“A Mine of Thieves”: Interrogating Local Politics
This chapter maps out the postconflict local politics of Enayetpur, which is the context within which the experiences and tactics of the birangonas can be comprehended. It explores the various processes of “trouble-talk” through which the war heroines and the villagers of Enayetpur craft themselves through the state rhetoric in their engagement with the national and local power matrixes. The rhetorics of respect economy and expectation economy give rise to contestations among the villagers in Enayetpur. The chapter also examines the experience of the birangonas meeting the prime minister (chakhash) and their visions of national and local politics. Through this meeting the women are also able to discern the ways in which the history of rape is being combed—hidden and found—by state authorities and activist groups. The chapter explores the functionings of democratic politics, the micropolitics of everyday state making, and its impact on the public memory of wartime rape.