February 2012

Towards 1971 VI: Conclusion: Unexceptional Violence

[Part 6 of 6 -- A short version of this series was published at DAWN - Books & Authors] That three million perished in the 1971 conflict is widely stated around the world. Salil Tripathi points out that “Killing three million people over 267 days amounts to nearly 11,000 deaths a day. That would make it one [...]

Towards 1971 V: Women and the War of 1971

[Part 5 of 6] [...] men see the abuse of "their" women as a degradation of their masculinity. What counts is not the suffering of the women, but the effect it has on men. Ruth Seifert, "War and Rape: Analytical Approaches" All facets of the 1971 conflict and the subsequent nation-making processes had a devastating [...]

Love in the Time of Contempt

[This is a guest post by my friend Anil - who x-posted on my request - he is a very qanuni dude - sepoy] (Cross-posted at Dorf on Law) Right in time for Valentine’s Day, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has sent Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani a love letter – in the form of [...]

Towards 1971 IV: The Enemy Within

[Part 4 of 6] Marshaling colonial legacies, the post-colonial state seeks to consolidate the nation as a new form of empire, demanding hyper-masculine militarization and territorial and extra-territorial control. This requires the manufacture of internal and external enemies to constitute a national identity, constructed in opposition to the anti-national and non-native enemies of the nation. [...]

Towards 1971 III: A Few Good Pakistani Men

[Part 3 of 6] I hate all armies. Yours, mine—all armies. -Muhammad Zinnatul Alam, the lone survivor of the Thanpara massacre. ((Sarmila Bose, Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War, Columbia University Press, June, 2011, p97))   The main focus of Sarmila Bose’s much talked about book, Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh [...]

Towards 1971 II: The Making of a Tragedy

[Part 2 of 6]  Translation: The Ideology of Pakistan: Every nation has a specific civilization and culture. The civilizational and cultural capital of the Muslims of the Subcontinent comes from Islam. This capital, their beliefs and religious rituals, mannerisms, religious and historical literature, literary and technological research, is preserved in their literature and philosophy. On this [...]

Towards 1971 I: A Personal Journey

[Part 1 of 6] Forgetting is imposed as a strategy to hide the haunting memories that cannot be revealed without destroying our romance with nationalism. ~Yasmin Saikia During the many blackouts and power outages in the Pakistan of my childhood, my family used to sit in the veranda of our home cursing the electricity department [...]

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