Dead Reckoning: This ground-breaking book chronicles the 1971 war in South Asia by reconstituting the memories of those on opposing sides of the conflict. 1971 was marked by a bitter civil war within Pakistan and war between India and Pakistan, backed respectively by the Soviet Union and the United States. It was fought over the territory of East Pakistan, which seceded to become Bangladesh. Through a detailed investigation of events on the ground, Sarmila Bose contextualises and humanises the war while analysing what the events reveal about the nature of the conflict itself. The story of 1971 has so far been dominated by the narrative of the victorious side. All parties to the war are still largely imprisoned by wartime partisan mythologies. Bose reconstructs events via interviews conducted in Bangladesh and Pakistan, published and unpublished reminiscences in Bengali and English of participants on all sides, official documents, foreign media reports and other sources. Her book challenges assumptions about the nature of the conflict, and exposes the ways in which the 1971 war is still playing out in the region.
Product code: 455601, ISBN13: 9781849040495, 288 pages, paperback
Published by C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd in 2011
SARMILA BOSE is Senior Research Fellow in the Politics of South Asia at the University of Oxford. She was a political journalist in India and combines academic and media work. She was educated at Bryn Mawr College and Harvard University.
Ms. Sharmila Bose in her paper entitled “Losing the Victims: Problems of Using Women as Weapons in Recounting the Bangladesh War” paints a picture of the Pakistani military as a disciplined force that spared women and children. She writes:
During my field research on several incidents in East Pakistan during 1971, Bangladeshi participants and eyewitnesses described battles, raids, massacres and executions, but told me that women were not harmed by the army in these events except by chance such as in crossfire. The pattern that emerged from these incidents was that the Pakistan army targeted adult males while sparing women and children.
She also quotes the passage from the Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report that I cited above to support her assertion that so many rapes could not have occurred. 20,000-34,000 could not have raped 200,000 to 400,000 women in the space of nine months.
She states in the introduction:
That rape occurred in East Pakistan in 1971 has never been in any doubt. The question is what was the true extent of rape, who were the victims and who the perpetrators and was there any systematic policy of rape by any party, as opposed to opportunistic sexual crimes in times of war.
To try to bolster her argument that the Pakistani forces in Bangladesh could not have raped so many women, she claims:
The number of West Pakistani armed forces personnel in East Pakistan was about 20,000 at the beginning of the conflict, rising to 34,000 by December. Another 11,000 men — civil police and non-combat personnel — also held arms.
For an army of 34,000 to rape on this scale in eight or nine months (while fighting insurgency, guerrilla war and an invasion by India), each would-be perpetrator would have had to commit rape at an incredible rate.
There are numerous reports out there now which negates the well established beliefs. The declassified US reports, Indian military officers account, Pakistan military officers account, General Niazi’s memoirs, Sharmila Bose, Hamoodurahman commission report.
Pakistan Military officers fought hard. Many foreign correspondents speak well of their bravery. It is the bravery of a Muslim soldier that Indian Military got tough fight. These Pakistani Mard-e-Momin fought so hard that they had almost regained the control of East Pakistan from the dirty hands of Mukt-Bahini. When India saw this, She then started the military action which resulted in the fall of Dhaka.
Then Mujib showed his true colors after the formation of Bangladesh with his BAKSAL party. How he became authoritative and usurped democracy is not a secret anymore. He was going to make Bangladesh part of India that he was killed timely by the Pakistani military officers (yes those Bengalis who never gave up allegiance to Pakistan. I stand in honor for them).
1) Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULpCroezFrY
2) Read “RAW in Bangladesh by ZainulAbidin (an ex-Mukti Bahini member) on 1971 war.
3) Read Blood and tears by a Pakistani writer about 1971 war.
4) Check the website of Federation of American Scientist on 1971 war
5) Read “East Pakistan Tragedy” by L.F. Rushbrook Williams.
- Truth about 1971 comes out: Sarmila Bose (timesofislamabad.com)
- 1971: Pakistan soldiers could not have raped so many women (thedawn.com.pk)
- Truth about 1971 (pakistanindependent.com)
- Let the Stranded Pakistanis come back home (thedawn.com.pk)
- Daniel Patrick Moynihan should apologize (teabreak.pk)