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The Ryotwari system did not allow remission of land revenue, for a bad harvest or other accidents. The revenue officials resorted to torture to collect the land revenue.
The kinds of torture which were most common were: keeping a man in the sun, preventing his going to meals or other calls of nature, confinement, preventing his cattle from going to pasture, quartering a peon on him, tying a man down in a bent position, squeezing the crossed fingers, pinches, slaps, blows with fist or whip, running up and down, twisting the ears, making a man sit with brickbats behind his knees, putting a low caste man on his back, striking two defaulters heads, or tying them to each other by their hair, placing in the stocks, tying by the hair to a donkey's or a buffalo's tail, placing a necklace of bones or other degrading or disgusting materials round the neck, and occasionally, though rarely, more severe punishment.
Lands were severely assessed and often assessment was arbitrary which gave rise to rampant corruption. The revenue officials used to look forward to go on Jamabandy or revenue assessment tour of villages. A Tahsildar, a minor revenue official, talking to the Hindu described a Jamabandy in these words : "In Jamabandy, to begin with, there is the sweetness of feasting one's self at others expense. Then there is the mamool fee that is to be collected. What is mamool? It is a fee usually given to the Jamabandy officer's staff without murmur by people of every village. The Tahsildar, the revenue inspector and the village officials have all to contribute to it. They of course exact it together with their own mamool from the farmers. You can have no idea as to the amount exacted by this means. It may sometimes be counted more appropriately, by thousands rather than by hundreds for every taluq."
In 1881 when the ryots in Chengalpattu district refused to pay mamool to the Tahsildar, the revenue officials ganged together to hit back causing untold suffering to the ryots. The Hindu which was in its 3rd year of publication, espoused the cause of the ryots and stirred public opinion against the atrocities committed by the revenue officials.

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