Ahmadabad District, 1908

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Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts.Many units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

Ahmadabad District

District in the Northern Division of the Bombay Presidency, lying between 21 degree 26' and 23 degree 37' N. and 71 degree 19' and 73 degree 27' E., with a total area of 3,816 square miles. It is bounded on the west and south by the peninsula of Kathiawar ; on the north by the northern division of Baroda territory ; on the north-east by Mahi Kantha territory ; on the east by the State of Balasinor and the District of Kaira; and on the south-east by the State and Gulf of Cambay. The boundary line is irregular, and two portions, the Parantij taluka in the north-east and the Gogha petha in the south, are cut off from the main body of the District by the territories of native States. The compactness of the District is also broken by several villages belonging to Baroda and Kathiawar which lie within it, while several of its own are scattered in small groups beyond its borders.

The general appearance of the District shows that at no very remote period it was covered by the sea. The tract between the head of the Gulf of Cambay and the Rann of Cutch is still subject to overflow at high tides. In the extreme south, and also just beyond the northern boundary, are a few rocky hills.

But between these points the whole of the District forms a level plain, gradually rising towards the north and east, its surface unbroken by any inequality greater than a sandhill.

The chief physical feature is the river Sabarmati, which rises in the north-east, near the extremity of the Aravalli range, and flows towards the south-west, falling finally into the Gulf of Cambay. The river has three tributaries, the Khari, Meshwa, and Majham, which, with the Shelva and Andhari, all flow south-west. Flowing east from Kathiawar are the Bhogava, Bhadar, Utavli, Nilki, Pinjaria, and Adhia rivers. The waters of the Khari are diverted for the irrigation of more than 3,000 acres by canals 16 miles in length. The only large lake in the District is situated in the south of the Viramgam taluka, about 37 miles south-west ol Ahmadabad city.

This sheet of water, called the Nal, is estimated to cover an area of 49 square miles. Its water, at all times brackish, grows more saline as the dry season advances. The borders of the lake are fringed with reeds and other rank vegetation, affording cover to innumerable wild-fowl. In the bed of the lake are many small islands, much used as grazing-grounds during the hot season. In the north of the District, near the town of Parantij, in a hollow called the Bokh (lit. a fissure or chasm), are two smaller lakes. Of these, the larger covers an area of about 160 acres, with a depth of 30 feet of sweet water ; and the smaller, with an area of 3 1 acres, is 8 feet deep during the rains and cold season, but occasionally dries up before the close of the hot season. There are several creeks, of which the most important are those of Dholera, Gogha, and Bavlirari.

The District is occupied mostly by alluvial plains. The superficial covering of alluvium is, however, of no great thickness. The underlying strata probably include Tertiary and Cretaceous sediments resting on a substratum of gneiss, and possibly slates. The Tertiary beds are probably all miocene, corresponding in age to the Siwaliks, and consis of sandstones or clays, with sometimes rubbly limestone. The under lying strata are probably the sandstones of the Umia group, of neocomian or Lower Cretaceous age. Remnants of Deccan trap and Lameta (Upper Cretaceous) may occasionally intervene between the two formations.

The Deccan trap is exposed in the western part of the Dhandhuka taluka. The outlying mahal of Gogha in Kathiawar consists of Deccan trap, laterite, and Siwalik beds, the latter forming the island of Piram, renowned for its fossil bones and fossil wood.

The saline earth in the west of Viramgam was at one time used for the manufacture of saltpetre.

The District as a whole is open and poorly wooded. The chief trees are mango, rayan (Mimusops hexandra), mahua, and nim (Melia Azadirachta).

The Modasa hills bear inferior teak and bamboo, and also produce the khair, babul, pipal (Ficus religiosa), bordi (Zizyphus Jujuba), and khakra (Butea frondosa). Many of the trees and shrubs supply food, medicines, and materials for dyeing and tanning. Gum from the khair and babul is eaten by the poorer classes. The pipal and bordi yield a wax much used by goldsmiths for staining ivory rods, and the leaves are eaten by buffaloes. The berries of the mahua are boiled with grain, and the leaves of a creeper called dori (Leptadenia reticulata) form a favourite article of food with the Bhils. From its seed soap-oil is extracted. Of flowering plants the principal types are Hibiscus, Crotalaria, Indigofera, Cassia, and Ipomoea.

