ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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'Genocide', Not 'Civil War'

In the January 26 issue you published my essay on ‘Accelerated Media and 1971’. Unfortunately, at some point in your editing process, the title of my essay was changed to ‘Accelerated Media and the 1971 Civil War in Bangladesh’. This was done without my knowledge and unfortunately has resulted in controversy among Bengali blogger circles, especially among the secular left.

In the body of the text, at various times, I used the phrases “1971 genocide”, “Bangladesh genocide”, “liberation war”, “conflict” as well as the phrase “civil war”. However, by taking the phrase “civil war” and elevating it to the title, EPW has inadvertently made that phrase into a symbol for my overall assessment of the 1971 war. If I had wished to use an explicit descriptor in the title, I would have chosen “1971 genocide” and not “civil war”.

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