Sarmila Bose

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Sarmila Bose is an American journalist and academic of Indian origin. She is currently a senior research associate at the Centre for International Studies in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford.[1] She is the author of Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War, a controversial book on the Bangladesh Liberation War that accuses both sides of war crimes.[2][3]

Life and career[edit]

The grandniece of Indian nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose and granddaughter of nationalist Sarat Chandra Bose, Bose is the daughter of former Trinamool Congress parliamentarian Krishna Bose and paediatrician Sisir Kumar Bose. Bose's brother, Sumantra Bose, teaches at the London School of Economics.[4][5] Her brother Sugata Bose is a member of Indian parliament since 2014.[6] She was born in Boston, but grew up in Calcutta, returning to the US for higher studies. She obtained a bachelor's degree in history from Bryn Mawr College, and a master's and doctorate from Harvard University in Political Economy and Government.[1][7][1]

Sarmila Bose was a political journalist in India, working for Ananda Bazar Patrika. After her higher studies, she has held teaching and research positions at Harvard University, Warwick University, George Washington University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and Oxford University.[7]


In her book, Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War, Bose claims that atrocities were committed by both sides in a conflict that has been "dominated by the narrative of the victorious side". While the book does not exonerate the West Pakistani forces, it claims that the army officers "turned out to be fine men doing their best to fight an unconventional war within the conventions of warfare". The book was criticised by Naeem Mohaiemen in the BBC for an alleged bias in the selection of her sources.[2] Bose has also been criticized for her analysis of the 1971 Bangladesh genocide in Economic & Political Weekly.[8] She has responded to three of her most notable critics — Naeem Mohaiemen, Urvashi Butalia, and Srinath Raghavan — in the same publication.[9]

Bose advocated for the sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan, together with William Milam, the ex-US Ambassador to Pakistan, in 2005,[10] in their article, The right stuff: F-16s to Pakistan is wise decision.[11]

She has also authored Money, Energy, and Welfare: the state and the household in India's rural electrification policy, published by Oxford University Press in 1993.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Oxford University Faculty Bio
  2. ^ a b Lawson, Alastair (16 June 2011). "Controversial book accuses Bengalis of 1971 war crimes". BBC. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  3. ^ Sarmila Bose, Myth-busting the Bangladesh war of 1971, Al Jazeera, 9 May 2011.
  4. ^ Anjali Puri, Lunch With BS: Sugata Bose, Business Standard, 4 March 2016.
  5. ^ Bhaumik, Subir (29 April 2011). "Book, film greeted with fury among Bengalis". aljazeera. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Election results: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's grandnephew Sugata Bose wins from Bengal's Jadavpur". Times of India.
  7. ^ a b Bio,, Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  8. ^ Mohaiemen, Naeem (2011-09-03). "Flying Blind: Waiting for a Real Reckoning on 1971". Economic & Political Weekly. 46 (36): 40–52. Retrieved 2015-03-19.
  9. ^ Bose, Sarmila (2011-12-31). "'Dead Reckoning': A Response". Economic & Political Weekly. 46 (53): 76–79. Retrieved 2015-03-19.
  10. ^ Sobhan, Zafar. "Bose is more Pakistani than Jinnah the Quaid". The Sunday Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  11. ^ Milam, William (11 April 2005). "The right stuff: F-16s to Pakistan is wise decision". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  12. ^ WorldCat item record