muft contraft, not without indignation, the reference of the Naib Soubah to the fcriptural code of the Legijlator of Arabia, publifhed in the 7th century, as the rule of fucceffion to Hindoo Zemindaries, a fpecies of official property, undefcribed in the Koran, and firft introduced with the Moghul conqueft of Hindojlan, almoft 1000 years after; befides which perverfion of chronology, it was a criminal perverfion of one of the beft-underftood fundamental and facred principles of Mahomedan faith, for a MuJJu/man to acknowledge a right of territorial inheritance, independent of virtual fupreme authority, to be vefted in any conquered infidel fubjett" Mr. Roufe, however, refts very much on
this evidence, though he admits " that if there fhould be contradiction on fimilar queries, propofed even to other perlbns occupying their Jtations, it would certainly weaken the firft evidence; but if from the very perfbns themfelvcs, would not only difparage the firft, but render the teftimony of fuch perfons altogether inadraiffible*."
My private opinion was fatisfied with Mr. Grant's objection to the channel of inquiry; but having heard that fimilar inquiry had been iufticutcd, 1787, in the revenue department at Calcutta, by queftions to perfbns more or lefs under the difqualincation imputable to the refpondents of 1773, and that (imilar queftions (I believe with an additional one) had been fubmitted by Colonel J. Murray, for his own information, to fome of the moft refpecJabie natives of Hindoftan, whofe fituation and character placed them above fufpicion of intentional mifinformation, I was fo lucky to obtain a copy of their anfwer in 1790, confequently my opinion was ftrengthened; but from the above paflage of Mr. Roufes book I mould have believed that the other anfwers obtained by the Bengal government, in 1787, were not fo conclufive to Mr. Roufes argument as thofe in 1773, otherwife he would have publifhed them, inftead of reprinting thofe anfwers* which Mr. Francis had publifhed -f, if he had not told us that he had" infpected all the material proceedings of the Company's adminiftration at home and abroad, fince 1773, any ways relating to Zemindars, (except fome that may have arrived within this laft twelvemonth) and I declare I have not feen any thing like the contradictions fuggefted by Mr. Grant J." Mr. Grant's, letter to Sir John Shore §, to which Mr. Roufe's diflertation is an anfwer, ought to have dire&ed Mr. Roufe to the examination of the Bengal revenue papers received in 1789 and 90, and he fhould have made every inquiry before he ventured to infi
* Siu/e'i DifTertation, p. 133. Stecldale, 1791
Roufe's DilTertation, Appendix, No. 8. t Original minutes, p. 71. Stockdale, 1782. J Differtatron, p. 134. § Inquiry into Zemindary tenures, Appendix, No. 3.
nuate" that Mr. Grant would feem to invite this country to retract its plighted faith in their favour*;" particularly as, in the page preceding, he had faid with candor, "I muft do this gentleman (Mr. Grant) the credit to fay, that his fentiments are here delivered without any tincture of party fpirit or perfonal inveclive, except only again ft the Mahomedan and Hindoo officers, whofe opinions have been "quoted by Mr. Francis" Leaving therefore the controverfy of thefe refpectable and able gentlemen, I fhall ftate the anfwers above mentioned, which I confider conclufive againft the faftiionable definition of Zemindar: yet I am very far from imputing blame to the different adminiftraticns in Bengal for consulting their native officers, under the impreffions of caution. The opinions contained in the following papers, may be faid to evidence the opinion of the Carn.atic and of the Decan, of Oude and of Bengal.
* Diflertation, p. 22.