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Kerala PSC Indian History Book Study Materials Page 794Book's First Page
Another presage of the feudalisation of the state apparatus was the practice of making land grants to officers for their administrative and military services. In the Gupta period there is no direct epigraphic evidence of such grants, though such a possibility cannot be entirely ruled out. But during the post- Gupta period a definite change had taken place in the mode of payment of officers employed by the state. At least during Harsha’s reign high officers were not paid in cash for their services to the state as one-forth of the royal revenues was earmarked for the endowment of great public servants. At one place Hiuen Tsang explicitly states that the governors, ministers, magistrates and officials had each a portion of land assigned to them for their personal support. These high officers, according to Harsha’s inscriptions, would include daussadha-sadhanika, pramatara, rajasthaniya, uparika and vishayapati. Thus under Harsha revenues were granted not only to priests and scholars but also to the officers of the state. The existence of this practice is supported by the paucity of coins belonging to this period. Some inscriptions of the post-Gupta period show that lands were granted to secular parties for different secular services. The two copper plate grants of Ashrafpur from east Bengal, roughly assignable to the seventh-eighth centuries, mention quite a few secular assignees. They indicate that plots of land donated to the head of a Buddhist monastery were actually taken from several persons who were enjoying them till then. Though all such persons (from whom lands had been taken away) are named, the position and identity of only a few can be established. In one instance land had been given to the queen for probably maintenance, in another to a woman for some service rendered to the king, and still in another to a Samanta for services rendered to the overlord. Apparently these and other persons held the plots of land in question as some kind of service grant which were retrieved either at the lapse of the term or on some other grounds, otherwise these could not have been so easily transferred. All this suggests that during the post-Gupta period in east Bengal some services were remunerated by means of land which was granted for a limited period. The problem of payment to officers in grants of revenues can be further examined in the light of the designations of the administrative officers of the post-Gupta period. Bana’s Harshacharita states that in course of the military march of Harsha, villagers made false complaints against bhogapatis.