(Notes) Civil Services (Prelims) Examination : Trade and Commerce in the Pre-Gupta and Gupta period - Quick Revision Notes (II)

Quick Revision Notes : Civil Services (Prelims) Examination Special

Agrarian Structure in Post-Gupta

39. A lot of confusion about agrarian structure of post-Gupta period exists, due to the contradictory picture provided by several Smriti writers and other sources.

40. There were several land grants, both secular and religious in nature. The secular grants were mostly towards the high officials while religious grants were towards the Brahmins and the temples.

41. The practice of land grants finally developed feudalism. The peasant, who was initially free was now under severe burden. There were several intermediate classes of land owners.

42. There was an increase in the forced labour, Vishti, due to the emergence of a “landed aristocratic class”.

 43. The peasants were mostly sudras. In fact, peasants were thought of as sudras.

44. All land was supposed to be under the State ownership, but in practice individuals were owners of land.

45. Various categories of ownerships existed, like Sakta (land owned by individuals), Prakrsta (tilled by certain individuals), Kaustambakshetra (fields owned by cultivators themselves).

46. In a few land grants, villages are described as also carrying with them the right towards all traders living in it. The grants were rent-free.

47. Aprada, Sasana, Chaturvaiya-grama, Brahmadeya, etc are names of land grants. The rights were hereditary.

48. The Kashmiri ruler Shankaravarman used to usurp lands from grant holders.

49. During Harsha, cash payments were usually for military services only.

50. Agrahara land was granted only to brahmins.

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