একাত্তরের প্রবন্ধ - ০১ » Bangladesh: Aftermath of Rape

এম. এম. আর. জালাল এর ছবি
লিখেছেন এম. এম. আর. জালাল (তারিখ: শনি, ২৯/০৯/২০০৭ - ১:৪২অপরাহ্ন)

Bangladesh: Aftermath of Rape

Harji Malik

Dacca: She lay on a mattress on the floor of a house in suburban Dacca, silent, watching -- one of seven teenage girls. Three of them slept the sleep of exhaustion, the child faces pale and wan. One youngster sat by the window, dark eyes bright in the thin face, her hair cropped short. She was barely 13, the others no older than 16. Each had had an abortion five or six days earlier and now they were recuperating.

They were among the first cases treated by the clinic set up in Dacca by the Bangladesh Central Organisation for Women's Rehabilitation and the International Planned Parenthood Federation. The very first case was a 12-year-old illiterate child whose parents were reported killed by the Pakistan Army. "Somehow she wandered. across Bangladesh and landed in our clinic. It must have been God or animal instinct which brought her to us," said one of the clinic staff. The estimated number of women needing help is 200,000 -- a figure assessed by sending investigators to as many villages and towns as possible, and not considered exaggerated by British and American doctors working in the clinic -- and the organisation is finding the task difficult.

Behind the self-imposed isolation is a horrifying story of lust and brutality throughout the nine months the Pakistan Army occupied what is now Bangladesh. There was the girl who told Sister Margaret Mary of Dacca's Mother Theresa's Home that she was raped in front of her father, who was forced to watch at the point of a gun. She is not pregnant but she feels an overwhelming humiliation. "I wanted to kill myself," she said. "But I am the family's only breadwinner and I thought of what would happen to them if I was gone. But I ask why isn't something done to the people who did these terrible things?"

Another young woman was raped in front of her husband. Then they took him away and killed him. "I put my sari around my throat to strangle myself. But I saw my three little children and I could not do it. Many times during those days I started to kill myself, but every time the thought of my children stopped me."

Sister Margaret Mary says there is no such thing as the most terrible story. "Each one is the greatest human tragedy." No woman was safe during the nightmare of occupation. A wife travelling with her husband in a rickshaw was dragged out, taken away or raped on the street, killed or left alive at the soldiers' whim. Girls waiting for buses to go to school were picked up and never seen again. A European working in a factory near Dacca describes how a jeep full of soldiers saw a young girl on the road. They stopped; each one raped her on the spot several times. Then they killed her and drove away.
More than a year has passed since the terror was launched on the night of March 25, but the victims of rape and torture, some as young as 7 or 8, are still in hospitals, The massive rehabilitation has been tackled with courage. The Government has named those who have suffered War Heroines and Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has given the lead along with his wife, who is deeply involved in the rehabilitation work.

This is no time for sanctimonious attitudes and a false sense of morality. The only consideration is the life and future of thousands of young women and this has been generally accepted. In the face of the emergency, Bangladesh to all intents and purposes has legalised abortion for rape. No actual ordinance has been passed for fear of provoking resistance from conservatives who still distrust the idea of legal abortion, though the Government has given its unofficial blessing.

All the authorities can do is spread the word that the facilities exist, though providing them is even difficult because some of the worst brutalities were committed in the remotest villages. Communications, never very good in Bangladesh, are at present totally dislocated. The Bangladesh Central Organisation for Women's Rehabilitation has coordinated all agencies engaged in the work, and the Dacca clinic is the first in a chain. As soon as it opened, 25 to 40 women came daily to the reception centre and the number has increased.

Complete privacy is observed; no names, only numbers is the rule. Clinics are planned for every district. The new American technique is used which allows successful and relatively easy abortion for advanced pregnancies of six to eight months. But communications and transport are major obstacles for special equipment, and trained doctors are required. And time is running out for thousands of girls.
Organisations are on hand to take care of babies, but here again the problem is to locate them.

Medical treatment is not the only need. Thousands will need care and understanding for a long time to rebuild their shattered lives, to become normal, human beings again. What happens to the 15-year-old who told a journalist: "My 9-year-old sister was dragged out of the room and ravished by all the soldiers in front of me till she was nearly dead. Then they disembowelled her and cut her into pieces with their bayonets. They shot my father and mother"? The girl herself was taken away to the barracks and raped every night.

