ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Land Flight in Sindh

Land fl ight from the fl ood-prone Sindh countryside in Pakistan is becoming increasingly widespread, driven by a feudal agrarian regime which has millions of land-poor peasants bound in debt and servitude and by rising population pressure on agrarian resources. Together these make sharecropping and rural labour extremely unviable sources of livelihood. This article looks at the agrarian crisis and the proletarianisation of the peasantry stuck halfway between the countryside and the city.

This article is the fi rst part of a longer essay highlighting the drift of labour out of the rural economy. A follow-up part will deal with the plight of labour in the urban economy of Pakistan.

It is almost noon by the time we reach Mir Hot, a small village in the province of Sindh (in Pakistan) that was mostly flooded in last year’s monsoon. Other parts of the Indus Valley had been similarly affected in the previous year. At first glance, there is little that reminds one of the disaster. From the district town of Badin, the country road leads through a bleak and withered landscape. The main agricultural crops are wheat and cotton; nevertheless, the fields lie unattended during this hot summer month.

Landed Hierarchy

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