Tigers are almost extinct. Leopards are found in Modasa, and wolves in the low-lying salt lands near the Nal. Wild hog are common. Gazelie and barking-deer are also met with. The smaller kinds of game are obtained during the cold season in great numbers, especially quail, duck, and snipe. Fish abound.

Except in the southern tracts lying along the sea-coast, the District, especially towards the north and east, is subject to considerable varia- tions of temperature. Between the months of November and February periods of severe cold occur, lasting generally from two days to a week. During the hot months, from February to June; the heat is severe ; and as the rainfall is light, the climate in the rainy season is hot and close. October is the most sickly month. The mean temperature is 81 degree, the maximum indoors being 115° and the minimum 47 degree.

The rainfall varies but slightly between the central portions of the District and the outlying tracts. Dhandhuka and Gogha are the driest. The maximum average rainfall is 34 inches at Modasa, and the mini- mum 27 at Dhandhuka. The annual rainfall for the twenty-five years ending 1902 averaged 29 inches. In consequence ol the ill -defined channels of the western rivers and the low level of the ground in the lower course of the Sabarmati, the District suffers periodically from floods, the chief of which were recorded in the years 1714, 1739, 1868, and 1875.

Although Ahmadabad District contains settlements of very high antiquity, its lands are said to have been first brought under tillage by the Anhilvada kings (A D 746-1298). Notwithstand- ing the wealth and power of these rulers and the subsequent Muhammadan kings of Gujarat, large portions of the District remained in the hands of half-independent Bhil chiefs, who eventually tendered their allegiance to the emperor Akbar (1572), when he added Gujarat to the Mughal empire. With the exception of Gogha, the present lands of the District were included in the sarkar of Ahmad- abad, which formed the head-quarters of the Gujarat Subah, some out- lying portions being held by tributary chieftains ; and after the capture of Ahmadabad by the Marathas (1753) the Peshwa and the Gaikwar found it convenient to continue this distinction between the central and outlying parts. A regular system of management was introduced into the central portion, while the outlying chiefs were called on only to pay a yearly tribute, and, so long as they remained friendly, were left undisturbed. Until their transfer to the British in 1803, the position of the border chieftains remained unchanged, except that their tribute was gradually raised. The first British acquisition in the District was due to the aggression of the Bhaunagar chief, who, intriguing to obtain a footing in Dholera, drove the people to seek British protection. The Bombay Government was implored for years to take possession of Dholera and to protect its inhabitants from aggression. In 1802 the offer was accepted, the cession being sanctioned by the Gaikwar, then predominant in Gujarat as the Peshwa's deputy. Sir Miguel de Souza was sent to examine and report upon this new possession, and he was of opinion that it would be of little value without the addition of other adjoining estates. These were also ceded, and in 1803 Dholka was handed over to the British for the support of a subsidiary force. The territory thus acquired remained under the Resident at Baroda till 1805, when it was included in the charge of the newly appointed Collector of Kaira. In 1818, in consequence of fresh cessions of territory, including the city of Ahmadabad, resulting from the overthrow of the Peshwa, Ahmadabad was made a separate District.

The District is rich in Hindu and Musalman buildings of considerable architectural beauty, most of which are to be found in Ahmadabad City and in its immediate vicinity at Sarkhej and Batwa. There are notable specimens of Musalman architecture at Dholka and Mandal. A fine temple of Mahadeo, at Bhimnath in the Dhandhuka tahtka, has a mythical origin connected with the Pandavas. At Adalaj, 12 miles north of Ahmadabad, is the finest step-well in Gujarat. In 1857 the population of the District was estimated at 650,223. At the last four enumerations it was: (1872) 832,231, (1881) 856,119, (1891) 921,507, and (1901) 795,967, the decrease during the last decade being due to the severe famine of 1900 and to visitations of cholera. The distribution in 1901 was as follows : —


Of the total population, 665,762, or 84 per cent., are Hindus, and 87,183, or n per cent., Musalmans, the Christians numbering 3,450. The language chiefly spoken is Gujarati, but in the towns Hindustani is generally understood.

The chief towns of the District are : Ahmadabad, Viramgam, Dholka, Dhandhuka, Parantij, Dholera, Modasa, and Sanand.

