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One war often merges into another. One lonely journey subsumes the anger of a million footsteps. When Safia Begum walked out of the New Eskaton mansion in the middle of the night with her young son, to protest her husband’s second marriage, she had no idea the war in her inner courtyard would one day merge with her land’s bloody battle for freedom.
Anisul Hoque’s Freedom’s Mother traces the invisible link between a gutsy woman’s rebellion and a people’s fight for independence. Long before women’s rights became a fashionable term, Safia Begum protected her dignity as a wife and turned her back on the security of a lavish home. It was only natural that the rough and raw of war would enter her distressed household. Her only child joined the guerrilla campaign and she did not hold him back. Her home doubled up as a guerrilla base. After Azad was captured by the army, Safia Begum met him in the lockup. “Baba, I hope you have not given away your friends in the face of torture,” she told him, blowing away the last chance to save him.
In the backdrop of the 1971 Bangladesh War, Freedom’s Mother is an epic tale of a frail woman’s heroism that captures the pulse of an extraordinary time.
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