Sarmila Bose

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Sarmila Bose (born July 4, 1959, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) is an Indian journalist, academic and senior research associate at the Centre for International Studies in Oxford University.[1] She is the author of the controversial[2] book, Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War and of Money, energy, and welfare : the state and the household in India's rural electrification policy, published by Oxford University Press in 1993.[3] Bose, advocated for the sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan, together with ex-US Ambassador in Pakistan, William Milam in 2005,[4] in their article, The right stuff: F-16s to Pakistan is wise decision.[5] Bose has been criticized for her view of Genocide denial in 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.[6]


She had her schooling in Modern High School, Kolkata. She received her BA from Bryn Mawr College and master's and PhD from Harvard University in political economy. regime. She has recently completed the Legal Practice Course at City University.


Her parents were Sisir Kumar Bose, a pediatrician and Krishna Bose, professor of English, writer and politician.[7] Her paternal grandfather Sarat Chandra Bose was a barrister and a nationalist leader of distinction, who was also the brother of famous Subhas Chandra Bose. Her mother's two uncles were writer Nirad Chaudhuri and pioneer pediatrician K. C. Chaudhuri. Her two brothers are well-known academicians: Sugata Bose, a noted historian of South Asia and Indian Ocean history, is the Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History, and Sumantra Bose, professor of international and comparative politics at the London School of Economics.

She is married to Alan Rosling, an executive director of the Tata Group and has three sons.


Bose's study has been criticized by various historians and academics for numerous inaccuracies and excessive reliance on Pakistani military and government sources. Researchers have accused her of flawed and biased methodology, historical revisionism and downplaying war crimes.[8][9][10][11][12] In several cases, she misquoted her interviewees and other academics that she cites as reference.[13] Bose's impartiality has also been questioned due to her role as an advocate of US arms sales to Pakistan.[4][14][15][16][5][6]

Bose is enthusiastic in her admiration for the commanding general of the Pakistan forces during 1971 war in East Pakistan, Lt. Gen. Niazi, whom she describes as having a "distinguished past and a tragic fate." However, this conflicts even with Pakistani General's view about Niazi's character (not his career as a general). According to Pakistani Brigadier F.B. Ali, "'Tiger' Niazi was a disgrace to the uniform. He was a fraud, a lecher and a coward. When he was General Officer Commanding (GOC) 10 Division, it was well known in the garrison (I was there) that his staff car would often be found standing in Heera Mandi (Lahore's red light district). As GOC EP he used to go around visiting troops and asking JCOs: how many Bengali women have you raped? When discussing his surrender with the Indian general, he tried to ingratiate himself by telling dirty jokes."[11]


  1. ^ Oxford University Faculty Bio
  2. ^ Lawson, Alastair (16 June 2011). "Controversial book accuses Bengalis of 1971 war crimes". BBC. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  3. ^ WorldCat item record
  4. ^ a b Sobhan, Zafar. "Bose is more Pakistani than Jinnah the Quaid". The Sunday Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Milam, William (April 11, 2005). "The right stuff: F-16s to Pakistan is wise decision". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Nasir, ABM (14 March 2011). "Return of Sarmila Bose". bdnews24. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Bhaumik, Subir (29 April 2011). "Book, film greeted with fury among Bengalis". aljazeera. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Naeem Mohaiemen, "Flying Blind: Waiting for a real Reckoning on 1971", Economic & Political Weekly, vol xlvi no 36, September 3, 2011
  9. ^ Sarmila Bose, "‘Dead Reckoning’: A Response"; Naeem Mohaiemen, "Another Reckoning"; Economic & Political Weekly, vol xlvi no 53, December 31, 2011.
  10. ^ Sahgal, Gita (18 December 2011). "Dead Reckoning: Disappearing stories and evidence". The Daily Star. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Zeitlin, Arnold (November 17, 2013). "Thoughts on Dead Reckoning". The Daily Star. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Unheard Voice blog has compiled some responses to Bose
  13. ^ Mohaimen, Naeem (3 October 2011). "Flying Blind: Waiting for a Real Reckoning on 1971". The Daily Star. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  14. ^ Mookherjee, Nayanika (7 Jun 2011). "This account of the Bangladesh war should not be seen as unbiased". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 Dec 2013. 
  15. ^ Raghavan, Srinath (Jul 30, 2011). "A Dhaka Debacle". The Indian Express. Retrieved Dec 19, 2013. 
  16. ^ Zia, Afia (12 January 2012). "Reading and writing 1971". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 

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