The movement was suppressed only after armed intervention by the
government. Later an enquiry committee was appointed to look into the
complaints of the peasantry which led to the enactment of an act.
Bengal Tenancy Act (1885) Under the new law, the peasant was given
occupancy rights if he had held land in the same village for 12 years; the
practice of shifting was stopped and no eviction was possible except for
misuse of land or breach of contract. Thus occupancy rights were made
hereditary; yet they were not transferable. Further, the peasant was denied the
right to sub-lease without the landlord’s consent. Limits on enhancement of
rent were set aside, and the rent itself could now be increased by 12 per cent
by a contract out of court. Compensation for improvement in cases of
eviction was provided.
    Evidently the complexities of the act gave ample opportunities for resort
to law and it was the zamindar, not the tenant, who was an adept at going to
the law court. A mere threat to do so was enough to persuade a recalcitrant
tenant to agree to an increase.
    Still there can be no denial of the gains made by the tenant, who had now
secured his three F’s—fair rent, fixity of tenure and free sale of occupancy
rights. Tenant-farmers did receive protection, though limited in scope. The
importance of the new law, thus, lay primarily in its recognition of their
rights, and in setting a precedent for future legislation.
Deccan Riots (1875) Excessive land revenue demand of the British
facilitating exploitation of peasants by moneylenders was responsible for the
uprising in the Deccan. Social boycott of moneylenders by the peasants was
later transformated into armed peasant revolt in the Poona and Ahmednagar
districts of Maharashtra. The peasants forcibly seized from the moneylenders
debt bonds, decrees and other documents, and set them on fire. When the
police failed to suppress the riots, army help was sought to put down the
riots. It was the appointment of a commission and the enactment of the
Deccan Agriculturists’ Relief Act of 1879 which prohibited the imprisonment
of the peasants of the Maharashtra Deccan for failure to repay debts to the
Peasant Unrest in Punjab (1890–1900) Resentment of the peasants
against the growing alienation of their lands to the moneylenders led to the