Among the Hindus, the merchant (Bania or Vani) class is the most influential ; but, contrary to the rule in other parts of Gujarat, the Shravak Banias, or Jain merchants, are wealthier than the Meshri Banias, or Brahmanical traders. The richest members of both classes employ their capital locally, supplying the funds by which the village usurers and dealers carry on their business. Those who do not possess sufficient capital to subsist solely by money-lending borrow at moderate rates of interest from their caste-fellows, and deal in cloth, grain, timber, or sugar. The poorest of all keep, small retail shops, or move from place to place hawking articles required by the rural population for their daily consumption. Shravaks and Meshri Banias are also employed as clerks in Government or private offices.

Although Ahmadabad is one of the first manufacturing Districts of the Presidency, the large majority of the people support themselves by agriculture. Among the Hindus, the chief cultivating classes are the Kunbis, Rajputs, and Kolis. There is also in most parts of the District a sprinkling of Musalman cultivators or Bohras, as well as Musalmans of the common type. The Kunbis, who number 101,000, are an important class, many of them being skilled weavers and artisans, while some have risen to high positions in Government service, or have acquired wealth in trade ; but the majority are engaged in agriculture and form the greater part of the peasant proprietors in Gujarat. There is no real difference of caste between Kunbes and Patidars, though Patidars will not now intermarry with ordinary Kunbes. The latter are divided into three classes — Levas, Kadvas, and Anjanas. Female infanticide, owing to the ruinous expenses attached to marriage, having been found prevalent among the Kunbes, the provisions of Bombay Act VIII of 1870 were applied to the Kadvaand Leva Kunbis. Two of the marriage customs of the Kadva Kunbis are deserving of notice. When a suitable match cannot be found, a girl is sometimes formally married to a bunch of flowers, which is afterwards thrown into a well. The girl is then considered a widow, and can now be married by the natra (second marriage) form — a cheap process.

At other times a girl is given to a man already married, his promise to divorce her as soon as the cere- mony is completed having previously been obtained. The girl is after- wards given in natrd to any one who may wish to marry her. Next in position to the Kunbis are the Rajputs, who still retain to some extent the look and feellings of soldiers. They are divided into two classes : Garasias, or landowners, and cultivators. The former live a lifeof idleness on the rent of their lands, and are greatly given to the use of opium. There is nothing in the dress or habits of the cultivating Rajputs to distinguish them from Kunbis, though they are far inferior in skill and less industrious. Their women, unlike those of the Garasias, are not confined to the house, but help their husbands in field labour. The character of the Kolis, as agriculturists, varies much in different parts of the District. In the central villages their fields can hardly be dis- tinguished from those cultivated by Kunbis, while towards the frontier they are little superior to those of the aboriginal tribes. Crimes of violence are occasionally committed among them ; but, as a class, they have settled down in the position of peaceful husbandmen — a marked contrast to their lawless practices of fifty years ago. After Kunbis, the chief castes of the District are Brahmans, 43,000 ; Rajputs, 23,000 (excluding Garasias, 19,000) ; Vanis or Banias, 29,000 ; Kolis, 188,000; and Dhers, 44,000. Mochis (leather-workers) and Kumbhars (potters) are also numerous. Jains, mainly Srimalis, exceed 37,000. The Musalmans are chiefly Sunnis.

There are 3,450 Christians, and missions are numerous in the District. The Irish Presbyterians have stations near Ahmadabad, Parantij, and Gogha, dating from 1861, 1897, and 1844. The Methodist Episco- palians and the Salvation Army are also at work, and there is a mission known as the Hope and Live Mission. The Salvation Army supports two industrial schools, one for girls at Ahmadabad and another at Daskroi, and a training home for women with 100 inmates. In Daskroi it maintains a farm of 400 acres, on which 27 families are settled Dholka and Sanand are stations of the American Christian Missionary Alliance, which has made 640 converts and maintains an orphanage with 600 inmates at the former place. Of the 2,800 native Christians, 500 belong to the Anglican communion, 500 are Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics. A remarkable increase in converts, namely 1,078, was noticed between 1891 and 1901.

