ALTERNATIVE DEMOCRACY:INFLUENCE OF SIAL SHARĪF IN ELECTORAL POLITICS OF PUNJAB
Main Article Content
'Alternative’ democracy is styled on the pattern of the term ‘alternative modernity’. Like alternative modernity, it tries to elaborate the alternative understanding of democracy, by investigating the electoral process, in postcolonial Punjab. This paper elaborates that Families with spiritual backgrounds have a remarkable influence on Politics and democratic development in Pakistan. They influence the electoral process by converting their spiritual capital into electoral influence. This paper investigates the historical dimensions of the electoral influence of Pīrs. In the first instance, the Pir family of Sial Sharīf is influential in the politics of Punjab. This paper answers the questions of the historical authenticity of their spiritual capital. It involves the dialectical and hermeneutical understanding of their relationship with followers to define the historical dimensions of this relationship. Second, it answers the question of the validity of their political role. The question of validity is answered by using the hermeneutical and phenomenological tools of research on their speech acts, spiritual-political scripts, and data collected from interviews. It furthers the discussion by discussing the possible dimension of validity and authenticity of their role in the politics of Punjab. The paper concludes the discussion by presenting the ‘alternative’ pattern of the relationship between historical process, spirituality, and political development in a post-colonial Punjab. The concluding part also discusses the futuristic aspects as well.