Tag Archives: feudalism

What about a Confederation between India and Pakistan!

How about Confederation!

By Saeed Qureshi

How about a loose confederation between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh? This confederation should be based upon the geographical contiguity and a common culture. For the State of Pakistan that is apprehensively heading towards the precipice of a failed status, this is the best way-out to preserve its territorial integrity and separate identity. The sentimentality dripped slogans of Pakistan ideology and two nation theory do not seem to be relevant any more. The ideology of Pakistan primarily a religio- national sentiment has been blunted by surging and strident provincialism. The Pakistani nationalism is confined to only two cities of Lahore and Karachi. In recent times, the inhabitants of other places and provinces mostly prefer to project and identify themselves with their provincial suffixes or prefixes. Urdu, the Pakistan’s national language too has not been able to bring about national unity in Pakistan. People like to converse in their local dialects and are under the impression that Urdu was the immigrants’ language.

Continue reading What about a Confederation between India and Pakistan!

Shame on us! Hindus leave Pakistan because of religious persecution.

A tale of migrating Hindus

By: Kashif Hussain

Patriotic Hindus, who had refused to migrate to India and remained in Pakistan after the partition in 1947, are compelled to leave the country because of feudalism, class system, religious discrimination, forced conversion and marriages and poor law and order situation in Pakistan.

LAHORE: Patriotic Hindus, who had refused to migrate to India and remained in Pakistan after the partition in 1947, are compelled to leave the country because of feudalism, class system, religious discrimination, forced conversion and marriages and poor law and order situation in Pakistan.

The minority feels society has become more insecure for their young girls and it is also scared after court’s decision in Rinkal Kumari’s conversion case.

Continue reading Shame on us! Hindus leave Pakistan because of religious persecution.

I fear bloodshed in Pakistan: says Ayaz Latif Palijo, President Awami Tehreek

Ayaz Latif Palijo is a Sindhi activist, lawyer, writer and a politician. He was born in Hyderabad to a Baloch mother, the women’s rights activist and artist Jeejee Zarina Baloch, and a South Asian leftist father and founder of Awami Tahreek, Rasool Bux Palijo. He is also known for his aggressive speeches and outspoken attitude towards the dictatorships and feudalism and has remained at the forefront of the movement for Peace, human rights and women’s rights in Pakistan. The language of the interview is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: YouTube

MQM: a neo fascist organization

– By: Farooq Tariq

I started visiting Karachi in the mid-1990s after the Labor Party established a group there. Whenever I came to speak to a public meeting, comrades advised me to avoid verbal attacks on the MQM. “We have to live here” was the usual justification.

After the National Trade Union Federation was formed in 1998, I was one of the key speakers at the annual May Day rallies in Karachi. And whenever I ignored the advice and called the MQM a neo-fascist organization, I received maximum applause. It seemed that among the Karachi working class there was tremendous antagonism against the MQM, but not many were prepared to speak publically against this organization.

On 10th September 2011, speaking on GEO television, Mustafa Kamal, the former mayor of Karachi, responded to the criticism of some who talked to Hamid Mir by commenting, in coded language, of retaliation against those who dare to be critical. He falsely compared Bangladesh’s struggle for independence struggle with the situation of Karachi. One was a struggle by an exploited nationality against the atrocious treatment of the West Pakistan civilian and military establishment while in Karachi today there is a struggle to break the shackles of the neo-fascists, who have attempted to strangle working people for over three decades.

I distinctly remember 12 May 2007, when I was going to speak at a peasant rally in Punjab. I received several calls from Karachi, one from Azra Perveen, a female activist of the Labour Party. She had been part of a group organized by LPP to go to a rally at the airport and welcome the chief justice. Shots rang out while buses were still arriving. The main victims were ANP activists, whose bus had to stop and let the passengers rush to find safe places. Azra, whose white dress was drenched in blood, was forced to hide behind a pole as she tried to help the wounded.

I tried to contact Eidhi, the BBC and other media to aid activists encircled by MQM thugs. Earlier in the morning, I was informed that all the transport arranged by LPP had been withdrawn on the instructions of the MQM. No one was willing to risk their transport. In fact the previous day, even commercial painters refused to prepare the LPP banners because of the fear of retaliation by MQM. Nevertheless brave activists of the LPP, ANP and some other parties attempted to get the airport. They found containers blocking the roads and were fired on at several places.

