Feudalism & tribalism

21 Nov 2019


THIS refers to the letter ‘Nawaz Sharif’ (Nov 8) by Syed Riaz. Why mention one person only as Nawaz Sharif is just a symptom of the deep malaise afflicting Pakistani nation. The matter must be seen from a holistic viewpoint to understand the underlying currents.

Pakistan is a feudal society. Even after 70 years of independence, feudalism and tribalism remains deeply entrenched. In former East Pakistan and India, feudalism was abolished soon after the independence by the founding leaders.

But successive governments in (West) Pakistan, be it civilian or military dictatorship, had no desire to abolish feudalism as it did not suit them.

Under a feudal-based society, feudals are able to stand in elections and garner votes owing to their wealth and influence in their area. It is unthinkable that with their overbearing presence in parliament, they will support any legislation that may weaken the feudal structure, contrary to their vested interest.

Feudals abhor enlightenment and empowerment of the common man. This is the reason that education has always received the least priority in Pakistan.

The feudalistic and tribal-based society is also responsible for a broken judicial system and different standards of justice — one for the ruling and elite class and the other for the common man who has little say in the affairs of the state.

Whether we like it or not, there is no solution to the feudal problem unfortunately.

Arif Majeed

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2019