War Trauma in Tahmima Anam’s The Good Muslim | An Analysis of The Good Muslim
This research work investigates trauma of the characters, analyzes their traumatic memories and the recovery or the healing from them in Anam’s The Good Muslim. Central to Anam’s narrative, death and memory embody the root of the trauma of the lead figures. It is a story about faith and family shadowed by a war. The family, that has taken active part in the war of independence, has now to face the challenge of peace, within and outside. Maya returns home after almost a decade of absence and finds her beloved brother Sohail completely transformed. She still has the same revolutionary zeal, but Sohail has resorted to religiosity in its puritanical form. The ideological difference between him and his sister creates a deep seated schism in their minds. This difference is the central conflict in The Good Muslim. They have charted their own ways, opposite to each other’s, of moving forward in the shadow of the tortuous history. Maya is a liberal-minded ‘village doctor’ who helps women victims of war. She performs abortions so that the women who had conceived as a result of rape do not have to carry the stigma. Thus she witnesses misery all the time, everywhere. On the other hand, Sohail’s way of being a good Muslim is different from his sister’s. If the Maya has followed the path of helpfulness for the needy people, Sohail has embraced an extreme version of Islam, which shuns the joyful life filled with music, friends and liberal values. Sohail wants to send his son to a madrasa and, as a result, a conflict ensues between them and comes to a devastating climax.
The study of memory has become popular in recent years, as socially significant incidents have made it relevant to scholars and critics responding to the debates on postmodernist representations. This interest in memory builds on the work of Maurice Halbwachs, a French Sociologist and student of Emile Durkheim from the interwar period. Unlike Henri Bergson and Sigmund Freud, Halbwachs argues that collective memory is socially constructed, and that “the idea of an individual memory absolutely separate from social memory, is an abstraction almost devoid of meaning” (Quoted in Paul Connerton, 37).This assumption has since been backed up by evidence from a variety of fields and is usually taken for granted in contemporary memory studies.
Despite these early foundations, there was a little interest in Halbwachs and his work until after he died at Auschwitz in 1944, and it was not until late in the twentieth century that memory became an important topic of interest in European society and among academics. The ground for this interest was prepared by the events of May 1968, the rise of anti-colonial struggles, and as Resina puts it in the book Disremembering the Dictatorship: The Politics of Memory in the Spanish Transition to Democracy, “the resurfacing of suppressed national concerns among subjugated European peoples on both sides of the Iron Curtain” (1). This change was also driven by a growing interest in family trees, autobiographies and museums, as well as the publication of Pierre Nora’s Lieux de mémoire and other socially and culturally significant works such as Yosef Yerushalmi’s Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory, which identified memory as a more primitive and even sacred form of progression, remembrance different from the modern historical consciousness.
This is similar to the situation of Maya in the novel when she returns home. She finds her hometown completely different from that of her past memory. The novelist writes:
The two room house she had rented now stood empty, its rough concrete floor swept and washed. And the verandah where she had seen her patients, that too had been cleared, the examination table, the small stand on which she kept her equipment, the wooden chair on which she draped her white jacket at the end of the day, ballpoint clicked shut in its pocket. [. . . ] There is nothing darker than a moonless night in Rajhshahi. (8)
The above words express the traumatic experience that Maya feels. It is memory that makes her more traumatic. The memory of the beautiful past and its replacement with something unexpected makes the protagonist feel traumatic. Her trauma gets to the climax when she finds her brother becomes a Muslim.
An individual or a social or a cultural group can be traumatized due to the shock they receive and the shock keeps repeating because of the painful memory. Trauma can be physical, psychological, cultural and national. Ron Eyerman clarifies the nature of some of the trauma categories:
As opposed to psychological or physical trauma, which involves a wound and the experience of great emotional anguish by an individual, cultural trauma refers to a dramatic loss of identity and meaning, a tear in the social fabric, affecting a group of people that has achieved some degree of cohesion. In this sense, the trauma need not necessarily be felt by everyone in a community or experienced directly by any or all. While it may be necessary to establish some event as the significant “cause,” its traumatic meaning must be established and accepted, a process which requires time, as well as mediation and representation. (2)
Physical trauma is the result of the outward injuries or shock while the psychological trauma is the psychological suffering caused by some heart shattering factors like deaths, accidents and so on. As opposed to them, cultural trauma is the result of shock on particular cultural group like genocide, holocaust and so on.
