Rising from the Ashes: Womens Narratives of 1971
ROAD TO BANGLADESH SERIES is designed to present published accounts of the background to the emergence of Bangladesh. The Series showcases such a collection that, when put together, achieves a well-rounded narrative of the events of 1971. Books in the series should be an invaluable collection for those interested in South Asian affairs, particularly students and scholars of politics, history, development, and social transformation. Rising from the Ashes: Women's Narratives of 1971 is a collection of the experiences of 22 women who faced fire, rape, eviction, displacement, and death, during the war of independence in Bangladesh in 1971, and lived to tell the tale. These women are neither the creators nor the determinants of history. Their ordinary lives were uprooted by the sudden maelstrom of war. The barbarity of the Pakistani Army has marked every part of their life, but even after the war their struggles for survival, recognition, and claims for justice are an important part of national history. From 13 women, we get an account of how their family members were killed. 9 women describe their experience of rape. The scars of these painful experiences reach far deeper than the immediate reactions to war. That is why their testimonies do not bear the black-and-white distinctions made in wars, nor is there any color added for effect. Their personal experiences are an indictment of the war and of military brutality. These unembellished stories maybe some of the most powerful to emerge from the liberation war.
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