Bengal famine of 1943
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
||This article possibly contains original research. Learn how and when to remove this template message) (August 2015) (|
|Bengal famine of 1943
|Total deaths||1.5 to 4 million|
|Observations||Policy failure, war|
The Bengal famine of 1943 (Bengali: পঞ্চাশের মন্বন্তর Pañcāśēr Manbantar) struck the Bengal Province of British India (present-day West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and the country of Bangladesh) during World War II following the Japanese invasion of Burma. Approximately 3 million people died due to famine. Generally the estimates are between 1.5 and 4 million, taking into account deaths due to starvation, malnutrition and disease, out of Bengal's 60.3 million population. Half of the victims died from disease after food became available in December 1943.[A] Although food production was higher in 1943 compared to 1941, demand exceeded the supply. As in previous Bengal famines, the highest mortality was not in previously very poor groups, but among artisans and small traders whose income vanished when people spent all they had on food and did not employ cobblers, carpenters, etc. The famine also caused major economic and social disruption, affecting millions of families.
- 1 Onset
- 2 Lack of statistics
- 3 Provincial government inaction
- 4 Motives
- 5 Supplies from other countries
- 6 Administrative and policy failures
- 7 Food prices
- 8 Other famines in India
- 9 Revisionists
- 10 News reports, literature, other media
- 11 See also
- 12 Footnotes
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The food situation in India was tight from the beginning of the Second World War, with a series of crop failures and localized famines which were dealt with successfully under the Indian Famine Codes. In Bengal in 1940-41 there was a small scale famine, although quick action by the authorities prevented widespread loss of life. Food prices increased throughout India, and the Central Government was forced to undertake meetings with local government officials and release regulations of price controls.
The proximate cause of the famine was a reduction in supply with some increase in demand. The winter 1942 aman rice crop, which was already expected to be poor or indifferent, was hit by a cyclone and three tidal waves in October.[B] An area of 450 square miles were swept by tidal waves, 400 square miles affected by floods and 3200 square miles damaged by wind and torrential rain. Reserve stocks in the hands of cultivators, consumers and dealers were destroyed. This killed 14,500 people and 190,000 cattle. "The homes, livelihood and property of nearly 2.5 million Bengalis were ruined or damaged." The fungus Cochliobolus miyabeanus destroyed 50% to 90% of some rice varieties, causing even greater damage to yield than the cyclone.[C]
It was argued that the normal carryover stocks did not exist in Bengal, because 1941 was a short year, and people started eating the December 1941 crop as soon as it was harvested (as they certainly did when the December 1943 crop was harvested). As a result, the good December 1941 crop did not mean the normal surplus stocks were carried over into 1943. In other years and in other provinces, there had been several good or average crops between bad years, and stocks had built up.
Bengal had been a food importer for the last decade. Calcutta was normally supplied by Burma. The British Empire had suffered a disastrous defeat at Singapore in 1942 against the Japanese military, which then proceeded to invade Burma in the same year. Burma was the world's largest exporter of rice in the inter-war period. By 1940 15% of India's rice overall came from Burma, while in Bengal the proportion was slightly higher given the province's proximity to Burma. After the Japanese occupation of Burma in March 1942, Bengal and the other parts of India and Ceylon, normally supplied by Burma, had to find food elsewhere. However, there were poor crops and famine situations in Cochin, Trivandrum and Bombay on the West coast and Madras, Orissa and Bengal in the East. It fell on the few surplus Provinces, mainly the Punjab, to supply the rest of India and Ceylon.[D]
Bengal's food needs rose at the same time from the influx of refugees from Burma. The enormous expansion of the Indian Army probably did not increase total food demand in India, but it did mean significantly more local demand in Bengal (up to 200,000 tons grain imported, as well as an unknown quantity of grain and a lot of fresh food bought in Bengal). However, the effects of army consumption in causing the famine was clearly limited, as "the army, mainly wheat-eaters, consumed very little extra in relation to India's supplies, and the army in Bengal was supplied externally".[E]
Lack of statistics
Lack of statistics was an important cause of the failure to recognize and tackle the famine. It was known by administrators and statisticians[F] well before the famine that India's agricultural production statistics were "not merely guesses, 'but frequently demonstrably absurd guesses'". The statistics were described as "entirely untrustworthy" and "useless for any purpose".[G] It was also stated that "no dependable statistics existed in Bengal", that what statistics existed "were disbelieved by the very Government which issued them", and that there were "no meaningful production statistics" and the averaging procedure increased the error. Senior officers then changed the calculated figures according to their whim. About half the estimates were adjusted; adjustments of 30% to 40% were common, and changes of 60% to 70% were not unknown.
Bengal's agricultural statistics were particularly bad, because of its land tax system.[H] In 1942, a revenue officer would guess at the area planted and the probable yield for a 750,000 acre (310,000 ha) area to give a crop forecast for that area. These forecasts were aggregated and "adjusted" by successive levels of Department of Agriculture officials. It is not known if the forecasts were adjusted after the cyclone, or on what basis this could be done. There were no measures of actual yields or area. The official First Crop Forecast on 5 October, before the cyclone, was reduced by 6% for the Second Crop Forecast in December, at harvest time, and by a further 6% for the final Third Crop Forecast in February, making it 1.2 million tons lower than the ten-year average of 6.2 million tons. It is not known if these adjustments were meant to allow for the cyclone. However, the Director of Agriculture had believed before the cyclone that his department's official forecast overstated actual expected production by a quarter.
