Challenging the Feudalistic Myth

Challenging the Feudalistic Myth Mukhtar Mai’s Case

Violence against the women is common in our society but it becomes more brutal and barbaric in the areas where the state institutions are weak and feudalists are godfathers. This is bitter fact that these feudalists become much strong er during the military regime as the state authorities do not bother about their unlawful acts in lieu of its own vested interests. Pakistan has remained under military regime for more than half of the period since its inception and during these regimes only military institutions and feudal bases were given priority by the state in every aspect of life.

History is evident that crimes and assaults against the poor particularly against the women always increased during these regimes. The incident of Nawab pur (Multan) back at 1980 in which a woman was forced to walk naked in the village as ordered by the village Sardars, similarly the worst incidents of Mukhtar Mai (Mirwala, Jatoi) and Sawer Mai (Vehari), happened in the military regimes and are like stigma upon the face of the southern region of Punjab Province of Pakistan. During the year 2002, 88 women were caught of honor killings, 56 people preyed to acid attacks out of them 29 women and 10 children lost their lives, whereas rest of them are still suffering and are neither dead nor alive. 422 women were the victims of sexual harassments and assaults including Mukhtar Mai. Apart from these figures, hundreds of other women were the victims of out dated customs like, honor killings, marriage with Holy Qur’an, Wanni, exchange marriages (Watta Satta) and violence at home and work place, Hudood Ordinance and Blasphemy laws. If we deeply study each and every above said case of women victimization, it would be easy to understand that Punchaits (traditional justice committees) are usually found responsible for these cruelties. This self made local institution, patronized by the state authorities, in the name of providing justice at the doorstep, needs to be challenged. In this book we have
emphasized on the social and political impacts of Punchait system upon our society.

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Posted in Research Studies / Reports.