Criminal landlords

Editorial June 20, 2024


In another unhinged display of power and vengeance against a poor peasant and abhorrent cruelty against an animal, a landlord along with six of his minions chopped off a camel’s leg in Sanghar. Its crime: foraging into the savage landlord’s field. In a system as broken as ours it is a relief to know that Sindh government officials, including the chief minister, intervened and had the animal shifted to a shelter in Karachi, where it is being given medical treatment.

However, what shatters one’s peace is the certainty that this will not be the last display of such cruelty. The Sanghar incident comes only weeks after a crowd of bloodthirsty men threw a dog down the roof of a building to its death in Karachi. It is baffling how one crime reported in this country either supersedes or matches the barbarity of a previous one. Action against the culprits in both incidents came only after their videos went viral on social media. The only technological advancement our law enforcers have been forced to embrace is cellphone cameras and the crimes captured on them. The chances of a victim getting justice in our country are now very strongly bound to whether the crime committed against them was caught on camera or not. At the cost of sounding insensitive, one is lucky if it has.

However, power and influence continue to trump all exceptions. The landlord who decided the punishment for the peasant and his camel remains out of the reach of the law. If reports are to be trusted, the six men arrested are his servants who merely followed his orders. This impunity belies the government officials’ actions. Having the injured animal moved to a shelter is mere patchwork. What we really need is for the state to rein in its ruling elite to prevent abuses of power.


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