India and Punjab in the late nineteenth century
in Servants of the empire
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A zamindar was originally a revenue gatherer who, under the British, became a landlord. During the early part of the nineteenth century the Sikhs had tightened and expanded their hold on Punjab. When the British became rulers of Punjab, they immediately sought to appease military and landed interests. A large part of Punjab was transformed by massive irrigation schemes during the period 1881-1921 from a desert waste, or, at best, pastoral savannah, into one of the major centres of commercial agriculture in South Asia. The Punjab Land Alienation Act of 1901 was followed by an attempt in 1906 to bring in legislation which would more strictly control various aspects of cultivators' use of land in the new canal colonies. Favouritism by the British towards certain groups strengthened their influence in the countryside as well as reinforcing tribal cohesion.

Servants of the empire

The Irish in Punjab, 1881–1921

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