Landed Elites and Politics of Agrarian Reforms in Pakistan: A Case study of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s Era
The harsh fact, history of India, confessed that landed gentry comprised of feudal lords, landlords, jagirdars and zamindars were created in British colonial raj. Before that in Mughal epoch, mansabdars or zamindars played a role of middleman. They performed a duty of government employer and got stipulated salary. They were responsible to collect land revenue on annual bases. They had not given vast powers. All the land was belonged to none but king. But when Britishers conquered India, they started to reform the whole social structure by making constitutional changes and introducing constitutional reforms. They created a class of local collaborators which voluntarily agreed to assist imperial power to control social imperatives. They were Indians in blood, race and color but had colonial mindset. The provinces that would form Pakistan, jagirdars and feudalism became a potent social organization; that could not be culminated even after independence despite of much so called radical experiments; Zulfqar Ali Bhutto’s ‘Islamic Socialism’ in 1970s. Landed elites perpetuating colonial legacy obstructed every constitutional reform or policy regarding agrarian sector either it was ‘green revolution’ of Ayub Khan or so called radical land reforms of Z.A. Bhutto. Every attempt to terminate landed elites was put into basket due to rampant pressure by this notorious class in Pakistan which monopolized state paraphernalia and this bandwagon is still being perpetuated.
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