On 10th September 2011 night, I was very angry to hear Mustafa Kamal denying that the MQM played a role in shedding blood in May 2007. Earlier in the press conference from his exile cage, Altaf Hussain, the “leader” accepted the MQM the “negligence” by the local chapter of MQM. And what a negligence, over 50 were killed, chief justice was unable to come out from the airport, all the main roads were blocked by the heavy containers and so on. This was an act of fascism. MQM believes in fascist philosophy that means the physical elimination of political opponents.

It was no accident that when Benazir Bhutto visited our bookstall in Lahore in 1992, she bought all fifty copies of a bookletFASCISM What It Is and How To Fight It.” The booklet was written by Leon Trotsky and translated in Urdu by Dr. Khalid Javed Jan. Benazir Bhutto must have felt the need to arm the activists of PPP with this booklet. And what a historical paradox that her husband Asif Ali Zardari is trying his best to go along with this terrorist organization instead of fighting it in an effort to win a “peace” in Karachi and other cities of Sindh.

You cannot have peace by compromising with the fascists. That is a lesson evident from studying the political history of the fascism. All the social democrats and even the communists who tried to compromise with Hitler, Mussolini, and Franc, the fascist leaders of Germany, Italy and Spain, became their victims. Fascists are not democrats. They do not believe in democracy. For them democracy is just an opportunity to spread their influence.

What is fascism? It is a system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of the opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism, racism, and militarism. It is a mass movement, with its leaders employing a great deal of socialist demagogy. Its base is the petty bourgeoisie, the middle class.

The capital of Sindh, Karachi has been in the grip of a one-party dictatorship for long time. The MQM talks of revolution, instead of Socialist demagogy. It has always had close links with the military establishment; they always make efforts to smooth over any differences. The MQM gave full support to General Musharaf.

MQM has always used the race issue to unite the groups around it. Racism may be defined as the hatred of one person or group by another because of skin, color, language, customs, place of birth or any other factor. This reveals the belief that one is less than human establishes an unequal power relationship that is perpetuated through wars, slavery, the formation of nations, and legal codes.

In order to popularize its message, the MQM propagated the “discriminated” attitude of the Sindhis, Punjabis, Pushtoons and Baluchs against Urdu-speaking migrants. It uses the racist card to divide the working class in Karachi, the main industrial city of Sindh, Pakistan. MQM members make jokes about the native Balucies and Sindhies, revealing a contemptuous attitude that these people are not “civilized” enough to be equal to other people.

When journalist Hamid Mir asked a question Hyder Abbas Rizvi, a MQM representative of MQM, why the party pressurized the AAJ television channel to sack Nusarat Javed, one of the channel’s main anchor people who was sacked during a programme when he was criticizing MQM fascist tactics, , he responded by denying the charges, stating that no one from MQM called the AAJ owners. That may be so, but the sheer fear of MQM retaliation might have forced the owners to sack this reputed journalist.

What had Nusrat Javed said? He simply reacted to the three-hour press conference by Altaf Hussain, the chief of MQM by stating the whole nation was kept hostage for five hours. Yet the MQM representative slyly remarked that the MQM did not force the media to broad the entire conference but only gave out a press release announcing the conference. Yet it is the fear of retaliation by MQM that forced all the media to carry the entire the press conference live for over 5 hours.

Recent developments have forced the neo-fascist MQM retreat from their ambitious plan to expand nationally. All their sloganeering against feudalism is rolled back to their original political stand that to maintain their base among the Muhajirs, taking refuge in Karachi.

The case of the MQM exposes the failure of Pakistani state to address the question of racism and fascism. In fact, the Pakistani state is deeply rooted in religious bigotry and racist superiority where some nationalities are dominant and others are oppressed. It has tried to impose the Urdu language on the Bengalis as early as 1948. Sindhies have had to wage a struggle for their linguistic rights. The emergence of the MQM in the mid-1980, with the help of the military dictator General Zia Ul Haq was mainly based on the supposed superiority of the Urdu language. Different institutions of the state played vital role in bringing this monster up in the air and the MQM has very cleverly used this attitude against all other local, indigenous and other languages.

