Feudalism in Pakistan:
Feudalism system in Pakistan is based on land tenure system which refers to the rights, obligation and arrangements related to their ownership use and transfer of land. It means how land is held, ownership is determined and revenue and fixed. The feudalism is positively correlated to the rigid land tenure system which is a systematic body of laws formal and custom that determine the varying degree of rights of people and the state in the ownership, control, use and transfer of land.
The feudalism in Pakistan is the most complicated, rigid and close power structure which has its invisible hand in creating vested interest group against rural agriculture development, gendered inequality, anti-poverty reduction strategies, true representation at the local, regional and national assemblies, equal educational/employment opportunities, universal literacy/education, cheap/quick justice and welfare of common man particular in rural areas of the country.
Feudalism plays a strong negative role in democracy functioning of government organisation. It has its hold in sugar industry and military organisation of the country through inter-marriages.
Any dream of social justice, economic prosperity, equal educational opportunities, employment enhancement and making Pakistan a democratic welfare Muslim state cannot come true unless and until strong hold of feudalism is not loosened for an average Pakistan
Demerits of feudalism:
There are countless demerits of feudalism in any human society. However, some of the demerits are being given with reference to Pakistan
Permanent settlements fixes the share of government revenue, while the value of land continues to increase with the passage of time. The benefits of surplus value of land is taken away by the Zamindar or other middleman. It results in permanent financial loss to the government.
2. Absentee Landlord:
Big Zamindars lead luxurious life in cities without any input for the development of land. They become parasites on the society.
3- Vested interest group:
The Zamindar having big estate maneuvers votes from their tenants and represent the masses being imposed leaders.They further exploit the masses in the socio-economic and political field.
4- Lack of Welfare:
Zamindar are least interested in education and welfare of the their tenants. As the spread of education among general masses would have created consciousness among them about their exploitation in every field, the big Zamindar do not bother about health, social evils, crimes and vices prevalent among the poor cultivators. No positive step is usually taken for the Welfare of small cultivators and agricultural labourers
5- Social distance between cultivators and Zamindar:
Social distance between Zamindar and cultivator increases. Moreover, this system brought a big chain of middlemen between the Zamindar and the actual cultivator of the soil. The system made the cultivator an oppressed class in the society.
6- Government and governed:
The government officials could not come into direct contact with the masses consisting of cultivators of the soil in the villages.This deteriorated the socio-economic conditions of tillers and give a free hand to the Zamindar. This led to create a big gap between government and governed. Both the parties are strangers to each other.
The permanent settlement provide Zamindar handsome income without risks. They started investing their capital in buying real estate than to invest in secondary industries. This adversely affect the industrialization in the country and the per capita income remains very low for a long time as compared to the other economically developed countries in the world.
8- Anti democratic philosophy:
Feudalism is by nature is anti democratic way of life, culture, environment, goal, way of thinking, behaving and doing. This system is outdated and cannot be fitted into modern democratic, social system of Pakistan or elsewhere in the world in its original from and mode of operation. Possibly rigid feudal system has to be completely overhauled to bring social justice, economic prosperity, religious tolerance, psychological security and overall well-being of an average Pakistani at the present and in coming days.
Source: A textbook of Sociology by M.Iqbal