Bengal famine of 1943

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Bengal famine of 1943
A healthy young Indian woman wearing traditional Indian clothing sits on her haunches in a street, tenderly touching the smaller of two very emaciated, dead or dying children. Her facial expression is sad and concerned.
From the photo used in The Statesman on 22 August 1943 showing people in famine in Calcutta.
CountryBritish India
LocationBengal and Orissa.[1]
Total deathsEstimated 2.1 to 3 million in Bengal alone

The Bengal famine of 1943 was a famine in the Bengal province of British India during World War II. Between 2.1 and 3 million people died in the famine.[2][3] They died mainly of starvation, malaria, and not having the right health care.

Historians usually say that the famine was caused by policies by the British government at the time.[4]

The famine caused men to sell their farms and find work somewhere else. Families were made homeless and starving. Many had to move to cities like Calcutta to look for help.[5] Some scholars say that small famines happen naturally but that large ones have man-made causes like war.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. Maharatna 1992, pp. 320–333.
  2. Maharatna (1996, pp. 214–231)
  3. Dyson & Maharatna (1991)
  4. 4.0 4.1 A. Sen 1976; A. Sen 1981a; Ó Gráda 2015, p. 90.
  5. Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, p. 67; Greenough 1980, pp. 227–228.