Bengal Famine by State Policy

The territory of Bengal saw many famines between the years 1943 and 1944.

One particular famine of Bengal occurred around the years when Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was trying to enlist soldiers for the Indian National Army, INA from the then Bengal province, which stretched from Orissa in the south to eastern Uttar Pradesh in the west to Assam and Bangladesh in the East.

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  Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose                                     INA Flag

Bengal was a large populace province from which youth were ready to join Indian National army under Subhash Chandra Bose to find British oppression.


Extent of Bengal province

These were the years 1943 and 1944. The British by state policy to stop the formation of Indian Army created a famine in Bengal during these years, in which atleast 3 million people died from starvation and malnutrition.


Bengal Famine that killed 3 million people, Courtesy Reuters

For when a famine is created, the people don’t have surplus of food or money to given enlisted soldiers. The soldiers themselves have to fight for every morsel of food in a famine situation along with the local population instead of fighting for the cause of freedom. This decapitates the creation of an army and the effectiveness of their fight for freedom.

This has been brought out by a few authors. One of them being the British author Mike Davis in his book, “Late Victorian Famines,” wherein he states that the British created these famines as a part of state policy.

What do we say of this British State Policy of Creating famines?

Do we need to explain it?

Or rather, feel for the commoner, children, women who suffered and died in hunger because of British State Policy.