A friend of Bangladesh passes away
Dutch journalist and researcher Peter Custers, a lifelong friend of Bangladesh, died on Thursday at his home in Leiden, the Netherlands, due to heart attack. He was 66.
Custers was also a campaigner, author and theoretician. He wrote several books, articles focusing on social change and development. Among many, his famous book “Capital Accumulation and Women's Labour in Asian Economies” gave momentum to the left political movement and thinking.
He wrote many books on Bangladesh, including “Proceedings of the European Conference on the Flood Action Plan in Bangladesh” in 1993, “Food Security, FAP and Bangladesh” in 1997, “The Peasant Movement and the Future of Bangladesh” in 1998, and “Democracy and Human Rights in Bangladesh” in 2006 and “Moulana Bhashani, Leader of the Toiling Masses” in 2012.
But he was best known to Bengalees for his involvement in 1970s grassroots' peasant organising. While working as a leading Dutch journalist in Bangladesh, Custers wrote for both Dutch and international newspapers and magazines. During the 1980s, he actively participated in the Dutch peace movement against the threat of nuclear war.
Custers had an MA in International Law from Leiden University, the Netherlands, in 1970. He subsequently followed a three-year course in International Relations of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. In 1995, he obtained his PhD in Sociology from the Catholic University, Nijmegen in the Netherlands.
In 2007/2008, Custers was an affiliated fellow, researching on religious tolerance and the history of Bangladesh, at the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden.
In 2010, he was awarded as Human Rights' Defender and Friend of Bangladesh. Custers was working as special European correspondent of daily Prothom Alo and a columnist of The Daily Star, Bangladesh.
He left behind his wife Sumati Nair and his son Sukanto Custers.
In a press release yesterday, Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee expressed deep shock at the death of Custers.