The war has made me stronger
Ferdousy Priyabhashini tells New AgeCultural Corresponded
Eminent sculptor Ferdousy Priyabhashini is a victim of the brutality of Pakistani army and its local collaborators during the war of independence in 1971.
She was abducted from her house in Khulna in May 1971 when she worked at the Crescent Jute Mills in Khalishpur and was captivated at a detention camp for seven months during the war.
Ferdousy Priyabhashini shared her horrifying experiences and the post war realities in an interview with New Age.
‘I was 24 years old when the war began. I had to take the responsibility of my family of three children, an aged mother and two siblings as I got separated from my husband before the war. The local collaborators took this opportunity and abducted me from my home on a false charge of murder. They took me to a torture cell of the barbaric Pakistani army,’ Ferdousy Priyabhashini told New Age.
‘I was tortured along with countless other Bangalee women at the camp,’ she added.
Priyabhashini further said that she saw the Pakistani soldiers carry truckload of freedom fighters with black clothes covering their heads. ‘I even saw the barbaric force and their collaborators slaughtering them and throwing their bodies into the river,’ Priyabhashini said.
Ferdousy Priyabhashini got released from the ‘hellish camp’ after the country was liberated.
But, her misery continued even after the war. ‘My war for survival continued even after the end of the war of independence. When I joined the mill, my colleagues used to look down on me as I was captivated in the detention camp. That experience was even worse than the hellish days in the camp. Marrying me, AT Ahmedullah Ahmed, helped me rehabilitate in the society. But, both of us were ostracised. He was even deprived of his ancestral property for marrying me, a Birangana,’ lamented Priyabhashini.
She found consolation in art, which she still continues. ‘I find peace in my sculptures through which I try to inspire people to survive and overcome the brutal realities,’ Ferdousy Priyabhashini told New Age.
Ferdausy Priyabhashini was never ashamed of her brutal experiences in the camp rather she testified the atrocity of the Pakistani army and its collaborators in a book titled Tormenting Seventy One, edited Shahriar Kabir and published by Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee in 1999.
The proud Birangana says, ‘The war made me stronger. The love I have got from the people is unparallel and I have nothing more to want.’
‘I will rest in peace seeing the punishment of the war criminals,’ Ferdausy Priyabhashini hopes.
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