Islam, feudalism and politics

Feudalism is a form of production, being the mark of the existence of a perpetual system of servitude. It is a system in which the owner or his representative has the right to receive a fixed part of the production and enjoys certain specific economic rights, with the privilege of having his tenants serve them or, on the contrary, receiving cash payments or in kind.

A feudal lord or jagirdar is a person who owns vast expanses of land in which hundreds of farmers or farmers work either for insignificant wages or for a portion of the proceeds and often without any compensation. In this system, all the product or most of the product goes to jagirdar that does not work and lives in comfort and luxury and sucks the poor farm worker’s blood as a parasite. The owner of the greater part of the land is called feudal lord or owner or Jagirdar, the land is called finca or Jagir and the peasants are called servants or tenants.

When the British set foot on the subcontinent, Mughals ruled most of the region. As part of its revenue management, the Mansabdari system was used to control the income of the country’s land. This system, introduced by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, remained in place since the late sixteenth century until the fall of the Mughal Empire.

The Mansabdari system was really different in several essential ways. First, the system granted the property on a transferable non-inheritable basis. The officers, the mansabdars, who were in charge of controlling the land, never owned their mansab, but received only part of their income as a reward for their work. Therefore, since they never owned the land, they also did not have the right to transmit it to their descendants.

That all was the above said was history if we talk about present situation it is not wrong to say that even in 21st century our whole society has cancer, it has developed a tumor … the tumor of the Jagirdar and Wadera system and we badly must get rid of it.

The body that is in Pakistan is in the intensive care unit, we have to decide whether we have to remove the tumor from the feudal system from that body or let it collapse. Who will make the laws? Who violate the law themselves? How does someone who takes a loan and does not pay it make a law against himself? The flour hoarder, his price-booster, his smuggler is seated in parliament, the sugar-price booster sits in parliament, how is he going to make the laws? Those who bury living women sit in parliament, how will they make laws for the poor?

Answer of all these questions will be answered after 2018 elections. Meanwhile, parties like Pakistan’s Tehrik-i-Insaf – self-proclaimed public justice providers and initiators of change lend their help to feudal lords like Shah Mehmood Qureshi and remain silent about the damaging effects of the system that gave rise to Qureshi and many more of his peers.

Although Islam recognizes the right of an individual to own the land, it does not favor the owner or feudalism. In fact, Islam condemns all oppressive, tyrannical and reactionary institutions that lead to the suppression of basic human rights, such as the right to equality, the right to freedom and the right to basic human needs. How can Islam, a religion of peace, equality and fraternity, tolerate an institution as undemocratic and tyrannical as the feudalism that turns millions of humans into serfs and slaves?

Let’s remind ourselves of some of the teachings of the Quran that tell us how we are supposed to deal with fellow beings:

Surat 3, Verse 134

‘Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men, for Allah loves those who do good.

Surat 55, Verse 9

‘So establish weight with justice and do not fall short in the balance’.

The democratic framework in Pakistan is forced by a large number of causes, feudalism being one of the main ones undermining popular government and hindering social balance. Politicians tend to describe as if a democratic government is the best framework. Feudalism is often used as a general term to describe the structure of power in a rural society.

Feudalism continued for years before partition and after the partition was transferred to independent Pakistan and damaged democracy internally.According to statistics, 80% of people elected in Punjab are feudal lords, while in Sindh, this figure reaches 90%.

The People’s Party of Pakistan (PPP), which came to power with the proper electoral process, but immediately thereafter witnessed a dominant majority of feudal lords in legislative chambers. These gentlemen, over time, have assumed and established their identity as political leaders.

Feudalism is driven by the principles of individualism, oppression, servitude and slavery. While democracy is guided by principles of participation, peace, equality, pluralism and freedom. However, it has been observed that the nature of the country’s legislative system is not democratic.

For example, the Muslim League of Pakistan, which laid the foundations of Pakistan, was almost totally dominated by feudal lords such as the ZamindarsJagirdars, Nawabs, and Sardars.

Qauid-e-Azam, however, was an exception because it came from a family of merchants and lawyers, and now Sharif, who are industrialists with a majority of the members of the group belonging to a feudal fund. This suggests that the main political parties in Pakistan are oriented toward feudalism.

Democracy in Pakistan has become a slogan operation because they have no land and illiterates and those whose social status is no longer a slave.For a successful democratic nation, constitutional changes must be made because democracy and feudalism cannot work together.

The failure of democracy is due to the sociopolitical system of the country. And without a democratic government, the public will not have easy access to justice, social welfare and security.

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Asad Hussain Written by: