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Role of Rajas

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Role of Rajas - Lesson Summary

The raja of a mahajanapad had great esteem and respected by all including the Brahmins. He protected his people, maintained law and order, maintained an army and paid it salary and even constructed fortresses.

In order to meet the expenses, the king started collecting taxes. He appointed special officers called ‘tax collectors’ to collect taxes and keep a record of the same. People paid taxes as per their occupation. The craftsperson paid taxes by working for a day each month for the Raja, herders paid in form of animals and animal produce, gatherers and hunters paid in form of forest produce.
Famers paid taxes on the crops they produced which was fixed at 1/6 th of the produce, known as bhaga or share. Even the traders who bought and sold goods were liable to pay taxes.

To help increase production the Raja supported in advanced cultivation practices. The farmers in mahajanapads started using iron ploughs instead of the wooden ploughs making it easy to turn the heavy clay soil. They also changed their way of planting crops, instead of scattering paddy seeds on the soil, they started growing saplings and then planted these in the fields.

The work of planting saplings was a tedious task and was usually done by slave men and women and landless agricultural laborers or kammakaras.


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