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Politics in Rural Areas of Pakistan

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Politics in rural area of Pakistan

It is commonly observed that when state fails to furnish its inhabitants with basic human rights and needs of living, frustration level among the people springs up badly. People show reluctance in obeying the laws and some kind of anarchy is prevailed all around the country. As a result of which law and order situation is critically maladjusted. The word CHANGE catches more attention in this case. The only path leading us to alter the overall demeanor of nation is through politics.
“Politics is the art of influencing people on a civic or individual level, when there are more than two people involved. It is thought of as the way we "choose government officials and make decisions about public policy".”
In politics there are two major elements, politicians and voters. Politicians are the persons who stand for the right of people, contest in elections and represent the common people in the legislature. Voters are everyone else than politicians .They pick out their favorite candidate by using basic right of casting their vote in elections. These elected personalities form government and run the overall infra structure of the state.
In this entire procedure of elections, the major role is played by voters and their choice of candidate. Here we will discuss the factors that decide the selection of a voter especially in remote and rural areas of Pakistan. In our country population in rural areas is much more than population in urban areas. So their vote plays substantial role in forming any government.
The major trends for voting in rural areas are Braderism, tradition and values, common knowledge, feudalism and any religious or ideological attachment of the voter.
Population in villages is divided into braderies. Bradery consists of different families having same forefather. Their custom and traditions are same. Bradery is headed by some marked person having influence upon all the members of family. When they decide to vote for some specific candidate, all the families and the members of these families are restricted to vote for him. In this way once the candidate supported by them is elected, they expect him to fulfill their demands and promises made before elections. These requirements are accordant to their necessitate. Sometimes they require any educational institute or basic health centre. In other case a bradery may ask for a factory to provide jobs for the people in the area.
In villages, people also use politicians for help in court / kutchery issues and settling their mutual disputes. If they find their representative accomplishing predict made before the elections, they re-elect him in next elections. Otherwise they choose any other person to represent them.
Other element which plays significant role in the politics of rural areas is feudalism. In general, every village has a distinguished personality in it usually known as wadera. He has influence on the people of the village and they consult him in their every day affairs. Their decision in routine matters is based upon His opinion. When he calls them for vote someone, all the people usually abide by his decision. Any person who shows contradiction to that decision openly may have to face social boycott by other people.
People living in villages are simpler and have core beliefs about religion. Religious attachment also determines the behavior of voters on the polling day. Most of times, people also consult their religious mentor known as Peer before casting their vote. Peer has much influence on his followers. In any case they are to follow the dictation given by their respective leaders. People generally support the person who has religious views like them. For example sunni voters of the area feel reluctance to vote for any shia candidate and vice -versa. This is mostly due to lack of education.
In villages, we have another way to discern people. A landlord who owns major part of lands in village. And workers, commonly known as Kammi, who are employed by the landlord to cultivate his lands and work on forms. Workers usually follow the decision of their master.
It is also noticed that some people intend to make their choice personally. But as they are dependent of their owners, they have to obey them. These people are scare of feudal and the consequences and they may have to face hardships if caught disobeying.
Some voters follow their personal opinion. They select the candidate according to their own personal knowledge. There are two kinds of such voters. Some of them follow any political ideology. They vote for a specific party whose manifesto matches their requirements. In this case the head of the party may be their favorite personality. Candidate doesn’t matter in this scenario .the only factor that is considered is party affiliation. Their support is always for party at national or provincial level.
Meanwhile others follow the political personalities of the area. They show their loyalty with the candidate. In this case party affiliation is not valued much. Candidate is selected due to his personal contact with the people, previous performance and finally belongings with the society. His supporters are always with him either he is on the behalf of any party or contesting as independent. Unlike urban areas, education level is poor in villages. People prefer to cultivate lands instead of getting jobs in cities. So their interests are mostly related to their crops, land and agricultural issues. Sometimes they need to have support of any powerful person who can interfere with their disputes in police stations. Rural citizens have a mindset to vote for well-known personalities. Any politician who cares for these basic needs of voters gets a higher rank and is placed above others for upcoming elections.
Voting behavior can also be judged on polling day. In rural areas, polling stations are usually far from each other. These are arranged in the area where population is concentrated comparatively. Some Voters from distant place come to take part in election process on their own. Meanwhile others wait for transport provided by the candidate. The candidate who arranges transport for them gets their support.
In villages, mutual cooperation between people is at its peak. People tend to share the moments of joys and sorrow with each other. People expect their representatives to join them in these events. So any leader who attends these gatherings of his supporters gets more popularity among masses. A recent example of such case is Mr. Jamshed dasti, a fake degree fame, young politician from rural area.
“Jamshed Dasti is a former parliamentarian representing Muzaffargarh. His popularity was so much so that many in muzaffargarh called him 1122 referring to the accident and emergency number because he was always available unlike the feudal of the region.” Despite of his fake degree people elected him twice as their representative. Political behavior also varies among bradery. If one bradery is supporting one party, then its rival bradery will definitely choose the different party. In this scenario main stream parties show likeness to the bradery which has more members in it. Sometimes candidate is nominated from highly populated bradery in order to win elections. As we discussed earlier, voting behavior in villages depends upon many factors. The thing, we need most is to educate our people and providing them proper political sense to choose the candidate who is better for them. It is the responsibility of state to ensure that all the voters must use their basic right to elect any person on their own will. In this only way, people can choose the true democratic leadership of the state that can put the nation on the road to success and prosperity.

Work sheet: 1. Losco, Joseph (2010). AmGov. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 3. 2. http://www.ecp.gov.pk/

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