This fact is evident in the context of the novel. After the war ends, youths involved in war begin to return their home. Their mothers begin to look towards the road they would come. The novelist writes:
It was a winter of return, mothers waiting at home preparing elaborate meals with the leftover war rations, straining their eyes to the road, jumping at the slightest sound. Inevitably, the moment of homecoming did not happen in the way they imagined, with the young boy returning to a fragrant house, rice on the table, everyone washed and smiling. (26-27)
Though these lines seem to be happy ones, they are really traumatic. The mothers are waiting for their sons to return back their home. The pain of waiting someone is very unbearable. Moreover these youths are returning from war; their family must have lost the hope of their return. These lines of the novel imply that though the moment of being away from near and dear ones was very difficult, the characters want to forget that very pain with some favorite dish of their culture. They also try to forget the trauma of war by this.
Trauma has been defined by many of the scholars. Jon G. Allen in Coping with Trauma: Hope through Understanding elaborates overwhelming experience of trauma:
By definition, traumatic experience overwhelms us when it occurs. Sadly, trauma does not necessarily end when the traumatic situation is long past. Many traumatized persons continue to re-experience the trauma whenever memories of the event are evoked. Along with the memories come painful emotions and the sense of helplessness. (79)
Along with the characteristic of the overwhelming nature of trauma, Allen points to the other characters like recurrence and re-experience of the traumatic experiences and the painful memories and sense of helplessness coming out of the memories. People are much traumatized by the recalling of some painful events in their life.
Such traumatic experiences are all found in Maya and Sohail, so we can easily term them as the traumatized characters. When Maya returns back her house after long time the war is over, the writer describes her feelings:
She had loved this house once. It was the only place where she could conjure up the memory of her father- his elbows on the dining table, his footsteps on the verandah. Sliding off his chappals and raising his feet on to the bed. The smell of his tweed suit on a humid day. And lodged into the bone of this house was every thought and hope and bewildered fantasy she had ever harboured about her life, about the war she had fought and won, about the woman and man she had imagined she and her brother would become; but after it was all over, the killing and the truce and the redrawing of the boarder, he had gone one way, and she another. And she had foreseen none of it. (13-14)
These lines of the novel clearly show that traumatic experience of the war period overwhelms Maya when she comes back her house. She remembers her past days that her family had spent in the house, and her father, who is already dead, comes in her memory. This memory badly traumatizes her as Allen says “trauma does not necessarily end when the traumatic situation is long past”. Though her father had died long past, the trauma does not end in her. She continues to re-experience that very trauma whenever memories of such events are evoked in her mind. She feels herself as helpless with such painful past memories.
The traumatic memory is presented in flashbacks technique in the novel. Anam uses flashbacks to connect and gel the stories of Maya and Sohail. Flashback generally interrupts the narrative chronology and takes the readers back to an incident that happened before the main time frame of action. The flashbacks in the novel are not in chronological order, but jump from time to time, from one event to another. Jon G. Allen’s observes flashbacks as: “Like other memories, flashbacks vary in historical accuracy and may blend memory, emotion, imagery, and fantasy. At worst, in a full-blown flashback, you may lose contact with current reality, superimposing traumatic images on the current situation” (84). The flashbacks may blend memory, emotion, imagery, and fantasy but they connect the narrative to the past and present.
Pioneer of trauma studies, Caruth, in her interview with Aimee L. Pozorski defines trauma that trauma has the historicity and it has different symptoms like appearing, disappearing, returning and so on:
Trauma . . . has a history, that it appears on the scene, disappears, returns, etc.– and perhaps changes in nature – is important to think about and raises the question of which conceptual framework would be able to account for such a history. Since the notion of trauma, as a delayed experience, is itself a rethinking of the relation between history and temporality, it is quite possible that we could not understand the concept’s own vicissitudes without at the very least taking into account the framework provided by trauma theory itself. (78)
Basically, Caruth focuses of the historicity, changing nature and delayed experience of trauma. It is rethinking of a relationship between history and temporality and the need of its own methodology to understand it.
