It was with great sadness that we at The Nation came to hear of the passing of one of our most respected columnists, Najma Sadeque. Najma wrote extensively on the need to preserve our agro-culture; what she dubbed our “seed heritage.” She was a spirited environmentalist and a passionate writer who stirred the wrath of a number of powerful international companies with her work (those she would call the “western seed industry” with unconcealed contempt). In her writings, she advocated tirelessly for the small farmers and forgotten labourers of this country, and saw the rise of capitalism’s unrelenting spread into the soil as an important moment of awakening for the government. For my part, I will dearly miss the punctual submission to my inbox on Monday afternoons; in her last email to me dated December 1st, 2014, she asked me to reprint an international piece she had written, promising to commence writing as soon as she was able. She said, “I’ve already lost one week and would hate to lose another.”

Najma will be dearly missed on The Nation’s Oped pages, by everyone on the editorial team and those who read, and learnt, from her work. We hope her efforts to speak up for the voiceless in this country will not go in vain.