Today the MQM-PPP alliance reveals a crisis of bourgeoisie democracy. The PPP government is facing one of the most real crises it has faced so far during the three and half year of power. It is both the crisis of the system and the leadership. The so-called clever, smart, witty, intelligent, gifted and chic leadership of Asif Ali Zaradari has to confront one of his most trusted handpicked Zulfiqar Mirza. The crisis has weakened the grip of PPP leadership from its own apparatus. It has weakened their basis in Sindh. That is a result of their policies of conciliations with the neo-fascists MQM. You can never gain by allying with your own enemies.

The working class must not have any illusions in Zulfiqar Mirza’s fight against the fascists. He wants to reap the anger of the working people of Sindh against MQM and put it back to PPP or to the military establishment but he cannot wage a serious fight against the fascists.

What is the way forward? It is revealed in the current struggle of the workers at Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) for jobs and against privatization. Here we see the MQM and the PPP united to crush the heroic struggle of the KESC trade union with state repression. We must support this struggle and demand an immediate release of the workers, organizing strike support actions. Building the working-class movement in Karachi is the answer to the present crisis.

It is with the present political scenario that the forces of the Left can expose the real nature of the neo-fascist forces and the danger it presents for the working class in Pakistan. At different times religious fundamentalists or the neo-fascist MQM have been promoted by state institutions and bourgeoisie in order to divide and conquer and thus maintain rotten capitalism. Both, along their master, deserve rejection by the working people of Pakistan.

About the writer – Farooq Tariq is spokesperson of the Labour Party Pakistan

Courtesy: → SocialistPakistan, September 12, 2011

via → Indus Herald

Discussion on political system of Pakistan

The language of the discussion is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: → ARY News Tv (Pakistan Tonight with Fahad Hussain and Maliha Lodhi, 21st July 2011 -3)

Via → Siasat.pkYouTube

Judges’ extension: Judges rejected a parliamentary committee’s decision?

ISLAMABAD: The committee had denied one-year extensions to judges, therefore, judges rejected a parliamentary commission’s decision. Is this a ‘judicial takeover’, ‘judicial dictatorship’! or something else?  The Question is, whether an elected parliament represents the will of the people and thus reflective of collective wisdom of people or an appointed body like judiciary should have power to overwrite and supercede the will of the people?

Courtesy: Dunya TV News (Crossfire with Meher Bokhari, 9th March, 2011)

– via – ZemTVYou Tube

Pakistan’s new economic agenda

by Manzur Ejaz

Then let’s start. Let’s take the economic agenda first:

1. Feudalism should be abolished completely

2. It will be a Social Democratic Economy…Public sector along with largely private enterprises. Public sector should be expanded to provide universal education and health services….

3. Everyone pays taxes to get services. At least everyone files taxes whether rich or poor. Role of indirect taxes should be minimized which is regressive but main source of government income. In a mixed economy taxes are the only instrument to distribute wealth on equitable basis. It is the only way to fund government operations without borrowing. And inflation or rising prices can only be checked if government borrowing is brought down to zero.

4. Electricity and gas should be supplied on continuous basis to run the industry and trade smoothly.

5. People living beyond their means and having wealth beyond known sources should be prosecuted and brought to justice.

6. End of monopolies or they should be regulated wherever necessary. Monopoly in media should be ended: Like the US one group should not have major newspaper in more than one region.

Read more : Wichaar

Waris Shah on Mullah .. Background

by Manzur Ejaz

Besides possessing a mastery of the Punjabi language and comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of life, Waris Shah’s greatness lies in his philosophical discourse. He understood the role of the different institutions of 18th century of Punjab (and India) and used the epic Heer Ranjha story to debate and expose them.

His technique, as shown by Najm Husain Syed, is to show an institution from a distance and then take you inside. From a distance every institution looks perfect but from inside it is dirty and rotten. In the process, Waris Shah exposed the institution of property, qaza (judiciary), religion (through mullah and qazi), capitalism (mallah), and feudalism (Heer’s father, Jog and the crown (raja) …

Read more : Wichaar

 

“Why democratic system is weak in Pakistan: Causes and Solutions”

by Jamil Hussain Junejo

Executive Summary – Pakistan has been in quest for stable democratic system from its very inception.The process of its democratization has been slow and passive. Its nature has remained fragile. It has been showing high vulnerability towards non democratic interventions. Besides, it has been easily falling prey to non civilian forces. As a result, Pakistan has been continuously failing to offer what a democracy promises. Such pathetic scenario has various reasons behind it at all three levels: State, government and society.