In the context of the novel, Maya has the same situation. When she returns back home she recollects many things of the past there. The novelist writes, “On her way home, Maya recalled the last time she had seen Joy. Sheikh Mujib had been released from jail in Pakistan and was arriving in Dhaka that morning. People were lining up along the streets all the way from the airport to Road 32 in Dhanmondi, where he lived. (47)” Here, Maya’s recollections of the past are because of the trauma she had throughout the days she had to be away from her dear hometown. Similarly, Mujib’s past is connected to the history.
Cathy Caruth further clarifies the methodology of the inquiry into the trauma. She distinguishes the historicity of trauma in two different ways. The first is based on cultural, ideological significance and the second is based on the philosophical conception of time. In the interview, she further explains:
This inquiry would involve examining the history of trauma in (at least) two somewhat different ways: on the one hand, in the context of various empirical, cultural, and ideological events . . . and, on the other hand, as a conceptual event in itself, the shock to thinking occasioned by the introduction of this strange notion of temporality that does not seem integratable into traditional philosophical . . . conceptions of time. (CR 78)
The historicity of trauma could be seen, according to Caruth in two ways: the first, according to their cultural, ideological significance and the second the philosophical conception of time.
The trauma after the loss is presented in the novel giving it the historical and ideological dimension. The whole novel is based on the historical events that took place in Bangladesh. This novel has a historical sweep that ranges from the Liberation War that left the nation’s freedom fighters – the book’s central characters – so psychologically ravaged, to the political turmoil, military coups and counter-coups of two subsequent decades. It ends in 1992, just after Bangladesh re-establishes its parliamentary democracy – a happy ending, of sorts.
The historicity of trauma in Anam’s narrative, goes exactly where Caruth points out that trauma has “a history, that it appears on the scene, disappears, returns, etc.– and perhaps changes in nature” (78). Anam sets her novel in Bangladesh during the 1970s and 1980s, depicting the different ways Maya and Sohail survive the war and the ensuing Mujib dictatorship. Finishing her work in refugee camps, Maya is the first to return to Dhaka in 1972. She and her mother, Rehana, have a long wait for Sohail, who finally reappears, a silent wraith wracked by the revolutionary violence in which he was both victim and perpetrator. Slowly, surprisingly, he surfaces from traumatized muteness to become a charismatic preacher. Here comes the “change in nature”.
Trauma is pervasive and the forgetting plays crucial role for the recovery of the victim from the traumatic memory. Sharing traumatized people’s sufferings, Margalit shares with readers the importance and the ethically correct edge of forgetting. Jon G. Allen has pointed to the pervasiveness of trauma around the world:
Trauma happens. Traumatic events are ubiquitous. Just turn on the news. A typical day’s fare may include floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, car crashes, plane crashes, train wrecks, rapes, kidnappings, assaults, murders, school shootings, terrorist attacks, and war-related mayhem. (5)
Since the accidents and natural disasters are pervasive and ubiquitous, trauma is bound to be universal. Anything can result into trauma into the characters.
In the context of the novel, the characters are traumatized because of war. War has killed many of the characters’ family members and has made them traumatic. Anam presents many minor characters to reveal the universality of trauma. It is not only one family losing its member but so many families have lost their members. The writer presents the story of Joy for example:
Now, Maya counted Joy’s losses and stacked them up against her own. He had lost his borther in the fighting, and then, after being captured by the army, he had come home to find his father gone. She was comforted by the nearness of this man, this man who had survived far worse than she. (49)
These lines make it clear that it is not only Maya who is traumatized, but also there are other characters more traumatized than her. So, war is the factor that traumatizes not only an individual but also everyone in the society.
Anam presents trauma as a universal phenomenon. It not only affects an individual and a limited culture but the people from the whole world. The researcher has found this concept of the writer through the painful story of a woman presented in the novel. The writer writes:
… Maya saw a woman couching on a front lawn. She watched as the woman grabbed a fistful of grass and stuffed it quickly into her mouth, her eyes darting here and there. Although by then Maya had witnessed all manner of misery, all through the war and the summer after, when the rice dried in the fields and people flooded the city with salt crusted around their mouths, it was that woman, caught under the glare of high summer,….(57)
The natural calamity has been symbolically presented here. Trauma here has been brought by natural disaster as claimed by Jon G. Allen. The characters suffer due to some natural disaster. Similarly, this woman must have been mad due to some deep shock. Only animals eat grass not human beings in their conscious and sane condition. As Judith Lewis Herman explains, “Traumatic events produce profound and lasting changes in physiological arousal, emotion, cognition, and memory. Moreover, traumatic events may sever these normally integrated functions from one another (34).” The result of this “severing” is that trauma victims behave “as though their nervous systems have been disconnected from the [psychological] present (35),” and their memory of trauma remains unintegrated, thus making the past functionally inaccessible. While these characteristics of trauma are exhibited primarily in individuals, trauma theory is also largely connected to historical, cultural, and mass traumas, such as holocaust.
