ZAMINDAR, or ZEMINDAK (from Persian zamin= "land"), an Indian landholder. In official usage the term is applied to any person, whether owner of a large estate or cultivating member of a village community, who is recognized as possessing some property in the soil, as opposed to the ryot (q.v.), who is regarded as having only a right of occupancy, subject in both cases to payment of the land revenue assessed on his holding. The zamindari system obtains throughout northern and central India, and also in the permanently settled estates of Madras.
The raja of Benares had certain special rights as zamindar, and in 1910 it was arranged to make part of his " family domain" a new native state with an area of 887 sq. m. (pop. 362,000).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)