Continue reading “Why democratic system is weak in Pakistan: Causes and Solutions”

Khwaja Asif on Pakistan Army

Khwaja Asif shows Ainay Ka Doosra Rukh!

Khawaja Asif of PML-N revolts against Army Feudalism in a fascinating budget 2006/7 speech in National Assembly. Legislators shall respect such leaders so others can follow the EXAMPLE. The language of speech is urdu (Hindi).

YouTube Link- Link1, Link2

Dalit dog – by Dr Manzur Ejaz

A distinction should be made between feudalism as an economic phenomenon and feudal culture, which can retain its grip for a very long time; the feudal culture can survive or take other forms long after the economic base has been changed from feudalism to industrialisation

According to a BBC report, in Madhya Pradesh, India, a dog named Shero was thrown out by his owner, Amrat Lal, because he was fed by a Dalit (untouchable) woman, Sunita. Further, the donating Dalit was fined Rs 15,000 by the village panchayat (court) for feeding the dog of a higher caste Rajput Hindu. Now the poor dog has been left tied to a tree in a predominantly Dalit area and Ms Sunita has lodged a complaint in the police station against the village court and the matter is being handled by the authorities. …

Read more >> WICHAAR

Is there feudalism in Pakistan?

By: Haider Nizamani, Canada

FOR the MQM leader Altaf Hussain and Ayesha Siddiqa, ‘feudalism’ is alive and kicking in Pakistan. According to the MQM’s 2008 election manifesto “the prevalent feudal system of (sic) Pakistan is the main obstacle in the progress of the country and the prosperity of the people”.

The party would abolish ‘feudalism’ to turn Pakistan into an egalitarian society. Ayesha Siddiqa, writing in these pages on Feb 25, 2008, started on a circumspect note by acknowledging that if we use the classical features of feudalism then present-day Pakistani society cannot be called feudal. Then she asked a question and offered a categorical answer too: “But does this … mean that feudalism is no more? The answer is no.”

Why? Because, agricultural land still remains a potent symbol of power in today’s Pakistan. The urban elite’s penchant for farmhouses is mimicking landlords. Furthermore, the occupants of these farmhouses replicate “the decadent lifestyle of the old nawabs and the feudal elite” by holding “huge parties, mujrahs and … flaunting … money”.

Many members in the national and provincial legislatures have landed backgrounds. Rural Pakistan continues to languish under the yoke of ‘feudalism’. Honour killings occur there, hapless peasants are exploited by the mighty landlord. The electronic media has perpetuated this same image for years. In Punjab, it was Chaudhri Hashmat of the drama serial Waris who reigned supreme. Since land is a symbol of power and these are the kind of social practices we won’t associate with modernity, Pakistan is deemed a predominantly feudal society.

My submission is that there is no feudalism in Pakistan today because there was no feudalism even before British colonialism.

Eqbal Ahmed, also in these pages (‘Feudal culture and violence’, Feb 2, 1998) summarised it well: “Feudalism serves as the whipping boy of Pakistan’s intelligentsia. Yet, to my knowledge not one serious study exists on the nature and extent of feudal power in Pakistan, and none to my knowledge on the hegemony which feudal culture enjoys in this country.”

Observing that feudalism as an economic system was not ascendant, he referred to Karl Marx’s point that the cultural vestiges of dying systems continue long after economic collapse. Ahmed was dead right in mentioning ‘mastery over violence’ as one of the defining features of the feudal order. Rather than rigorously testing whether that was the case in Pakistan, Ahmed wandered off into discussion of various forms of violence in Pakistani society.

We, therefore, need to exercise utmost caution in naming a system on the basis of practices that could well be just the remnants of a pre-capitalist system but not necessarily the defining parameter of the existing political economy.

When the British colonised India, they took on many forms of the local aristocracy. That did not make British rule a feudal form of governance. The urbanites’ mimicry of the landed gentry’s power is neither a uniquely Pakistani trait nor a recent phenomenon. The irony of the ascendant moneyed form of power trying to copy the dying agrarian source of power is vividly portrayed in Satyajit Ray’s film Jalsaghar (‘The Music Room’) where a nouveau-riche merchant tries to adopt some aspects of an indebted landlord’s lifestyle.