Trauma victim must recover from the trauma. These individuals are closely connected to their societies. The problem in the recovery of trauma victims is the negative cultural representation of the nature of their trauma. Wulf Kansteiner and Harald Weilnböck “Against the Concept of Cultural Trauma” have raised the issues of and its relevance with cultural representation:
Our culture produces indeed many dubious representations of trauma that might have unwelcome or even negative effects on their audiences. But the indiscriminate rejection of narrative renders the deconstructive trauma paradigm incompatible with the results of clinical research which has shown consistently that integrating traumatic experiences within narrative frameworks is an indispensable tool of psychotherapy and that narrative forms of representation help groups and collective entities to come to terms with events of violence and its mental and social consequences. (233)
According to Wulf Kansteiner and Harald Weilnböck, integrating traumatic experiences within narrative frameworks is an indispensable tool of psychotherapy but our culture tends to indiscriminate rejection of narrative and thus, leads the recovery dysfunctional and useless. The repression of trauma is the basic cause why the trauma remains and the victims of the trauma do not recover. Their stories of the trauma need witnessing but our culture does not allow them to tell their stories of the sufferings.
Stories of Maya and Sohail, which are repressed in their unconscious, are highlighted in The Good Muslim in reference to the trauma and the loss created by war. Sohail gets thinner and thinner after he returns home from the war. He is all the time haunted by the memory of the activities he and his comrades did in the war. This memory has badly traumatized him. Anam writes:
The change in Sohail began as soon as he returned from the war. Maya and Ammoo remarked on how thin he’d become, trying to scale the distance between them by talking about his appearance. It didn’t take them long to see that he had fallen into himself- become a man of few and exact words, fastidious.
These lines show that Sohail is suffering from some traumatic experience of the war. He has got no chance of sharing the experience to anyone. He is suffering from the sense of guilt. Guilt is a kind of trauma that one cannot share openly with others. People suffer psychologically inwardly as Sohail does here.
In general psychologists and sociologists agree that trauma and event are separate. Trauma is an act of signification, hence something social. Jeffery C. Alexander stresses the social dimension even further with the notion of cultural trauma:
Cultural trauma occurs when members of a collectivism feel they have been subjected to a horrendous event that leaves indelible marks upon their group consciousness, marking their memories forever and changing their future identity in fundamental and irrevocable ways.(1)
Moreover, Alexander gives cultural trauma an ethical dimension, although he does not explicitly use the notion ethics:
Insofar as they [the collective] identify the cause of trauma, and thereby assume such moral responsibility, members of collectivism define their solidarity relationships in ways that, in principle, allow them to share the suffering of others. Is the suffering of others also our own? In thinking that it might in fact, societies expand the circle of the we. By the same token, social groups can, and often do, refuse to recognize the existence of others’ trauma and because of their failure they cannot achieve a moral stance. [….] by refusing to participate in what I will describe as the process of trauma creation, social groups restrict solidarity, leaving others to suffer alone. (ibid)
Thus, Alexander’s aim to deny that trauma is grounded in something objective (external or real) becomes a way of stressing the ethical character of the cultural trauma process. However, one of the key questions is how to ‘expand the circle of the we’ and still withhold the ethical imperative.
The writer presents exactly the same situation in the novel. Sohail and his conversion cannot be understood by his friends. They misunderstand him. Anam writes:
Sohail’s friends couldn’t understand his conversion, because they hadn’t really grasped what had come before. They had thought his life was full of happiness; they used to describe him. Happy-go-lucky. Happy and lucky, jolly and laughing, bell-bottomed. Rock and rolled. Before he found God. They remembered how good-looking he was, and that he showed his teeth when he smiled.
They had known him better, they would have seen that the teeth, the smiling, the happy and the lucky had been taken by the war. By a girl whose captors had shaved her head so that she could not hang herself. Purdah, the preaching- all of this followed naturally, filling the hole left behind by his old mutinies. (91)
These lines tell that the society cannot see an individual’s pain and suffering inside, especially individual trauma. Sohail’s friends cannot understand the reason why he transforms into a good Muslim. Though they seem to know him better, they cannot see his real problems. They cannot see how his happy-go-lucky days go away from his life.