The two principal varieties of soil are black and light. In many parts of the District both occur within the limits of a single village, but on the whole the black soil is found chiefly towards the west, and the light-coloured soil in the east. With the help of water and manure the light soil is very fertile; and though during the dry season it wears into a loose fine sand, after rain has fallen it again becomes tolerably compact and hard. Two other varieties of soil are less generally distributed: an alluvial deposit of the SabarmatI river, the most fertile soil in the District, easily irrigated, and holding water at the depth of a few feet below the surface; and, in the north-east, a red stony soil, like that of Belgaum in the south of the Presidency.

The tenures of the District are chiefly talukdari or ryotwdri, which form respectively 50 per cent, and 32 per cent, of the total area. About 6 per cent, is held as inam or jagir land. The chief statistics of cultivation in 1903-4 are shown below, in square miles: —

The area for which statistics are not available is 391 square miles

The chief crops are : wheat, covering 228 square miles ; jowar, 380 ; bajra, 228; cotton, 480. The best rice is grown in Daskroi, and the next best in Sanand and Dholka. The cotton, which has a good staple, is mainly grown in the Dhandhuka and Dholka talukas. In Daskroi and Dholka many garden crops are grown.

The talukdars and mehwasi chiefs, who hold about half the lands of the District, are deeply in debt. In consequence, the extension and im- provement of agriculture are much neglected. During the decade end ing 1903-4, 32-3 lakhs was advanced to agriculturists for improvements and the purchase of seed and cattle, of which 21/2 lakhs was lent in 1899-1900 and 117 lakhs in 1900-1.

The local cattle are usually under-sized and weakly, but in Dhandhuka the cows are exceptionally good milkers, yielding as much as 16 pints a day. Bullocks of the Kathiawar and Kankrej breeds are owned by cultivators in Daskroi, Dholka, and Dhandhuka. Ahmadabad is one of the best horse-breeding Districts in the Presidency. Four stallions are maintained by the Civil Veterinary department ; and active, hardy horses are also bred by Kabuli merchants from Kathiawar, Kabuli, Sindi, and Arab stock. Camels are reared by Rabaris, Rajputs, and Sindis in Daskroi, Viramgam, and Dhandhuka.

The District is not favourable for direct river irrigation, as most of the rivers flow in deep narrow channels with sandy beds. At the same time there are many spots along the course of the Sabarmati, Khari, and Bhadar where, by means of a frame on the banks, water can be raised in leathern bags. Well-water is also used to a considerable extent. Irrigation from tanks and reservoirs is almost confined to the early part of the cold season, when water is required to bring the rice crops to maturity. In 1903-4, 68 square miles were irrigated, of which 50 square miles were supplied by wells, 7 by tanks, 5 by Government works, and 6 from other sources. The Government irrigation works in the District are the Hathmati canal and the Khari cut, commanding respectively 29,000 and 1 1,500 acres, with a capital expenditure up to 1903-4 of 5 and 6 lakhs respectively. In all parts of the District, except in the west where the water is so salt as to be unfit even for purposes of cultivation, wells exist in abundance, and in most places good water is found at a depth of about 25 feet. The District is also well supplied with reservoirs and tanks for storing water, not only near towns and villages, but in out- lying parts ; these cover an area of about 14,000 acres. Though in favourable years a sufficient supply of water is thus maintained, after a season of deficient rainfall many of the tanks dry up, causing much hardship and loss of cattle. In 1903-4 there were 18,706 wells, of which 15,763 were used for irrigation. About 170 tanks have been excavated by famine labour. There is little forest in the District, the land so classed being fodder and pasture reserves.

The mineral products are veined agate and limestone. Iron-ore seems to have once been worked in Gogha. Portions of Dholera and Viramgam contain earth suitable for the production of saltpetre.

