A landless territory called Zaida Nagar (Formally Baburabad) Satkhira in Bangladesh is stained with the blood of landless peasant women Zaida, Member of Bangladesh Kishani Sabha which is the associate of Bangladesh Krishok Federation. The heroic role and the sacrifice of Zaida are ever remembered in the heart of landless people in Bangladesh. In this territory the landless people call Zaida “Mother Zaida” because at the cost of her life they achieved their right to land in that areas. In 1998, 14 years ago since today there is a big peasant revolt against conspiracies of the local big landowners and corrupt administrative officials who had their vested interest around the ceiling excess Khasland (Land on which no private ownership) on which only the landless people have their right to enjoy. The landless people regardless men, women and children took to the street on the protest in order to protect their right from the ill efforts of expropriation made by the local Joteder (big land owners) in association with police administration. Zaida spearheaded the whole struggle with courage and marched forward to the police who was ready for atrocities. They shot Zaida to death and more than 200 landless were injured and mutilated. The struggle continued for around 5 days. It vibrated the entire Satkhira district as well as total nation. A number of civil society groups grew and became very active to defend the interest of landless people. As a result, the administration was forced to refrain from resorting to the way of repression on the landless. They cooled down and tried to find the way to reduce the tension. Almost all hi-profile political leaders including the then Prime Minister, leader of the opposition visited Zaida Nagar to pay
homage to martyr Zaida. So 27 July on which day Zaida was killed is marked as Memorial Day for Zaida who was also buried in that area. Every year on 27 July the floral wreath was placed in her graveyard with so much respect to her and general feast is also available for the landless people to take, to commemorate the day. The local groups
including Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Bangladesh Kishani Sabha also observed 27 July in Zaida Nagar this year. Various activists from the local cross-sections participated in the commemoration. The leaders of Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Badrul Alam who is the president of the same and Pathak Lal Golder who is Office Secretary took part in it. A procession was brought out and paraded the territory with slogan on their land right. After the procession a rally was held in the common space for the landless community. The invited people who have been defending the landless people for long addressed the rally and expressed continued support to the landless
people. Badrul Alam, President of Bangladesh Krishok Federation who supervised the false case filed around the Khasland for which Zaida sacrificed her life in the High Court and Supreme Court in 1995, spoke in the rally adding that the struggle did not end rather it has put new option for the landless for further struggle until the right of
landless on food sovereignty, climate justice and gender equality is ensured. He declared the Zaida Nagar as one of the destinations of the Caravan on Climate Change, Gender and Food Sovereignty taking place in November through out the country. The courageous landless people accepted it very warmly and felt proud that the guests from different countries would come to visit their places and share the experiences. The area is historically agricultural one. The world heritage mangrove forest Sundarban is not so far. Unfortunately nowadays the area turned shrimp culture area since a group of people are making money exporting the shrimp outside. The landless and peasant farmers are seriously victimised by the shrimp cultivation. They have lost their variety of crops and bio-diversity all most forever. They are totally dependant on the purchase for their agricultural products. They want to recover their arable land but complication knows no bound. The possibility of resilience is, for sure, not easy.
It can be mentioned that the landless in this area started their occupation movement in early nineties. Although, they have their triumph in the struggle but experiencing environmental disaster coupled with the impact of climate change as well as global warming.More photos are here...