What of the 11-year-old now lying in hospital, her body covered with wounds, who was violated repeatedly? Even if her body recovers, what of her mind? Offered a blanket in the hospital, one girl said wonderingly: "Only a few days ago I did not feel the cold lying naked on the wet floor of the bunker." There is another, a university student, who keeps repeating: "What happened to me? Why did it happen? How did it happen? Where was I?"

Far Eastern Economic Review
Reference: Vol. 76, No. 17, 22 Apr 1972, 19


হাসান মোরশেদ এর ছবি

I put my sari around my throat to strangle myself. But I saw my three little children and I could not do it. Many times during those days I started to kill myself, but every time the thought of my children stopped me."

যেনো আমি আমার মা'কেই পাঠ করলাম ।
ধন্যবাদ জালাল ভাই । প্রতিদিন না হোক,প্রায়ই এরকম মনে করিয়ে দিন ।
মানুষ এখনো বালক,এখনো কেবলি সম্ভাবনা
ফুরোয়নি তার আয়ু

জীবনযাপনে আজ যতো ক্লান্তি থাক,
বেঁচে থাকা শ্লাঘনীয় তবু ।।

জিফরান খালেদ এর ছবি

আমি যুদ্ধ এবং এর রেখে যাওয়া ক্ষতসমূহ, কোনো এক কারণে তীব্র দৈহিক সুখের জন্যে আমাদের, মানুষ যার নাম, অন্তহীন লালসাকে মানবসভ্যতার অনিবার্য আচরণ হিশেবে মেনে নিয়েছি অনেকদিন। মাঝে এইসকল (অম্লানে উচ্চারণ...) কিছুকে আমি সংশয়ী কার্যকারণ ও ঘটনা-নৈর্বত্যিকতায় দেখার চেষ্টা করে গেছি। কেন, কে জানে।

তবুও কেন বারবার এইসকল ঘটনা ও মুখ মনে করে করে তীব্র কষ্ট হয়? জ্বালা করা ক্রোধে মাথায় খুন চাপে? কেন?

কি হবে এইসব বলে... কি হবে আর...

জালাল ভাই, ধন্যবাদ।

তারেক এর ছবি

ভরসা থাকুক টেলিগ্রাফের তারে বসা ফিঙের ল্যাজে

ভরসা থাকুক টেলিগ্রাফের তারে বসা ফিঙের ল্যাজে

সৌরভ এর ছবি

"What happened to me? Why did it happen? How did it happen? Where was I?"

মা, ক্ষমা করো।
কোন উত্তর জানি না।

আমি ও আমার স্বপ্নেরা লুকোচুরি খেলি

আবার লিখবো হয়তো কোন দিন

বিপ্লব রহমান এর ছবি

শ্রদ্ধেয় জালাল ভাই,

লেখাটি আগেই পড়েছি; এখন আবারো পড়লাম। কি ভয়ংকর মর্মস্পর্শী লেখনি!

ন্যাশনাল জিওগ্রাফি পত্রিকার একটি দল ১৯৭২ সালে বাংলাদেশে আসে মহান মুক্তিযুদ্ধের মধ্য দিয়ে সদ্য স্বাধীন হওয়া একটি দেশের স্বরূপ দেখার জন্য। ইউলিয়াম এলস ফিরে গিয়ে পত্রিকায় একটি প্রচ্ছদ প্রতিবেদন করেন -'বাংলাদেশ: একটি নতুন রাষ্ট্রের স্বপ্ন লালন করছে'-শিরোনামে।

আটাশ পৃষ্ঠার ওই প্রচ্ছদ কাহিনীর সঙ্গে ভিয়েতনাম যুদ্ধের আলোকচিত্রী ডিক ডুরেন্স এর দুর্দান্ত চার রঙা সাতচল্লিশটি সংযুক্ত করা হয়।

তো এই পোস্টে আপনি যে ছবিটি ব্যবহার করেছেন, খুঁজে দেখি সেটি আলোকচিত্রী ডিক ডুরেন্স এর তোলা; ছবিটি ন্যাট-জিও'র ওই সংখ্যায় প্রকাশিত হয়েছে।

এ বিষয়ে আমার একটি লেখা পড়তে পারেন -- এখানে

একটা ঘাড় ভাঙা ঘোড়া, উঠে দাঁড়ালো
একটা পাখ ভাঙা পাখি, উড়াল দিলো...

নতুন মন্তব্য করুন

এই ঘরটির বিষয়বস্তু গোপন রাখা হবে এবং জনসমক্ষে প্রকাশ করা হবে না।