The Pakistani privileged class trying to recreate the opulence of an aristocratic era is an expression of what Marx put eloquently: “The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.” But taking mujrahs in farmhouses for feudalism in Pakistan is mistaking appearances for substance.

Feudalism, according to Simon Bromley and William Brown, can be defined “politically as a personalised and geographically decentralised system of rule, and economically as the local and coercive extraction of surplus from a dependent peasantry, the two dimensions being fused in the institution of lordship and the feudal-vassal pyramid”. By 1999, 88 per cent of cultivated land in Pakistan was in farm sizes below 12.5 acres. Just over half the total farms in 1999 were less than five acres in size. This would hardly be the hallmark of a feudal society.

More important than haggling over whether contemporary Pakistan is a feudal society or not — because it would hardly qualify as a feudal society if judged by the characteristics of the feudal society provided by leading authorities on the issue — I want to share Harbans Mukhia’s argument that there never was feudalism even in medieval India. If this assertion is taken seriously, then it means that if there was no feudalism in medieval India how could we have it in 21st century Pakistan?

Let me paraphrase Mukhia’s reasons for reaching the above conclusion. Mukhia argues that “in Europe, feudalism arose as a result of a crisis of the production relations based on slavery on the one hand and changes resulting from growing stratification among the Germanic tribes on the other”. In India “owing to the natural richness of the soil and the relatively efficient tools and techniques, agricultural productivity was high, the subsistence level of the peasant was very low — thanks to climatic conditions”. Due to the combination of the above features, the production process in India “did not create an acute scarcity of labour”, therefore “enserfment of the peasant … was hardly necessary”.

This does not mean there was no stratification and exploitation in medieval India, just as there is no denying the stratification in contemporary Pakistan’s countryside. But using feudalism as a blanket term for sundry processes in the agrarian sector and evading “critical considerations such as production processes, social organisation of labour and concrete forms of non-economic coercion” will lead to anecdotal observations or politically expedient statements passing as historical analyses.

Pakistani society is part of the world capitalist system where a major share of agricultural produce is meant for selling in the market. Additionally, there is no causal link between land ownership and political power in today’s Pakistan. The land-owning classes, especially absentee landlords, rank high in the pecking order of rural Pakistan. But that ‘rural gentry’, to use Satish Chandra’s appropriate term for the class of people popularly called ‘feudal’ in Pakistan, is a junior partner in the state where those having mastery over violence have much closer ties with metropolitan power centres like Washington and London.

Exchanges in these pages are valuable but we need to rise up to the challenge Eqbal Ahmed threw at us. Let those among us who are serious about understanding issues concerning the exercise of power in our society undertake rigorous studies on these questions. Reputable historians like Mubarak Ali and other social scientists should be invited to share their insights and arguments on whether there is ‘feudalism’ in Pakistan.

The writer teaches at the School of International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Canada. He can be reached at hnizamani@hotmail.com

Courtesy: Daily Dawn, April 30, 2008

The socialist bogeyman

Courtesy and Thanks: Wichaar.com
WASHINGTON DIARY: The socialist bogeyman

If the bailout package of the Bush administration, a last ditch effort to save American capitalism, does not succeed, then even the ruling class will start preaching European style social democracy in the US
Dr Manzur Ejaz, USA 
November 13th, 2008
If the bailout package of the Bush administration, a last ditch effort to save American capitalism, does not succeed, then even the ruling class will start preaching European style social democracy in the US

After the financial meltdown, and the massive intervention by the Bush administration through a bailout package of over a trillion dollars, there is a lot of noise about ‘socialism‘. Many call this bailout ‘socialism for the rich‘. Others smell a rat over the state’s overreaching moves in private markets.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain has attacked his opponent Barack Obama for being a socialist, because Obama plans to tax the rich for a more equitable distribution of wealth. In the US, therefore, socialism is mostly used as a bogeyman to attack opponents.

But has the American brand of extreme capitalism really come to an end, and is a new economic system, like that of the socialist welfare state, in the offing?

Continue reading The socialist bogeyman