This is a story about the War of Liberation that gave birth to the new state of Bangladesh on December 16, 1971. The relations between the two provinces of the state of Pakistan, created in the wake of the British departure from India in 1947, deteriorated steadily. This was due mainly to the exploitative regime set up in the eastern province (now Bangladesh) by West Pakistan. The general election of 1970 had given the people of East Pakistan an overwhelming majority, but instead of transferring power, the military and political cliques of West Pakistan put into action a diabolical plan to subjugate the Bengalis through a military crackdown and ethnic cleansing, which began on March 25, 1971. The people of East Pakistan organised as liberation forces under a unified command. These forces were called the Muktibahini and were joined by guerrilla freedom fighters from all walks of life. It is estimated that 3 million Bengalis (and other ethnic groups living in the eastern part) were massacred in the war by the Pakistanis and 300,000 women raped. The following story starts with the war and goes on to depict symbolically the subsequent turbulent events in the new state.—Translator


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pp. 45-50
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