Ethnic Impact in Electoral Politics: A Case Study of District Bahawalnagar.

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Byline: Muhammad Ibrahim and Aftab Hussain Gillani

The work emphasized on impact of ethnic issues in electoral politics District Bahawal Nagar. The inattentive violence existed in the country on the basis of tribal, linguistic, sectarian, region and religion.Itposes a threat to the revitalization of parliamentary institutions in Pakistan. The ethnic problem becomes intense due to domestic political situation of Pakistan which has wide-ranging implications in Pakistan. Not the least of these, the damage by chronic social unrest and political turmoil and theethnic reflection in the international Scenario for the prestige of Pakistan. Pakistan is facing the complex ethnic conflicts in political system which has deep impact on electoral politics. The ethnic conflict is going to deepen in remotes area of Pakistan. The advocates of the government tend to accredit blame for ethnic turmoil which is going to disturb with the support of conspiratorial forces whose aimed is to weaken the state.

The concept ofbiradarism is perceived from the concept of caste system in the Hindu culture and society. Different aspects of biradarism which determine the voting behavior and pattern in the subject area are carefully empirically analyzed.

Introduction

Pakistan isethnically divided state. Political polarization enhanced the issue of ethnic conflicts. The ruling elite shaped large scale and magnified ethnic tensions that have alliance of feudal landlords, militarists, and Islamic religious traditionalists. They ruled with meager reference to the popular will. The ethnic structure causes of exploitation due to reckless decision of ruling class to bolster itself against pressures for domestic political reforms. The cure of ethnic ailments is predominantly linked with the development of democratic political institutions as well as in the devolution of powers to the regional level (Ayoob, September 1985).The political history is unquestionably well stocked with such activities that enhanced ethnic issues. Pakistan's domestic and international political predicament is a lot of complicated and resistant to resolution insofar as its ethnic problem is concerned.

The work takes stock of multidimensionality's problems and explores the paradoxical nature of its relationship to continuing electoral politics in district Bahawal Nagar that is affected due brathery ethnic conflict. It will be analyzed how the biradery system has influential effect on voter's behavior for electoral politics in general and district Bahawalnagarof Punjab particularly

Definition of the Ethnicity

According to Cambridge Encyclopedia ethnicity is defined as: - "It is group of individuals identified on the bases of race, color, language and territory". (Cashmore, 1988).

Encyclopedia Britannica described ethnic group elaborately as: "A social group or category of population that in a larger society is set apart and bound together by common ties of race, language, nationality or culture. As a general case, at the core of ethnic identification is what has been termed as primordial affinities and attachments derived from the place of birth, kinship relationship, religion, language, and social practices that come natural to an individual to attach him to other individuals from the same background. These attachments remain in the unconscious and can be rekindled by appropriate stimuli" (Ahmed, Ethnicity, State and national Integration' in Asian Survey, June 1984).Social scientists studied phenomenon of ethnicity with different tools and approaches. Some scholars named ethnicity as minority, group, race, and caste, and class, inner and outer group (Peter, 1991. p 127-28).

According to Davos, "An ethnic group is a self-perceived inclusion those who hold in common a set of traditions not shared by others with when they are in contact. Such traditions typically include folic, religious belief and practices, language, a sense of historical continuity and common ancestry or place of origin." (Crystal, 1991). Feroz Ahmad described ethnicity as "A social group or category of population that in a larger society is set apart and bound together by common ties of race, language, nationality or culture. As a general case, at the core of ethnic identification is what has been termed as primordial affinities and attachments derived from the place of birth, kinship relationship, religion, language, and social practices that come natural to an individual to attach him to other individuals from the same background.

These attachments remain in the unconscious and can be rekindled by appropriate stimuli" (Ahmed, Ethnicity, State and national Integration, June 1984 p.268) Biradarism is also linked to ethnicity. The word biradery or Biradarism is derived from language of Persian which means as brother or Brotherhood. It can also be defined as a common bandage or affiliations on the basis of religion, race, caste and language, whereas it is used in the Subcontinent as for identification of the different clans in terms of their castes for mutual interaction. (Lughat, 2005 p.24) The Muslims can use this caste or biradery system as a mark of social identity for their introduction rather than for their hierarchical or social status.

Ethnic Issue and Politics in Pakistan

Pakistan is facingcomplex and multidimensional ethnic conflict in politics. Bengalis are feeling deprivations in power sharing. Local political leadership is complaining about dominances of Punjabi that is not simple political problem. Its origins are to be founding structural inequalities that have roots deep in pre-independence history. It can be found in demographic trends, including the spectacular rate of growth of the country's urban population. They are also to be found in the paralysis of political institution-building.Themilitary rulers have the characteristic anti-politics mind set. Some of the factors that contribute to the country's ethnic problem can be relieved rather swiftly for others.Theethnic problem of Pakistan has developed in the long period. It can be resolved gradually. Punjabi is the language of the single largest ethnic group in the country.

According to the 1981 census, Punjabi as the mother tongue was spoken by 48.2 percent while Pashtu, its nearest rival, was spoken in only 13.1 percent. The Punjab is the hub of Pakistani politics; the political interests of the Punjabi-speaking elite cannot be ignored. No government and no constitutional framework can be survived without their support. No political party aspiring to national leadership can succeed without them. No political party appealing to regional sentiments against it can aspire realistically to national leadership. These facts are not in conformity with the ideology of Pakistan which emphasizes Islamic unity and the equality of all its citizens; and they obviously place Pakistan's leaders, as Leonard Binder has suggested, in the impossible position of denying the political legitimacy of ethnicity even while the state is itself dominated by a segment of a single ethnic community.

Nevertheless, such a paradox is the inescapable reality of Pakistani politics. There have been bountiful proposals to bring about greater regional and provincial autonomy and political decentralization. All such proposals are not followed as reallocation of central and provincial powers, reconstitution of provinces or provincial boundaries at different time by their very nature. The governing class has no proper interest for re-organization of political institutions, or protection of minority rights. The Urdu speaking with alliance of Punjabi speaking implicitly involve in governing system. There is no system for radically upgrade minority representation in the civil service and armed forces of Pakistan.

There is disparities in the face of gross population concede complete parity of representation in the National Assembly for Baluch, Pashtuns, Sindhis, and Punjabis without seeming to thwart the will of the majority. Consequently, all such proposals have not got properly support from political leadership in the Punjab(Garner, 1982 p.103).

Demographic of District Bahawal Nagar

Demography of district Bahawal Nagar1is given asthe bigger districts of Punjabhavingpopulation of 2061447 in 1998. It has reached 2603000 in December 2011 in which urban population is 496000 while rural population is 2107000. (Book, 2011). Generally people are agriculturists and during Nawab of Bahawalpur rule the irrigation system was one of the largest fed by River Sutlej. The main tribes and sub tribes are arain the decadents of Umayyad Arab soldiers who arrived with Muhammad Bin Qasim, rajput, malik, jatt, cheema, mahar, lodi (pathan), bhatti, paracha, hotiana, wattoo, gorgani, joyia, sukheras, khkwani, chishti and many other small clans. Most progressive landlords are basically cheema, paracha, wattoo, arian. These tribes have a great contribution in the politics of district Bahawalnagar. (H A Rose)

Ethnic issue and Electoral Politics of District Bahawal Nagar

District Bahawal Nagar having five tehsils, major towns and villages are mentioned.2 Theses villages and towns have ethnic issues on biradery basis. Bahawal Nagar district has single dominant language Punjabi. Therefore, there are no ethnic issues...

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