Societies mould themselves by many fronts in accordance with the circumstances they tackle. In most cases, imperial visions become the driving force behind its change. Imperialism changed the world once and for all. Anthropologically, that is a proven subject. This means that the change is inevitable partially or all-encompassing if two cultures merge into one another.
With the merger of British culture in the Subcontinent mainly after the War of Independence gave rise of feudalism of which repercussions are troublesome. By evolution, this also entered into an independent state called Pakistan. Though the feudal system was bolstered initially, with snail-like pace it dwindled. At the time of inception of the country, rural areas were under the cage of feudalism where every possible unjust action occurred.
Feudalism would have vanished if the deep connection of feudal lords with politics been not connected. It is no secret that, throughout history, there have been a mighty relationship of feudal lords with politics and politicians. And despite lip service paid to democratic principles and the passage of laws to ensure law and order, the strong link between feudalism and politics is never hurt and came to halt.
By definition, feudalism is described as ‘a system of administration and jurisdiction of a piece of land based on relationship between a vassal and his superior, between Hari and Zamindar. A large extent of the profit ensuing from cultivation of the crops goes to the latter. It is the relationship between vassal and his master.’ Reality lies otherwise.
Feudal system in hand with politics have deepen their roots in quid pro quo game which have been resulting a large proportion of population into dystopian state. Ironically, nothing triggered a change owing to hone influence and pressure. The reign of these so-called ‘influential people’ are no less than absolutism of the medieval Europe which have eaten thousands lives, more to come and yet untouchable from the paws of law.
Delve deep into history of the country, rarely a renowned journalist, a dissident be found there from rural areas following absolute rule given the lack of accountability and rule of law, hence, question at your own risk. Dissent voices are threatened, blackmailed, physically abused, and if still resisting, the voices are silenced forever. The waderas of rural areas feed on the fear of the proletarian. No silver lining being in sight of the vicious cycle of fear and violence.
Apart from Karachi and Hyderabad, the rest region of the province has been under brutal reign of feudal system. Balochistan met the same fate with the exception of urban areas (at time, entire Balochistan). Though Punjab province battled hardly to be free of feudalism in the process of urbanisation in hand with education and enlightenment, southern part of the province remained unchanged.
The growing urbanisation with highest pace in South Asia has been a major factor resisting feudal landholding to the smallest. According to the 2017 Population Census, 36.4% of the population lives in urban areas. The UN Population Division estimates that, by 2025, nearly half the country’s population will be living in cities.
Although feudalism has changed its appearance it is still dominant in the rural areas politically, socially and culturally. Regrettably, after much endeavors of land reform, the feudal system prevails.
Unsurprisingly, owing to be claimed as descendants of the Sufi saints, feudal lords are the great hindrance in line with the betterment of society following control over its resources leaving living standard miserable.
One of the incident instances is tussle among Chachar Sabzoi Jagirani tribes in Kacha area of Kashmore, as a result more than a dozen people of Chachar community killed. Clash of tribes with similar results appear time and again in the region of Ghotki among the Indhar community which, not long before, resulted in the gruesome murder of nine individual of a single family.
The reigns of feudalistic deep-rooted culture have already left people from hand to mouth, let alone other facilities in this globalised world. Under this patriarchal hierarchy, even the state does not bother to break its chains leaving people at the mercy of none.
The country has left a large extent of its population in hands of feudalism who do unjust for their heart’s content and still walk scot-free. As it is seen in the case of Nazim Jokhio. Generations have gone, and generations are still suffering in silence following the feudalistic canker. Before them, even the state seems helpless.
Some feudal want afloat on the miseries of others’ since nothing is in progress which can harm their primitive culture of looting, for example, education. Education is the most affected subject in rural areas across all the provinces of the country. According to Unicef 22.8 million children of the five-to-16-years age group, most of whom are from rural areas, remain out of school. And, given the relationship between illiteracy and poverty, data from the Borgen Project shows that rural poverty in Pakistan is at a disturbing 54.6pc compared to urban poverty, which is a mere 9.3pc.
The individual treatment of the areas, especially women, meet the same fate of primitive times — sub-humans. For years women of Pakistan have been tortured, honour-killed, maimed, and converted, still remaining a prisoner of four walls. In the 21st century, a ray of hope rose in the wake of educating women, the news reports from unsafe campuses have been shunning this ray.
The justice system is based on the jirgas. Thus, it even doesn’t match the primitive justice system of ancient ruler Hammurabi’s Code which is based on eye for an eye. Already systemically miserable, the recent floods have left nothing but some breaths. The once-given project —life— is passing serving like a slave in the democratic society of the 21st century.
From evolutionary perspective, revolutions brought some changes in society and living patterns of Homo Sapiens as bygone Cognitive Revolution separated Sapiens from other species owing to its cognitive specialty, Agriculture Revolution changed foragers into the farmers, Industrial Revolution brought ease in life through machinery.
Thus, may this technological revolution bring the change to make a country free from feudalism. Technically and democratically, there is no room for the feudalism to rule the masses in the third decade of 21st century. Though the rise of digital and social media is paving the way to topple the primitive way to be ruled, there should be an elite response against feudal system to snatch its last breaths. The bolstered initiatives of enforcing law and ensuring rule of law can vanish the feudalistic culture.
The longer it prevails, the dearer it will cost generations to come since this toxic system resists every tactic that later could harm their rule and interests.