Tenants were broadly categorized into muzari`an mustaqui or muzanariimaurusi (hereditary occpancy tenants) and muzarianighair mustaqil (tenantsatwill). During the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, muzari` anmustaqil were further categorized into asamianiqadim coming down from old times, purana mustaqil who started cultivating around 1810, and mustaqil jadid who had newly acquired hereditary occupancy rights. The third category covered abadkaran, lit. cultivators of virgin lands, banjarshshigafah, lit. breakers of wastelands, and those who made permanent improvements in their holdings like sinking a well, raising embankments and digging channels for irrigation.
Under the tabi`dan system the occupancy tenants differed from peasant proprietors in that, in addition to land revenue due to the government, they had to make certain additional payments and render occasional service to the landlords. The additional dues most common were called malikana or proprietorship tax (malik, in Punjabi, means proprietor), ranging from 11/2 to 25% of the land revenue, However, they could not be dispossessed of their holdings except, in exceptional cases, when a proprietor required the land for his own use. Even the non cultivating residents had permanent occupancy right over the land on which they had built their houses. The right was inheritable, but not transferable.
1. Banga, Indu, Agrarian System of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1978