On the other hand, Maya has transferred herself to be a doctor for women. This is her own way of being a good Muslim and serving humanity. The novelist writes:
It must have been a different boat. That journey, returning away from home, seemed a lifetime ago. She had turned to her old friend Sultana. They had volunteered together at the refugee camp during the war, Sultana shocking everyone by driving the supply truck herself. Maya always remembered what Sultana had told her that long summer before independence: that she dreamed of going home after the war, not to the city, but back to her father’s village. ‘I want to feel the earth pulling at my feet,’ she had said. After the book burning, when Maya had decided there was nothing to do but leave, she had telephoned, asking if she might come to stay. (10)
These lines show that Maya wants to get rid of war. She is volunteering for the war victims in the refugee camp. She is following a pious life by her selfless service to the needy people. At the same time, she has the memory of her parents, her village and her homeland. Their memory traumatizes her and haunts her a lot. Her righteousness can be observed further in the following lines:
Anyone could become a surgeon, but a doctor for women, a doctor who could deliver their babies and stitch their wounds afterwards and teach them about birth control- that is what they needed. She didn’t think of the debt she was repaying, that each of the babies she brought into the world might someday be counted against the babies that had died, by her hand, after the war. (11)
These lines show the difference between Sohail’s and Maya’s way of being a good Muslim. If the brother wants to be a good Muslim by reading books and giving torture to his body, the sister chooses the path of serving the humanity. If the brother chooses theoretical path, the sister chooses practical way of helping the needy people. Anyone could be a surgeon but her becoming of a gynecologist is different in purpose. It is all to serve the whole humanity.
The stories of the trauma victims or the trauma survivors are politicized by the church authorities and the administration maintains silence as the repressive strategy:
The speech of survivors, then, is highly politicized. If “telling it like it was” threatens the status quo, powerful political, economic, social forces will pressure survivors either to keep their silence or to revise their stories. If the survivor community is a marginal one, their voices will be drowned out by those with the influence and resources to silence them, and to trumpet a revised version of their trauma. Less marginal trauma survivors can sometimes band together as a community and retain a measure of control over the representation of their experience. (Tal 7)
It is clear that trauma is culturally repressed. The trauma survivors are forced to maintain their silence. It is more visible if the trauma victim is marginalized or the individual with no other person to share his/her trauma too as is the case with Maya in the novel. Maya comes traumatized from the debris of the war.
As “[t]raumatic memories lack verbal narrative and context; rather, they are encoded in the form of vivid sensations and images,” they often “resemble the memories of young children” according to Herman (38), they are necessary to address with the cultural means like memorials and bid the cultural farewell to the lost person to come out of the trauma. It gives the victim the sense of solace and the feeling of cultural communion. To address the cultural issues heal the trauma is very important because the memory is not only individual rather it also has the sense of the collective identity according to Eyerman:
Memory is usually conceived as individually based, as residing inside the heads of individuals. Theories of identity formation, socialization, tend to conceptualize memory as part of the development of self and personality. Notions of collective identity building around this model (like the collective behavior school) theorize a ‘loss of self’, and thus of the constraints of memory (as super ego or ingrained habit) in accounting for collective behavior and the formation of new collective identities. (161)
Rituals performed for the dead person are very important to establish the collective identity with him/her and the victim haunted by his/her traumatic memory.
Social, cultural and familial role play is crucial for the recovery that can be seen as a socio-drama. As per Kellerman’s concept of socio-drama, the performance of the socio-cultural mourning of the dead can be seen as socio-drama that is very important to come out of the cultural trauma:
Socio-drama focuses on the collective aspects of the roles we play. Because it does this, socio-drama can help a group to explore cultural roles and how they feel about them. An enactment can occur in which group members play roles of cultural leaders interacting with each other or with members of the community regarding a specific issue. Thus, in a socio-drama, a person is not acting out his/her own life story. He is playing a role as it is codetermined by group members. (17)
The major function of socio-drama is to focus on social, cultural and familial role play. Here, an individual plays one’s role as per the demand of the society and the culture.
