The Blame Game: War and Violence in Dilruba Z. Araâ€™s <I>Blame</I>
Contemporary studies pertaining to the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh by South Asian women writers have ignited reinvestigation into the intensity of violence, rape and attribution of blame. Ethnicity based gendered violence in 1971 and the sudden shift in the attribution of the blame are some of the issues that have also been dealt with by a few Bangladeshi diasporic women novelists such as Tahmima Anam and Dilruba Z. Ara in their post-2000 novels written in English. Dilruba Z. Ara, a Swedish-Bangladeshi novelist, in her novel Blame (2015) emphasises that the blame game is a significant repercussion of war. Ara clarifies that Bengali people blamed Pakistanis for the 1971 genocide whereas Pakistanis blamed Bengali nationalists for not abiding by the Pakistani nationality. This novel, in the form of a Bildungsroman, is divided into three parts which narrate the journey of the female protagonist from the bondage of patriarchy towards a liberal life, her engagement in the war and her sexual victimisation in the same war. The mass killing of civilians, plundering of the country and victimisation of women do not end with the war; rather the blame game continues during the war resolution process. Courageous women in the war such as Araâ€™s protagonist Laila and her friend Gita are blamed for their own victimisation. In the context of how the blame game became an important tool to nullify gendered violence in the 1971 war, the paper intends to reread Araâ€™s novel Blame.
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