Friday, September 24, 2021

Economic, political decline and feudal system in the subcontinent –

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Syed Sibt-e-Hassan was a famous left-wing intellectual, journalist and writer of Pakistan whose book Naveed-e-Fikr has been quoted. He expressed his concern over the state and the people and the system in India, linking various political, social and economic issues with history and different periods.

He writes: The great responsibility for the economic and political decline of the subcontinent lies with this feudal system.

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Due to the universality of this system of power, the social conditions in which the capitalist system would have flourished could not be created in the country. Neither the class of industrialists, immigrants and businessmen became so strong that they demanded to participate in political power or seize power by force, nor could the handicraft industries become automatic industries as happened in Europe.

This trial is correct in its place, but in the medieval historical conditions, what other method of administration was possible? Could the Sultans of Delhi, whether they be Pathans or Mughals, be free from the tyranny of history? We don’t think it’s possible for them. The point is that in the age of personal governments, representative institutions are completely missing. The security of the throne is considered by every ruler to be his primary duty.

Obviously, even the most powerful king cannot defend himself alone, but he has to get the support of some class or group. However, the price of this cooperation has to be paid in the form of participation in power.

The Sultans of Delhi gained this co-operation by bestowing this fidelity and position.

Consider, for example, the administration of the provinces, but keep in mind the fact that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the facilities of communication between the center and the provinces did not exist as they do now. At that time there were no motors, no trains, no planes. No wires, no telephones, no wireless, in which case it was only possible to make a trustworthy and loyal courtier the caretaker of the provinces. Cash payment was not possible. Coinage was rare. Because in the feudal system things were scarce to be sold in the market, coins were not needed. Salaries were inevitably paid to government officials in the form of land or sex.

No king could get out of this cycle of evil by living in the realm of feudalism, and if anyone tried, he failed. The experiments of Allauddin Khilji, Muhammad ibn Tughlaq and Islam Shah Suri did not work for this reason.

Another form of participation in power could have been to recognize the right of provincial units to self-determination and hand over control to elected representatives, as is the case in the United States, but this was only possible when someone at the center There would have been an elected representative government, but in the Middle Ages, where the source of supreme power was not the inhabitants of the state but of a single individual and the inhabitants were not citizens but citizens, the idea of ​​such a form of government was not possible. Was Medieval India was 2,000 years behind Greece in the fifth century BC.

The building of the Mughal Empire was also based on the feudal system.


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