Development and Urbanization
Intermediation between state and society has a long history in South Asia. From the Mughal system of mansabdari to the British hierarchy of Jagirdars, Taluqdars and local Zaildars, intermediaries had to perform fused functions of political governance, social control revenue collection and dispute resolution. With the introduction of elected governments representation was also fused with erstwhile roles of these actors. With the end of colonial rule the subjects were transformed into citizens legally yet the cognitive and physical distance between the citizens and state remained intact.
Like all its sister post-colonial Pakistani state unleashed a “modernization” programme which included industrialization, land reforms, modernizing of agriculture and opening up avenues for political participation. This “top-down” authoritarian model of installing modernization could not help in refashioning the old colonial model of fused governance through intermediaries. However, with time these policies led to substantial transformations in socio-economic fabric of society which then also reflected in its political sphere. Earlier mediation was limited for notables but with political competition kicking, the social background of actors involved in intermediation also started to change. Unlike the past the differentiation of roles in informal sphere politics also tend to intensify. Patrons, brokers and representatives are not always the same people in current situation. Who is who ,in this evolving complex of informal politics in Pakistani Punjab, is the core objective of this study. Using ethnographic methods we will investigate these actors and their roles to highlight the informal underpinnings of a formally democratic polity of Pakistan.