The Colonel Who Would Not Repent The Bangladesh War and its Unquiet Legacy
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Pakistani troops and their collaborators were responsible for countless deaths and cases of rape. Clearly, religion alone wast enough to keep Pakistans two halves united. From that brutal violence, Bangladesh emerged as an independent nation, but the wounds have continued to fester. The gruesome assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman-the countrys charismatic first prime minister-and most of his family, the coups and countercoups which followed, accompanied by long years of military rule were individually and collectively responsible for the countrys inability to come to grips with the legacy of the liberation war. Four decades later, as Bangladesh tries to bring some accountability and closure to its bloodsoaked past through controversial tribunals prosecuting war crimes, Salil Tripathi travels the length and breadth of the country probing the countrys trauma through interviews with hundreds of Bangladeshis. His book offers the reader an unforgettable portrait of a nation whose political history since independence has been marked more by tragedy than triumph. Many nation-states of Asia and Africa were once celebrated for their bold act of self-determination. They are best understood today through their failure to break free of their bloody origins and their always likely descent into anarchy. Salil Tripathis book resourcefully and grippingly describes Bangladeshs tormented search for truth and justice and its implications for the stability of one of the worlds largest muslim countries. - Pankaj Mishra, author of from the Ruins of empire - The intellectuals who remade asia.
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