INTRODUCTION: In Bangladesh, more than 15,000 peasants gathered on Monday (16 March) for a massed rally to protest the government's land reform decisions and policies.
GV EXTERIOR Peasants cooking food. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN crowds of peasants arriving.
GV Peasants sitting waiting for rice distribution.
SVs Rice being distributed. (2 SHOTS)
SVs Peasants eating rice. (3 SHOTS)
GV Peasants drinking water.
SV Peasants resting. (3 SHOTS)
GV Flag being hoisted.
GVs Peasants gathered around flag applauding.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In Bangladesh, more than 15,000 peasants gathered on Monday (16 March) for a massed rally to protest the government's land reform decisions and policies. Their leaders said this would be the first of many such Peasants' Revolution meetings. The government says the rally was organised by Marxists.
SYNOPSIS: The rally was in the northern township of Pabna. The peasants contend the government is carrying out a policy that is crushing the peasants to serve the interests of landlords. They cite one measure, among many, that aims at wiping out the multitude of boundaries in the country's agricultural lands to make them suitable for mechanised cultivation. The peasants, who make up half of the country's entire population, say this scheme would ruin them.
So the peasants decided to make their public show of their anger against President Ziaur Rahman and the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
More than 40 percent of the peasant population owns less than an acre of land apiece. Their spokesman are demanding a new law entitling any individual to own up to five acres. They also want the surplus land to be taken from the larger land-owners, to be shared among the landless.