Migrant Landowner: Abu Hussein Sardar

Paddy fieldsAbu Hussein Sardar is an old man who is happy with his move to the eastern part of Bengal and who bears no grudge against those who burned down his paddy fields. He migrated with most of his family – another typical trait of those who migrated to this region. Abu lives off his land and finds that his surroundings remind him of India and this makes him happy and at peace with where he lives.

Abu's family came from the North 24-Parganas in West Bengal. They had migrated to Madhobkati to work for a landowner as he needed his land to be reclaimed.

Two calvesMy family had 72 bighas of land in India and when they wanted to move they enquired and found two brothers who were Hindus and lived in East Pakistan and who wanted to move to India.

They got an equivalent amount of land when they moved by exchanging their deeds. Four families came together because their paddy stacks were burned down by the newly arrived migrants from East Pakistan. They also stole their cows.

His mother's tomb is in India and this is why he wants to get a passport and visit the village where he grew up and where his mother and a few other relatives are buried. Previously he used to visit easily but now it is not possible without a passport. Abu's father had three brothers and one sister. His father and his brothers migrated to East Pakistan, his sister was married to a man in Abu Hussein Sardar and his familyIndia but later both of them and their children also migrated. Abu has three sons and four daughters. He is glad that most of his family members live near him. He has been on the hajj and has travelled to Dhaka, Jessore, and Khulna.

Abu has found peace in his new place because the land, the water and the skies are exactly the same as those he left behind. He feels safe. He is a great-grandfather and he is happy knowing that he will end his days surrounded by his loved ones.

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