Word of the Week (173): PARGANA (probability 23642), by David Sutton

A PARGANA (or PERGUNNAH) is a division in India of an administrative district or ZILLAH (which is also spelt ZILA or ZILLA). There are quite a few Indian words for administrative areas, tax districts and the like. A ZEMINDARI (or ZEMINDARY or ZAMINDARI or ZAMINDARY) was a taxation area under the Mogul emperors, operating under the jurisdiction of a ZEMINDAR (or ZAMINDAR), who was responsible for collecting revenue from land held in common by the cultivators.

A JAGHIR, JAGHIRE or JAGIR refers to government revenues from a tract of land with power to administer; the holder of a JAGHIR was called a JAGHIRDAR.

Another Indian word for a division of a district for revenue and certain other purposes is TAHSIL or TEHSIL; the adminisrator of this was called a TAHSILDAR or TEHSILDAR.

Yet another word for a subdivision of a district for revenue purposes is TALUK (or TALUKA or TALOOKA); this can also refer to a large hereditary estate. The holder of a TALUK was called a TALUKDAR.

A SUBA or SUBAH was a province of the Mogul empire; the governor of a SUBAH was a SUBADAR or SUBAHDAR; later this term came to mean a native officer in the Indian army with rank corresponding to captain.

MOFUSSIL means the rural areas of a district as distinct from its chief town or station.

Finally let us mention PANCHAYAT, literally 'five elders', a council of five that is the basis for Indian village government.


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