Ahmadabad holds an important place as a manufacturing District. Except the preparation of salt, carried on near the Rann, most of its manufactures centre in Ahmadabad city. At Khara- ghoda, about 56 miles north-west of Ahmadabad, are situated two salt-works, from which salt is dis- tributed through Gujarat. A railway has been carried into the heart of the works, and a large store has been built at Kharaghoda. Minor depots have been constructed at Ahmadabad, Broach, and Surat Other stations on the railway are supplied by a contractor. The salt is made from brine found at a depth of from 18 to 30 feet below the sur- face. This brine is much more concentrated than sea-water, and con- tains in proportion about six times as much salt. Saltpetre was once largely manufactured in the neighbourhood of the salt work. The other manufactures are cotton cloth, silk, gold- and silver-work, hard- ware, copper and brassware, pottery. woodwork,shoes, and blankets. The artisans of Ahmadabad city have enjoyed a high reputation for the skill and delicacy of their handiwork since the days of the Gujarat Sultans. Though in 1881 the number of mills was only 4, in 1904 there were 38 steam cotton-mills, with 632,630 spindles and 7,855 looms, producing 45 million pounds of yarn and 28million pounds of cloth. They employ 24,048 hands. There are also dye-works, a metal factory a match factory, and an oil-mill.

Ahmadabad city is at present second only to Bombay as a centre of the manufacture of cotton yarn and cloth. In consequence of the importance of its manufactures of silk and cotton, the system of caste or trade unions is more fully developed in Ahmadabad than in any other part of Gujarat. Each of the different castes of traders, manufacturers, and artisans forms its own trade guild, to which all heads of households belong. Every member has a right to vote, and decisions are passed by a majority. In cases where one in- dustry has many distinct branches, there are several guilds. Thus among potters, the makers of bricks, of tiles, and of earthen jars are for trade purposes distinct ; and in the great weaving trade, those who pre- pare the different articles of silk and cotton form distinctassociation. The objectof the guilds are to regulate competition among the mem- bers, e.g. by prescribing days or hours during which work shall not be done. The decisions of the guilds are enforced by fines, If the offender refuses to pay. and the members of the guild all belong to one caste, the offender is put out of caste If the guild contains men of different castes, the guild uses its influence with other guilds to prevent the recusant member from getting work, besides the amount received from fines, the different guilds draw an income by levying fees on any person beginning to practise his craft. This custom prevails in the cloth and other industries, but no fee is paid by potters, carpenters, other inferior artisans. An exception is also made in the case of a son succeeding his father, when nothing has to be paid. In other the amount varies, in proportion to the importance of the trade,from Rs 50 to Rs. 500. The revenue derived from these fees, and from fines is expended in feasts to the members of the guild, and in charity Charitable institutions, or sadavari where beggars are fed daily,are maintained in Ahmadabad at the expense ofthe trade guilds. From A.D 746 to the close of the sixteenth century Ahmadabad was a great trading centre. With the rise of Surat it suffered a temporary decline, but under British rule its predominance has been regained. The imports comprise sugar, piece-goods, timber, metal, grain, coco- nuts, and molasses ; the exports are cotton, oilseeds, and grain. The trade is carried on both by coasting vessels and by rail, and is chiefly directed to Bombay through the ports of Dholera and Gogha.

Before the introduction of railways, the main trade of Central India and Malwa passed through Ahmadabad, the chief articles being grain, ghi, molasses, tobacco, cochineal, iron and copper, silk and cotton, and cloth. The general means of transit included carts drawn by two or more pairs of bullocks, camels, and pack-bullocks. Fifty years ago there were no made roads in the District ; and during heavy rains the country became impassable to carts, and traffic was suspended. At present the means of communication are three — by road, by rail, and by sea. Since 1870 many good roads have been constructed ; and for internal communication, the common Gujarat cart drawn by two and sometimes four bullocks is still in use. In 1903-4 there were 124 miles ofmetalled roads and 337 miles ol roads suitable for fair-weather traffic only. Of the former, 37 miles of Provincial roads and 66 miles of local roads are maintained by the Public Works department. The remainder are in charge of the local authorities. Avenues of trees are planted along 285 miles of roads. The Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway runs through the District for a distance of 86 miles ; the Rajputana-Malwa State Railway for 7 miles ; the Dhola-Wadhwan branch of the Bhaunagar-Gondal-Junagadh-Porbandar Railway for about 14 miles; and the Mehsana-Viramgam branch of the Gaikwar's Mehsana Railway for about 27 miles. Branch metre-gauge lines con- nect Ahmadabad city with Parantij and Dholka, each traversing the District for 34 miles.

