My tutor, Monira, and I were reading a story yesterday about
I asked my tutor if she knew that historians think that for women,
Monira’s mother was in tenth grade when the war started. Her uncle could speak Urdu, the Pakistani language, so he pretended to be on the Pakistani’s side in order that his family would be protected. For a while, even though Morina’s mother’s village was right near to a military camp, they were safe. They listened at night to other girls in the village being dragged away to the camp, screaming. They found the corpses afterwards. Soon the Pakistanis found out that the uncle was being a traitor. They killed him, and the family had to flee. The newly widowed aunt was getting elderly and had trouble walking. When the army started approaching, she told her two young boys to hide in some holes dug into the dirt. She said that her life was not worth much, and she didn’t care about what the army would do to her. So her two sons jumped in the hole and they quickly covered the top of the hole with wood and dirt and branches. When the army had passed, they uncovered the hole to find both boys dead, from snakebite. Now the aunt had lost both her sons and husband, even though she herself survived the war.
Monira’s family fled through the jungle, crossing rivers and living off of a few bites of food per day. Being in the jungle was hard with the snakes and mosquitoes and with the uncertainty of not knowing who was friend or foe. After the war, Morina’s mother and her family returned to their village. In the house that they had rented, they found a skeleton, in the kneeling position of prayer. It was the landlord. The Pakistanis had tied him up and shot him in that position. Monira’s mother got upset at seeing all the corpses and refused to look. But one of the older family members admonished her, “Look! Remember!” Then you can tell your children all that happened.”
So now I know the story too. 3 million Bengalis were killed in that war. And it is estimated that 200,000-400,000 women were raped during that 9 month period. War is never pretty, and unless we face the gory details, we will forget that fact.