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Ordinary Baloch: Pawns on the chessboard! 

By:  Masood Hameed Baloch

A general hype goes everywhere in Media and to public that Baloch society is more notorious for its tribal and Sardari system. Commonly people label it as tribal mindsets and Baloch politics is always obsessed with the influence of Sardars & Nawabs.

Few of  the Sardar-turned- nationalists earned good stature & popularity among their people, but mostly the masses gave bad names to majority of Sardars for their disgusting role in politics. 

Either it is present or primitive period, but the fact cannot be ignored that tribal attitudes with use of muscle power always embed in Baloch society. And its far-reaching impacts did great harms to the society at large.

It is said of Sir Robert Sandeman, a Scottish man who at colonial time backed the Baloch tribal chiefs or Sardars and dragged lower caste people as their serfs and slaves. The mighty tribal chieftains displayed arrogance and tried to engrave their command and wishes upon the poor class. The slaves wouldn’t have dared to defy the orders of the then landlords. Without the dictates of their masters the unprivileged peasantry poor & lower class people could not live and act as they choose!

People often blame Sandeman styled administrative system of the then British Balochistan that provided the elite Baloch tribal leaders an impetus to rule over the commoners. 

In 1876, the Khan and his Sardars had tabled a treaty which further gave them rooms for their rules over poor & subjugating the weaker class. 

It became obvious, the supreme interests of the then fascists Sardars and Nawabs lied nowhere for welfare of their people, but it was purely to reach personal power.

When Britishers entered in Balochistan they found it cheaper in dictating tribal chiefs. For sake of vested interests, the selfish Sardars bowed to British slavery. They commanded a price of their loyalty with the colonial masters and in return were given superior titles and authority. 

Basically, the idea of appointing Nawabs, head of tribal leader had long been dragged on and sprung from a backward repulsive system. 

It is said of the primitive Sardari System people were treated as lifeless pieces of Chess-men on the Chessboard. The tribal leader wielded unlimited power and persisted his superiority over the masses. 

In the ill-fated Sardari system, the head of the tribes maintained their private jails and armed wings. They in their ruthless system meted out severe and tyrannical punishment to the offenders. It was not only the offender but his entire family was badly tortured. People who committed petty thefts were left handicapped with broken limbs or tied to wooden planks and were thrown in the basement jails. The offenders had to walk on fire to prove innocence, this tradition of walking on fire is still said to be in practice in some far-flunged areas of Balochistan even today.

Tribes were indulged in feuds & intra-conflicts which led them in massive  bloodshed. While solving these feuds sometimes it even cost them grant hands of women as compensation. Such outdated system manifestly was a tyrannical relic of an oppressive past. 

And now it is good to see that with the passage of time all such disgusting practices died down in Baloch tribes. Sardari system gradually seemed to have lost much of its initial vigor. The offensive title of Sardar is completely affront to the new generation.

Though, in early 1960s the Sardari system was abolished in Balochistan, The power of Sardar and tribal chiefs have gone into utter decline. But despite the decades have passed, the pattern in Baloch Politics does not portray any drastic change on par with the modern era. 

Subjugating the Baloch masses is still there and  intact today but with new tactics.

Subjugating the Baloch masses is still there and  intact today but with new tactics. This time it is said to be at the hands of the ruling class, and both the military backed Nawabs and the so-called nationalist leaders. 

If we cast a quick look at the present day dominance over Baloch politics, we may assess the Baloch leaders mostly bank upon the establishment to consolidate their strongholds over the masses or get them sent in assemblies regardless of any public mandates. Politicians of either the class ( Sardar and middle class) are even using nationalism card to reach power and serve their vested interests. Under pretext of people’s rights they pursue their own hidden agendas. In cloak of politics the misplaced priorities of these so-called leaders always seemed to fall on their personal gains. 

These political opportunists are betraying their own people with lies and empty promises. In the garb of politics the selfish Sardars & corrupt nationalists brought themselves in lavish lifestyle while the poor masses subsist on bread and water. 

The loopholes of lacks in leadership and horrible policy of the establishment are contributing a lot to the miseries of Baloch nation.

Whether it was primitive Baloch tribal society, British colonial period, or the modern day so-called democracy people see no change to the lives of the downtrodden Baloch masses. The pivots rights of the commoners have long been gauged and denied from all time.

As a result thereof, it triggered up distrust among the unprivileged class of Baloch nation and they seem as unleashing anger upon their own leaders & the establishment to whom they attribute their backwardness. 

The mystery that pushed the ordinary Baloch to the wall is believed to be stem far more from the disgusting tribalism and corrupt political mafia.

The ordinary people believe that it is through the loot and plunder of their leaders that lagged them far behind many of the modern fronts.

No doubt, people may also have good opinions of some good leaders. The grace and devotion of only few leaders to the rights of their nation endeared them to public. But on rest of other plunderers & opportunists people always have bad opinions.

These leaders are vying to become in power to line their pockets for money and nothing else.

These leaders are vying to become in power to line their pockets for money and nothing else. 

In the last election in Balochistan, at mercy of the establishment some middle class nationalists came in power. But they too involved in backing the corruption and screwed up all hopes of the public. There was a time when people used to give good impression of these middle class leaders and presumed them as shrewd politicians. But all it turned in reverse, these so-called middle class nationalists let slip no opportunity to loot and plunder the national wealth. For sake of personal gains they smashed the entire national interests. 

At this age of revolutionary digital life  and  vast use of social media the basic rights of the oppressed people cannot be glossed over. The ordinary people are much aware of the bad intentions of their leaders.

Yet, lot to be done in political fronts and it is through only a politically inclined leadership to get rid of common masses of the multiple challenges.  The problems of the oppressed Baloch nation need to stand resolved and miseries to be addressed in order to repulse further inevitable crisis

Published in The Balochistan Point on April 6, 2017

 Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and The Balochistan Point does not necessarily agree with them.

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