During the past two centuries and a half, seventeen years have been memorable for natural calandties. Of these, three were in the seven- teenth, seven in the eighteenth, and seven in the nine- teenth century. The year 1629 is said to have been a season of great famine; and 1650 and 1686 were years of drought and scarcity. The years 1714 and 1739 were marked by disastrous floods in the Sabarmati 1718 and 1747 were years ofscarcity, and 1771 was one of pestilence. In 1755 extraordinarily heavy rains did considerable damage to the city of Ahmadabad. The famine which reached its height in 1790-1, and, from having occurred in Samvat 1847, ' s known by the name sudtala, lasted through several seasons. In the nineteenth century the years 1812-3 were marked by the ravages of locusts, while 1819-20 and 1824-5 were years of insufficient rainfall. In 1834 the rainfall was again short, and the distress was increased by vast swarms of locusts. In 1838 there was a failure of the usual supply of rain. In 1868 a disastrous flood of the Sabarmati occurred. In 1875 the city of Ahmadabad and the three .eastern talukas were visited by extraordinary floods of the Sabarmati river; two iron bridges and a large portion of the town were washed away, and through out the District 101 villages suffered severely.

In 1899-1900 the rains failed and the District was visited by severe famine. Relief works were opened in September, 1899, and continued till October, 1902, the highest daily average relieved on works being 147,539 (April, 1900), and on gratuitous relief, 98,274 (September, 1900). The maximum death-rate was 100 per mille, and the popula- tion in the ten years between 1891 and 1901 decreased by 14 percent. The cost ofrelief measures in the District during the famine exceeded 78 lakhs, and 24 lakhs of land revenue were remitted. There was very great mortality in agricultural stock, which is estimated to have decreased by two-thirds. The September rains of 1900 failed, and the distress was prolonged into 1901. The crops of the succeeding year promised well, but were destroyed by rats and locusts. Relief measures were again necessary, therefore, in 1901-2, and were not finally closed until seasonable rain fell in August and September of 1902.

For administrative purposes Ahmadabad is divided into six talukas : namely, Daskroi, Sanand, Viramgam, Dholka, Dhandhuka, and Parantij. Gogha is included in the Dhandhuka taluka, and Modasa in the Parantij taluka. The supervision of these charges is distributed, under the Collector, between two cove- nanted Assistants and a Deputy-Collector.

There is a District and Sessions Judge, whose jurisdiction extends also over the adjacent District ol Kaira, and who is assisted by a Joint Judge, an Assistant Judge, a Judge ofSmall Causes, and five Sub- ordinate Judges. The city of Ahmadabad forms a separate magisterial charge, under a city Magistrate. The principal revenue officers are also Magistrates. The commonest offences are thefts of ripening grain in the harvest season, and house-breaking. Serious crimes of violence are rare.

As compared with the other British Districts of Gujarat, an im- portant peculirarity ol Ahmadabad is the great extent of land held by the class of large landholders called talukdars and mehwasi chiefs, who own more than half of the District. Their possessions comprise the border-land between Gujarat proper and the peninsula of Kathiawar. Historically, this tract forms 'the coast, where the debris of the old Rajput principalities of that peninsula was worn and beaten by the successive waves of Musalman and Maratha invasion.' But these estates are part of Kathiawar rather than of Gujarat. Their proprietors are Kathiawar chiefs, and their communities have the same character as the smaller States of that peninsula. The talukdari villages are held by both Hindus and Musalmans. Among the Hindus are the representatives of several distinct classes. The Chudasamas are descended from the Hindu dynasty of Junagarh in Kathiawar, subverted by the Musalman Sultans of Ahmadabad at the end of the fifteenth century ; the Vaghelas are a remnant of the Solanki race, who fled from Anhilvada when that kingdom was destroyed by Ala-ud- din in 1298 ; the Gohels emigrated from Marwar many centuries ago; the Jhalas, akin to the Vaghelas, were first known as Makwanas ; the Thakardas are the offspring of Solanki and Makwana families, who lost status by intermarriage with the Kolis of Mahi Kantha. The Musalman families are for the most part relics of the old nobles of Ahmadabad. Besides these, a few estates are still held by descendants of favourites of the Mughal or Maratha rulers ; by Molesalams, converted Rajputs of the Paramara tribe, who came from Sind about 1450 ; and by the representatives of Musalman officers who came from Delhi in the service of the Marathas. All Paramaras and Musalmans are called Kasbatis, or men of the kasba or chief town, as opposed to the rural chiefs. There are also other Kasbatis who say that they came from Khorasan to Patan, and received a gift ofvillages from the Vaghela kings.

