The Colonel Who Would Not Repent


Author: Salil Tripathi

9789382277187 | HB | pp. 400 | 2014 | Aleph Book Company

In this book the author brings together the narrative skill of a novelist and the analytical tools of a political journalist to give us the story of a nation that is absorbing, haunting and illuminating.

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Between March and December 1971, the Pakistani army committed atrocities on an unprecedented scale in the country’s eastern wing. Pakistani troops and their collaborators were responsible for countless deaths and cases of rape. Clearly, religion alone wasn’t enough to keep Pakistan’s 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 country’s charismatic first prime minister and most of his family, the coups and counter-coups which followed, accompanied by long years of military rule were individually and collectively responsible for the country’s 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 blood-soaked past through controversial tribunals prosecuting war crimes, Salil Tripathi travels the length and breadth of the country probing the country’s 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.

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Salil Tripathi




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About the Author

Salil Tripathi was born in Bombay, India. He is a contributing editor at Mint and at Caravan in India. In the UK, he was board member of English PEN from 2009 to 2013, and with novelist Kamila Shamsie, he co-chaired PEN’s Writers-at-Risk Committee. In November 2011, he won the third prize at the Bastiat Awards for Journalism about free societies, in New York. In 1994 in Hong Kong, he received one of the awards at the Citibank Pan Asia Journalism Awards for economic journalism. He was a correspondent in India from 1987 to 1990 and moved to Singapore (and later Hong Kong) from 1991 to 1999. He moved to London in 1999.


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