The Curse Of Feudalism

The parasitical curse of feudalism traces its roots to the Mughal emperor Akbar’s reign when he introduced the mansabdari system through which his administration regulated control over the land revenue of the country.  
After the decline of the Mughals, the British empowered these feudal lords and used them to keep the masses from revolting against them.
The British have long gone but the sardars and zamindars are still holding onto their power. In fact, the biggest feudal lords were the ones who hijacked the country’s politics and have dominated it since the partition.  
The infamous twenty-two families might have been broken down into further branches, but the practice of Sardari nizam continues to this day. To this, Haider Bux Jatoi adds:

“Let us now look at the zamindar. He is a feudal lord in his ‘small’ estate and maintains a legion of servants, he owns fine horses, cows and buffaloes. He possesses a large number of fire-arms and his shooting expenses every year run into several hundred thousand rupees. He is fond of pomp and show and likes to possess expensive cars and spends lavishly on luxury goods. He lives according to a primitive concept of luxury extravagance in food and dress, gross and vulgar, sexual excesses, garish ostentations are the things to which he chooses to devote his income and energy of his body and mind.”

According to Pakistan Institute of Labor Education and Research, 5% of agricultural households in Pakistan own nearly two-thirds of Pakistan’s farmland.
Landlord power is usually based on control over local people through debt bondage that has passed down from generation to generation. The zamindars maintain control over the land and agricultural resources, giving them unlimited power over their subjects. The abuse of power comes in many ways as the sardars have immense influence on the local government bodies.

Hari/Mazdoor spends most of his life terrified by the zamindar, trying to survive another day. Regardless, the poor Hari welcomes him every time he comes by saying: “saien aayo aa!”

Many zamindars refrain their subjects from getting education to keep them under their control and dependency. In recent times, harsh feudalism has existed mainly in rural Sindh, Balochistan and Southern Punjab.

 

To further add to the worsening situation, the modern day zamindar is an inexorable member of the national or provincial assembly. The zamindar threatens his poor Hari subjects into submission to his will and the Hari/Mazdoor spends most of his life terrified by the zamindar, trying to survive another day. Regardless, the poor Hari welcomes him every time he comes by saying: “saien aayo aa!”

 

These practices, in turn, hijack the idea of democracy. The poor Hari who doesn’t get a grain out of the field he works in bows to the Wadera\sardar for ‘social security’ and for a couple thousand rupees; ultimately voting for the same despot in every election. The zamindar is usually a sex addict who rapes his own wife, married off to him at a very young age, harasses poor Hari women and holds prostitution and ‘mujra’ programs on a regular basis.

More than 44% of Pakistan’s populationworks, or, is exploited at the hands of state favoured oligarch zamindars. The indigenous people of Pakistan, especially Sindh, have suffered at the hands of Zamindari nizam for years. The poor people need to obey their landlords due to huge debts and the financial and social extravagance of the zamindars.
It’s high time that the people take matters into their own hands and stand up against the feudal lords who are a constant threat to democracy and the sovereignty of Pakistan.

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