What was the land revenue system that was introduced in Bombay Deccan? How did peasants fell into the debt trap of the moneylenders?

Land revenue system introduced by Britishers in Bombay Deccan was called the ryotwari system. Unlike the permanent settlement, in this system revenue demand was no longer permanent and land was resurveyed after every 30 years.

• Under this system, the revenue was directly settled with the ryots.

• Income from different types of soil was estimated.

• Revenue paying capacity of a ryot was also assessed and a proportion of it was fixed as the share of state.

The peasants fell into the debt trap of the moneylenders due to severe conditions they had to face. The revenue was very high and in cases of poor harvests, peasants found it impossible to pay the revenue.

Collectors in charge of revenue collection wanted to please their superiors and were therefore very severe in extracting payments from peasants. Those who failed to pay, saw their crops and property seized by the government.

Prices of products fell sharply after 1832 and there was a famine in the countryside. People had no agricultural stocks and unpaid revenue continued to increase. To pay these revenues, peasants had no choice but to borrow from moneylenders and due to high interests, peasants were often unable to repay these debts. In some cases, peasants needed loans to even buy their everyday needs.