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[1]'Zaildar (Urdu: ذیلدار‎), was a feudal title, and an officer in charge of a Zail in the colonial rural administration of Punjab in British India. Each Zail was an administrative unit, extending between 2 and'40 villages.[2](p xxv)

A Zail included many villages under it. Zaildars represented the Chaudharis (feudal zamindars) of the former times and were hand picked by the deputy commissioner only after consideration of 'caste' or 'tribe', local influence, extent of landholding, services rendered to the state by him or his family, and lastly personal character and ability.[2](pp97–98)

Zaildars were essentially revenue collectors and village level representatives of the British Empire who enjoyed remuneration for their duties, life grants equal to one per cent, of the revenue of their zails from the assessment of any single village that they chose.[3]

In addition to these life inams, or grants, there were some Safedposhi grants of a semi-hereditary nature enjoyed by some of the leading agricultural families. They were semi-hereditary because one of the conditions of the grant was that on the death of an incumbent, his successor should, if possible, be a member of the same family.[3] If, however, there was no fit member of the same family, the grant could be awarded to some deserving Lambardar of the same tribe, who was not already in the enjoyment of such a grant.

Malik Muhammad Ikhtiar Utraa (Urdu: ملک محمداختیاراتراء‎), was one of the most venerable & esteemed Zaildars of Punjab by representing 110 villages as well & title of Zaildar remained in Ikhtiar's family tree for more than 200 years continuously, as a result British Indian Official decided to award the title of Zaildar to Ikhtiar's successors forever & the services being rendered to the state by his successors as well & Ikhtiar served as Member Punjab Board too.

From the descendants of Ikhtiar Zaildar, Malik Sher Afgan Utraa (Urdu: ملک شیرافگن اتراء‎), is much famous young politician in Thal Desert affiliated with Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf. He founded a NGO namely آسرا فاؤنڈیشن for rehabilitation of Orphans & Supportless people by providing them Shelter Food & Education, also lounged a long term campaign against child labour.

Another revered Zaildar known for his youth and superiority was Sardar Nihal Singh Chattha ( of the Chattha Jatt tribe) who represented his Zail of 75 villages with great honour and responsibility. He was known to ride on a white horse alongwith 50 men on horseback behind him as he visited the villages allotted to him. He was known to reside in a small village named Nurpur Chattha (situated near Jullundur, Punjab) in his honour. [3]

The position was quite important as it extended the influence of the colonial state right into the villages.[2] < Zaildar from J&K ,'CHOUDHARI SHANKER DAS 'was the one most venerable esteemed Zaildars of J&K by represented 86 villages .and he was known to reside one of the large village of JAMMU ARNIA in his honour.and he was great zaildar.he was belong to brahmin family./>

See also[edit]


  2. ^ a b c The Indian Army and the Making of Punjab, Rajit K. Mazumder, Permanent Black
  3. ^ a b c Final Report of Revised Settlement, Hoshiarpur District, 1879-84 By J. A. L. Montgomery