The IUP Journal of English Studies
Representation of Gendered Violence in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971

Article Details
Pub. Date : June, 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES32020
Author Name : Sanjib Kr Biswas and Priyanka Tripathi
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 09



Post-1990s' internet boom and subsequent media intervention completely altered the face of representing crime investigation, medicine, science, and technology. Literary narratives, fictional and nonfictional, could also not refrain from this influence, and therefore, they too adapted themselves in a way that the narrative nonfiction too became fabricated under the supervision of the editors. An interesting but confusing event in the world history is the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, for it is represented in conflicting narratives of war crime and victimization. Linton (2010b) claims that over three million people were brutally killed and hundreds and thousands of women were raped by the allied forces of Pakistani army and pro-Pakistani Razakars during the nine-month-long freedom struggle. In 1992, Ibrahim (1994) in her book Aami Birangana Balchi (A War Heroine, I Speak) and Mookherjee (2015) in The Spectral Wound recount the stories of Biranganas (literally, brave heroines of the war). However, the counternarratives by Saikia (2004) and Bose (2011) argue that such generalization of Pakistani military being the only perpetrator in the 1971 war is futile as Bengali nationalists also raped non-Bengali Bihari women during and after the war. In the light of this paradoxical representation of gendered violence in the said war, the paper revisits these narratives and the related controversies to attest that truth is relative and also fabricated in narrative nonfiction.


In HR literature rumours are discursive acts of cultural framing that construct Otherness, invoke ancestral rivalries, and spread stories about killings. Rumours eddy around both victims and perpetrators and are constitutive of their identities in the context of social relations with other tribes, races, and identities (Nayar 2016, 7).

In contemporary times, fabrication of truth in the name of representation has become a serious concern in research, especially in the investigation of cases of genocidal victims. The narratives from either side, victims or perpetrators, are mostly conditioned by such


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