Youth versus Feudalism

Sid Noonari

Mehar is a town in district Dadu, Sindh. It is famous for its political movements and activists who sacrificed their lives in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy in the era of General Zia. On January 17th, clannish influenced people came in large vehicles and killed three people belong to the same tribe in the center of the town. The barbarous episode that cost three lives of Karmullah Chandio and his two sons; Mukhtiar Chandio and Qabil Chandio, occurred in front of Police station without meeting any resistance from the police.

The hidden rivalry surfaced when Mukhtiar Chandio became an elected head of the community council comprising some middle-class tribal fellows to solve their issues instead of depending on their so-called tribal Chief: MPA Sardar Chandio and his brother Burhan Chandio. In the simple words, Mukhtiar Chandio challenged the monopoly of Sardar Chandio and his brother. The family believes that Sardar Chandio and Burhan Chandio are directly involved because they were unhappy with Mukhtiar Chandio’s decision. On the other hand, the suspects deny all allegations.

The victim family is famous due to their unconventional approach to serve the people in the area. The well-known, educated, vivacious, and publically growing family turned a political threat to the said Wadaira. Although both parties belong to the same political party (PPP) but their authoritativeness is matchless. The alleged Wadaira and his brother are getting the political support of the Pakistan People’s Party while the victim family is honorably enduring the help of the civil society, media and other political parties.

No doubt, the incident is continuity of deteriorating condition of law-in-order in Pakistan, especially in Sindh province. However, this case turned high profile when the youth of the town could not close their eyes to the loss of a talented and young fellow named Qabil Chandio- younger brother of Mukhtiar. Analyzing the cause of this heartless mishap, the young friends of Qabil Chandio felt the responsibility to lead an agitation to challenge the feudalism and feudal mentality. The protesting voices are raising louder and stronger demanding justice for Qabil Chandio and his family. In addition, the tragedy stimulates the political resistance to feudalism and its factors. Because of the political dishonesty and nepotism by an influential cadre of the PPP the pain of betrayal by those who supposed to be guardians is hurting more than the pain of losing beloved. PPP was the main party that was leading the MRD movement, and it inspired many people from Mehar to participate in the campaign with full zeal. Conversely, this time the move is against the PPP provincial member and like-minded. Besides demanding justice for Qabil and his family, the youth are committed to calling for the restoration of the fundamental human right- the right of living with free will and self-determination.

The developing tendency of protests, rallies and spreading surge of condemnation to reject the feudalism is a significant sign of three remarkable changes. The first turn is the impairment of political and symbolic values of Pakistan People’s Party that used to be a model political party of democratic principles. The second crack is the importance of PPP activists and voters who are ignored and degraded for the sake of the feudalistic monopoly. The third change is the emerging trend of leading the resistance against wadairashahi without relying on the political parties.

Both, the victim party and alleged party, along with their thousands of supporters, are protesting for justice. The former wants to see the culprits behind the bars while the later wants their names discarded from the FIR. However, the people of Sindh, especially the youth is not ready to accept such tragedies as their fate. They are committed and united to challenge the feudal system and to seek justice not only for them but also for the coming generations.

It is a time to know who is standing with whom.  If Malala Yousafzai can take a bold step by holding with the family of Mashal khan then what halts Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Imran Khan not to take the side of victims? Ignoring and not showing even sympathy to the victim’s family is an eye-opening lesson for the ordinary voters.

Our political leaders are again showing their ingenuousness by taking care of their Wadairas to win the elections and ignoring the lives and future of generations. They are standing with those who want us to live in the dark past. Sooner we will see many well-known leaders smiling beside the murderers in the election campaign. However, many thousands of well-wishers are standing with the mother of Qabil Chandio with deep sorrow and rage to challenge the feudal system so that they can save their hopeful future.