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Socio-Economic Indicators of the People's Party Vote in the Punjab: A Study at the Tehsil Level

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2011

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It seems almost axiomatic to state that the 1970 elections in Pakistan produced a revolution through the ballot box. In the Punjab and East Pakistan, large victories—in terms of seats won—were given respectively to two political parties (the People's Party and the Awami League) which based their platforms on essentially secular issues and which were able to rout those groupings rooted largely in religiopolitical programs. In the other provinces of West Pakistan the picture was less clear. While in the Punjab traditional land-based elites were defeated, the People's Party win in the Sind appeared to be an amalgam of secular, economic issues with traditional strengths of the landed wadera class. In Baluchistan and the Frontier, both the results and the means by which they were attained were mixed.

Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 1975

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1 For a discussion of the secular nature of Awami League demands, see Donald E. Smith, “Secularism in Bangladesh,” Worldview, April 1973, pp. 11–16. For a general comment on the 1970 elections, see Craig Baxter, “Pakistan Votes—1970,” Asian Survey, XI:3 (March 1971), pp. 197–218.

2 The historical and current role of the Punjab landed aristocracy in electoral politics is discussed in Craig Baxter, “The People's Party vs. the Punjab ‘Feudalists’,” Journal of Asian and African Studies, June-September 1973, pp. 166–189.

3 See the description of the index in Shahid Javed Burki, “Ayub's Fall: a Socio-Economic Explanation,” Asian Survey, XII:3 (March 1972), pp. 201–212. See also Burki's “Social and Political Determinants of Political Violence,” The Middle East Journal, 25 (Autumn 1971), pp. 465–480.

4 See Baxter, “The People's Party…,” op. cit.

5 For a further discussion of the place of districts, see the introduction to Craig Baxter, District Voting Trends in India (New York: Columbia University Press [for the Southern Asian Institute], 1969), pp. xv-xviii.

6 See Morris-Jones, W. H. and Dasgupta, B. K., “India's Political Areas: Interim Report on an Ecological Electoral Investigation,” Asian Survey, IX:6 (June 1969)Google Scholar; and B. K. Dasgupta, “Socio-Economic Classification of Districts: a Statistical Approach,” Economic and Political Weekly, VI:33 (August 1971).

7 Weiner, Myron and Field, John Osgood, Electoral Politics in the Indian States (New Delhi: Manohar Book Service, 19741975Google Scholar).

8 See also Brass' paper “Ethnic Cleavages and the Punjab Party System,” presented at the Association for Asian Studies, New York, 1972.

9 Francine R. Frankel and Karl von Vorys, “The Political Challenge of the Green Revolution: Shifting Patterns of Peasant Participation in India and Pakistan,” Policy Memorandum No. 38, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, March 1972.

10 For district population figures, see Government of Pakistan, Population Census of Pakistan, 1972: Census Bulletin No. 1, (Islamabad: Census Organization, 1973).

11 The task would be slightly easier in India, as parliamentary constituencies are accumulations of a fixed number of legislative assembly constituencies in each state. E.g., in Uttar Pradesh, five assembly seats comprise one parliamentary seat. For reasons not known, this is not the case in Pakistan.

12 In this study the “excluded areas” of Dera Ghazi Khan District are not considered a tehsil, and the areas are treated as part of the adjacent tehsil.

13 This system has also been followed in Baxter's “The People's Party…,” cited above.

14 See Wriggins, W. Howard, The Ruler's Imperative (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), pp. 115116Google Scholar; and Shahid Javed Burki, Social Groups and Development: a Case Study of Pakistan, forthcoming.

15 A different interpretation has been recently presented by G. W. Choudhury in his paper presented at the Wayne Wilcox Memorial Seminar (Duke University, September 27–29, 1974). Choudhury, a minister in the cabinet of General Yahya Khan, argues that the regime was well aware of the strength of the Awami League in East Pakistan; General Yahya and his advisors expected the Awami League to return with a majority in the National Assembly.

16 In 1970, some 28 percent of the Punjab population lived in urban areas, compared with only 16 percent in 1951.

17 For a good discussion of Jama'at politics, see Charles Adams, “The Jam'ati Islami: Its Role in the Development of Pakistan,” paper delivered at the Wayne Wilcox Memorial Seminar (Duke University, September 27–29, 1974) and his “The Ideology of Mawlana Mawdudi,” in Donald E Smith, ed., South Asian Politics and Religion (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966), pp 352–370.

18 For a discussion of the PPP manifesto, see R. Amjad and Navid Hamid, “Pakistan's Economic System: A Stage of Transition,” Pakistan Economic and Social Review, Vol. IX, Nos. 1–2 (June-December 1971).

19 For a discussion of the impact of literacy on election behavior, see W. Morris Jones, “Analysis of Indian Elections,” mimeo.

20 See Khan, Fazal Muqeem, Pakistan's Crisis in Leadership (Islamabad: National Book Foundation, 1973)Google Scholar. passim.

21 For a detailed discussion of Ayub's agricultural politics, see Burki, Shahid Javed, Agricultural Growth and Local Government in Punjab, Pakistan (Ithaca: Cornell University, 1974)Google Scholar.

22 For a short definition of biradari, see J. H. Hutton, Caste in India, third edition (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), pp. 98–99. The various agricultural castes and tribes in which the concept of biradari is key, are described in Denzil Ibbetson, Punjab Castes, originally published as part of the report of the 1881 census (Lahore: Superintendent, Government Printing, 1916), pp. 97–213.

23 For a discussion of the traditional role of specific tribal and clan chiefs in the Punjab, see Griffin, Lepel H., Chiefs and Families of Note in Panjab (Lahore: Superintendent, Government Printing, 1940)Google Scholar.

24 See, e.g., Milnor, A. J., Elections and Political Stability (Boston: Little, Brown, 1969)Google Scholar; and Huntington, Samuel P., Political Order in Changing Societies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968), Chapter 7Google Scholar.