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Bengal Famine of 1943

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The Bengal Famine of 1943 was one of the darkest chapters of pre-Independent India, it showed the barbarism of British Raj

Colonialism which means the subjugation of a country by another country followed by mental, economic and myriad other enslavements is a dark term.

The age of colonialism was one of the darkest chapters in the history of the human race.

It led to the dehumanization of our collective consciousness. During this period the West European countries committed infinite number of horrendous atrocities on other people.

In this context the British rule in India marked the height of such atrocities.

A distinct aspect of this colonial rule was the man-made famines that were caused by the regime’s botched up policies.

Dozens of such famines took place in India starting with the Bengal famine of 1770 which claimed millions of lives.

After that period famines in Bharat became almost a daily occurence, but what sets the famine of 1943 is the sheer scale of death and the dereliction of duty of the British Raj.

What caused the Famine?

The famine of 1943 is estimated to have killed over 30 lakh people.

The catastrophe was not the result of agricultural failure, but of human action — British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s disdain for Indians.

Other causes include the wartime grain import restrictions, and the deliberate diversion of food from starving Indian civilians to well-supplied British soldiers and to top up European stockpiles on the western front during the time of the Second World War.

The then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was certainly, as mentioned earlier, was one of the architects of the famine.

He not only showed utter disdain for the life of Indians but left them to fend for themselves. He was, in no less measure, a fiend than Hitler himself.

Research has shown that the famine was caused not by drought or soil failure but a complete breakdown of colonial administration.

Devil Incarnate

The deaths of over three million people clearly show that the British rule in India did nothing good for Indians but was the devil incarnate itself.

It is time that Indians immediately decolonise their mindset and hold the British to account and demand reparations.

Hence the Bengal Famine of 1943 remain one of the saddest and darkest chapters in Indian history.

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