ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Kayasthas of Bengal

A study of the legendary migration of five Brahmins, accompanied by five Kayasthas, from Kannauj in North India to Bengal to form an elite subgroup in the caste hierarchy of Bengal, combines genetic analysis with a reappraisal of historical and genealogical works. This combination of historical and genetic analysis creates a new research tool for assessing the evolution of social identities through migration across regions, and points to the potential for interdisciplinary research that combines the humanities and genetic science.

'Dead Reckoning': A Response

Sarmila Bose takes issue with the criticisms levelled against her book Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War in the article by Naeem Mohaiemen (EPW, 3 September 2011). A rejoinder to her response by Mohaiemen follows.

Losing the Victims: Problems of Using Women as Weapons in Recounting the Bangladesh War

Every war is accompanied by sexual violence against women. 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. This paper brings into focus the real victims of sexual violence by pointing out the paucity of reliable material, critically analysing widely cited testimonies of rape and suggesting the next steps to address the issue meaningfully.

Bangladesh: Troubled Future

Future Bangladesh: The Next Afghanistan? by Hiranmay Karlekar; Sage, 2005; SARMILA BOSE If the title was meant to attract attention, the author has been pipped to the post by a Bangladeshi writer who recently wrote a book posing the question,

Anatomy of Violence

While events of 1971 continue to evoke strong emotion in both Pakistan and Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan), there has been little systematic study of the violent conflicts that prevailed in the course of the nine-month long civil war. Popular attention has, thus far, focused on the Pakistani army's action against the Bengalis, or on the India-Pakistan war. However, East Pakistan in 1971 was simultaneously a battleground for many different kinds of violent conflict that included militant rebellion, mob violence, military crackdown on a civilian population, urban terrorism to full-scale war between India and Pakistan. The culture of violence fomented by the conflict of 1971 forms the context for much of Bangladesh's subsequent history. A careful, evidence-based approach to understanding the events of 1971 is vital if the different parties to the conflict are to be ever reconciled.

Love in the Time of War

The political career of Subhas Chandra Bose has been the subject of much research and debate, drawn from material on his public life. This article weaves together the public and the private at critical junctures of Bose's career to offer alternative explanatory factors for two famous journeys made by Bose. The first journey was Bose?s escape from India to Nazi Germany in 1941 and the second journey was his flight from south-east Asia in 1945, a journey that was to prove his last. Looking at these ?public? actions in the light of 'private' reality, this article argues that while public, political factors did motivate Bose to undertake these journeys, he was also moved by powerful personal reasons.
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