Sarmila Bose, Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War
In 1971, by a devastating war, Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) achieved independence from (West) Pakistan. Since then, both parties have documented and presented their research findings on the war. However, many of these findings have lacked credibility. Perhaps the only objective account on the 1971 war has been Richard Sisson and Leo Rose’s War and Secession: Pakistan, India and the Creation of Bangladesh (1991). Sarmila Bose’s recent work, Dead Reckoning, today constitutes a significant contribution to the research on Bangladesh’s war of independence, all the more so for its unique methodology in using multiple sources of original information and cross-checked eyewitness testimonies from all parties involved. Pakistani army personnel as well as Bangladeshi muktijoddhas (freedom fighters) and victims of the war were interviewed to authenticate currently available materials, many of which appear to have been exaggerated with the force of emotion. This distinguishes the work from many other books authored by proponents of either party to the conflict. This book is certainly an eye-opener for researchers on the 1971 war.