This is evident in the context of the novel. Sohail plays the role of cultural leader to lead the Muslim community to be better. He practices the best form of a Muslim and wants others to be like him eliminating their misconceptions towards other religious communities. The novelist writes:
He recited words from the Torah, the Gita, the Bible. He praised the prophets of old, Ram and Odysseus, Jesus and Arjun, the Buddha and Guru Nanak. They were all messengers of God, in their way. Separate in time, diverse in their teaching, yet equal in their desire for human betterment. He spoke to those, like Kona, who had never thought seriously about their faith; he read to them from the Qur’an, and told them stories about the place where the warring tribes of the Quraysh came together in the shadow of the Ka’bah. (166)
By reciting the words from different holy books and narrating the stories of different religious heroes from different religions, Sohail is trying to eliminate the sense of hatred from the heart of the people from his Muslim community. These people have strong sense of hatred towards Hindus, Christians and other religious community. If the enmity to other religion is swept off from their mind, he believes their trauma will certainly be overcome.
Based on discoveries into trauma’s inner workings, Laurie Vickory asserts that the goal of much recently published literature is to “help readers to access traumatic experiences,” particularly through the use of fictional trauma narratives. However, Vickory also points out that the authors of such narratives do more than simply write about trauma: “They [also] internalize the rhythms, processes, and uncertainties of traumatic experience within their underlying sensibilities and structures” (3). In her analysis, Vickory establishes several broad aims and characteristics of trauma narratives. The most crucial of these is that they “raise important questions and responsibilities associated with the writing and reading trauma as they position their readers in ethical dilemmas analogous to those of trauma survivors (1).
Anam in her novel also does the same. She makes her readers serious about war and its consequences in people’s life. Maya and Sohail are only the representative characters presented in the novel. There are hundreds of brothers and sisters who are traumatized by war. Their family is the representative of many families distorted and traumatized by war. It is not only Bangladeshi war but all wars are destructive and bring into trauma hard to be beard by any character. By reading such literature, readers really develop a sense of consciousness against war. This is what The Good Muslim as a piece of literature does.
In their readings, both the readers and writers should be conscious of the traumatized characters ethically because they are in the ethical dilemma. The actions of characters in the novel may lead us to questions to address ethically. The narrative structure imitates intrusive trauma symptoms and the childlike perceptions represent the nature of pre-narrative, unintegrated traumatic memories. Additionally, victims of trauma “carry an impossible history within them, or they become themselves the symptom of a history that they cannot entirely possess” (5). So the first part of the story is narrated by omniscient non-participant narrator because this is the only sort of narrator who would have access to those specific memories from which trauma has disconnected the characters, as well as the historical perspective and implications of the trauma.
Anam’s narrator is also an omniscient non-participant narrator who knows in detail about every character and the activities they do. Anam begins her narrative: “Eight days after the end of the war, Sohail Haque stands in a field of dying mustard. The petals of the mustard flower, dried to dust, tickle his nose and remind him of the scent of meat he has not tasted in several months.” (3) The characters are the historical characters since they play a crucial role in the history of a nation. Though their mission is the same, their later actions and paths separate them from each other. The paths that Sohail and Maya follow after they involve in the Independence War of 1971 are the two distinct paths. It makes the readers to think seriously and ethically to decide which path is the right one. Not only the readers but also the writer is in dilemma which path to choose. It is an ethical issue.
The society is a theatre as a whole and the activities performed in the society can be taken as theatrical activities. As a drama reforms a society, good practices and preaching of a trusted person like Sohail in the society reform the society in the novel. In this way he acts as a “Good Muslim”. To understand his path, it takes time even for his bosom sister, Maya too. In this way, this research has unraveled the traumatic experience of the characters and their causes. How they are separated by war and how they are transferred by it has been analyzed in detail throughout this project.
 “Human Rights in the Administration of Justice”, Women and Children, accessed November 15, 2016, http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/monitoring/adminchap15.html.
 Nepal Judiciary’s Third Five Year Strategic Plan (2014-2019).
 “Legal Aid”, Protection of People’s Rights Nepal, accessed November 15, 2016, http://www.pprnepal.org.np/index.php/what-do-we-do/legal-aid.
 The Evidence Act (2031). Sec, 23.
 The Human Rights Commission Act (2053), Chapter 3.
 Domestic Violence (Offence and Punishment) Act (2066), Sec. 4.
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