Published:  01:18 AM, 06 June 2020

Saving croplands from crass commercialism


It was not very long ago that the President of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) hit the nail on the head. Speaking at a conference of the Bangladesh Krishak Samity in Khulna, Mujahedul Islam Selim publicly made it known that our croplands are vanishing through mills and factories coming up where fields of rice, jute and vegetables used to be.

We are happy the CPB chief has referred to the problem. In these ten to fifteen years, the countryside in Bangladesh has been changed beyond recognition. Indeed, mutilation is the word to describe conditions. Families owning small pieces of land, most of whom have little else to fall back on as a source of sustenance, have been selling off their land to real estate companies and industrial houses, thereby enabling the buyers to play havoc with nature.

Once one loses one's land in such a way, it is impossible for one to reclaim or buy back the land in future. Worse, it is the rural region of the country which gets to be progressively destroyed, a scene which will become evident once anyone moves out of the nation's capital.

There are clear, legally-binding policies on a preservation of rural regions among countries abroad. Here it is the opposite, which is indiscriminate action in uprooting nature and filling the space with structures which will only be additions to the urban slums which many of our cities have already turned into.

We will urge the CPB leader to undertake a programme involving citizens in demanding that the countryside remain untouched, that croplands are not sold to city-based entrepreneurs, that employment opportunities be made available to those who are compelled to sell off their land in order to keep themselves body and soul. A social movement, one that is tough and purposeful, is necessary to keep this country upholding its rural-based heritage.



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