The talukdars are absolute proprietors of their estates subject to the payment of the jama or Government demand, which is fixed for a term of years and is subject to revision at the expiry of the term. They cannot, however, permanently alienate any portion without the sanction of Government. In the course of time the estates have become so sub- divided that in most villages there are several shareholders jointly responsible for the payment of the whole quit-rent. Under the share- holders are tenants who pay to the landlord a share in the crops, varying from 60 to 50 per cent. In 1862 special measures were adopted for the reliefof many of the talukdars who were sunk in debt. As many as 469 estates were taken under the management of Government, and a survey was undertaken and completed in 1865-6, with the view of ascertaining the area and resources of the different villages. The indebtedness of many of these landowners led to the appointment of a special talukdari settlement officer, who is responsible for the administration of the encumbered estates.

The original survey of the District in 1856-7 settled the land revenue at 8-7 lakhs. In 1893 a revised survey, which had been commenced in 1888, raised the total demand by 5/2 lakhs. The present assessment per acre of dry ' land averages Rs. 1-13 (maximum, Rs. 4—8; minimum, Rs. 1-2); of rice land, Rs. 5-2 (maximum, Rs. 6; minimum, R. 1); and of garden land, Rs. 8-4 (maximum, Rs. 8 ; minimum, Rs. 5).

Coliections of land revenue and of revenue from all sources are shown in the table on next page, in thousands of rupees.

Total revenua.png

The first municipallties established in the District were Gogha and Parantij (1855). In the next five years Dholka, Ahmadabad, Viramgam, Modasa, and Dhandhuka were made municipal towns. The total revenue of the municipallties averages about 6 lakhs. There are a District board and six taluka boards, with an income in 1903-4 ol 2.4 lakhs, chiefly derived from the land cess. The expenditure amounted to 2.2 lakhs, including Rs. 95,000 spent on roads, buildings, and water-works.

The District Superintendent controls the policeof the District, with the aid of two assistants. There are 18 police stations and 33 outposts. The force in 1904 numbered 1,170 men, inclusive of 248 head constables, under 3 inspectors and 15 chief constables, being one to every 3 square miles or nearly 2 per milieol the population. There is also a body of 26 mounted police, under 2 daffadars and 2 European constables. A Central jail at Ahmadabad city has accommodation for 929 prisoners, and 8 subsidiary jails and 15 lock-ups are distributed throughout the District. The daily average number of prisoners in 1904 was 974, of whom 47 were females.

Ahmadabad stands third among the Districts of the Presidency as regards the literacyof its population, of whom 11.4 per cent. (20.5 males and 1.7 females) were able to read and write in 1901. The number of schools increased from 193 with 14,638 pupils in 1880-1 to 380 with 30,014 pupils in 1900-1. In 1903-4 there were 401 schools with 31,460 pupils, including 56 schools for girls with 4,872 pupils. Of the 323 institutions classed as public, 8 are Government, 61 are controlled by municipalities, 197 by local boards, 42 are aided from public funds, and 15 are unaided. These include one Arts college, 6 high schools, 18 middle, 294 primary, 2 training schools, one medical school, and one commercial institution.

Ahmadabad City contains the Arts college, training colleges for male and female teachers, and a special school for the sons of Gujarat talukdars. The total cost of education is about 7/2 lakhs, and the receipts from fees Rs. 70,000. Of the total expenditure, 53 per cent, is devoted to primary education.

Besides 5 private dispensaries, the District contains 3 hospitals (including a leper hospital) and 18 dispensaries, at which 184,000 cases were treated in 1904, of whom 4,364 were in-patients. The expenditure was Rs. 55,500, of which Rs. 17,000 was met from Local and municipal funds. A lunatic asylum at Ahmadabad city, opened in 1863, has accommodation for about 108 inmates.

The number of persons successfully vaccinated in 1903-4 was 19,000, representing a proportion ol 24 per 1,000, which is sllrghtly below the average for the Presidency.

[Sir J. M. Campbellr, Bombay Gazetteer, vol. iv (1879).]

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