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. The famine caused men to sell their farms and find work somewhere else. Some joined the British Indian Army. Women and children were made homeless and starving. Many had to move to cities like Calcutta to look for help.[4] Historians usually say that the famine was caused by policies by the British government at the time.[5] A small amount of historians say that the famine happened naturally.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. Maharatna 1992, pp. 320–333.
  2. Maharatna (1996, pp. 214–231)
  3. Dyson & Maharatna (1991)
  4. Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, p. 67; Greenough 1980, pp. 227–228.
  5. 5.0 5.1 A. Sen 1976; A. Sen 1981a; Ó Gráda 2015, p. 90.