The officials responsible for food, such as Pinell and Braund, used a wide range of other estimates, cross checking them against observable facts. They were able to make use of information revealed in mail censorship, such as information in letters from farmers, landlords and traders on crop yields, as well as reports from Special Branch (the secret police), reports from other departments, etc. Traders acted on their belief in a serious shortage and made a lot of money. They warned the Bengal government of a famine situation. These sources all indicated that a famine was imminent, and that the crop forecasts were wrong.
Subsequent research done by the Indian Statistical Institute using statistically valid samples and crop cutting showed large errors: survey estimates ranged from 47% to 153% of the official estimate. The discrepancies also varied from year to year. For instance, the sample estimate of the jute crop was 2.6% above the official estimate in 1941 and 52.6% above it in 1946.[I] This rules out analysis based on the level of the production forecast and, in particular, on year-to-year differences in production forecasts.
There are some figures on shipping and rail deliveries of rice to Calcutta, but none on imports by Bengal as a whole; most trade was informal and took place by river boat. There are no statistics on public or private stocks, until some commercial stock figures were kept in 1943.
The number of people to be fed was not known. The Census of Population was known to be unreliable at best, and the 1941 Census was particularly badly conducted. There are no statistics on the number of refugees from Burma, nor the refugees from Bengal, escaping war, bombing and famine. Details of military requirements and procurement have not been published. There is no indication of how much food the military provided to Bengali soldiers and war workers.
Provincial government inaction
In normal regional famines the Indian Government had provided the starving with money, and let the trade bring in grain which worked for regional famines, though this had been disastrous in Orissa in 1888 when, as in 1943, the shortage was not regional but national. In 1942, with the permission of the central government, trade barriers were introduced by the democratically elected provincial governments. The politicians and civil servants of surplus provinces like the Punjab introduced regulations to prevent grain leaving their provinces for the famine areas of Bengal, Madras and Cochin. There was the desire to see that, first, local populations and, second, the populations of neighbouring provinces were well fed, partly to prevent civil unrest. Politicians and officials got power and patronage, and the ability to extract bribes for shipping permits. Marketing and transaction costs rose sharply. The market could not get grain to Bengal, however profitable it might be. The main trading route, established for hundreds of years was up the river system and this ceased to operate, leaving the railway as the only way of getting food into Bengal. Grain arrivals stopped and in March 1943, Calcutta, the second biggest city in the world, had only two weeks' food supply in stock.
The Government of India realized a mistake had been made and decreed a return to free trade. The Provinces refused. "In this, again, the Government of India misjudged both its own influence and the temper of its constituents, which had by this time gone too far to pay much heed to the Centre." The Government of India Act 1935 had removed most of the Government of India's authority over the Provinces, so they had to rely on negotiation.
Thus, even when the Government of India decreed that there should be free trade in grain, politicians, civil servants, local government officers and police obstructed the movement of grain to famine areas. In some cases provinces seized grain in transit from other provinces to Bengal.[J] As Mahesh Chandra stated in 1943, "But men like Bhai Permanand say that though many traders want to export food [to Bengal] the Punjab Government would not give them permits. He testified to large quantities of undisposed-of rice being in the Punjab."
Eventually there was a clear threat by the Government of India to force the elected governments to provide grain, when the new Viceroy, Archibald Wavell, who was a successful general, was about to take office. For the first time substantial quantities of grain started to move to Bengal.
The Government of Bengal was slow in starting relief measures and at one stage in 1943 it limited relief to save money, though the money could have been obtained. The supporters of the two Bengal Governments involved, that of A. K. Fazlul Huq (December 1941 to March 1943) and of Khawaja Nazimuddin's Muslim League (April 1943 to March 1945) each held the other government responsible for the catastrophe, because of its inaction and corruption. Bengal's chief minister, A. K. Fazlul Huq, had warned of the risk of famine but he was ignored and replaced. The government had done almost nothing to prepare for famine, and critics noted "the feebleness of its moral and administrative standards".
Contemporary commentators believed that there was substantial hoarding by those consumers who could afford it, by firms and by those farmers who produced surpluses. This started in July 1941 when war with Japan was inevitable, increased when Burma was attacked in December 1941 and when Ceylon, then Calcutta were bombed in 1942. India would have entered the famine year with substantial surplus private stocks. These stocks do not appear to have been released and there was no political drive to get people to give or sell the surpluses. An official "Food Drive" in Bengal did not result in release of hoarded stocks. It was believed that fear of the famine actually increased hoarding.
The elected Provincial governments, their public servants and some key people in the Indian civil service believed, or said they believed, that Bengal had plenty of food, which could be made available with good administration. There were no meaningful production statistics which could support this, and those "hopelessly defective" production statistics that did exist indicated a serious shortage.
There were claims that hoarding was the cause of the famine, and this should be dealt with administratively, not by providing starving people in Bengal with food. "And at the Third Food Conference in Delhi on the 5 to 8 July, ... the suggestion that 'the only reason why people are starving in Bengal is that there is hoarding' was greeted at the Conference by the other Provinces with applause." Similarly, some officials in the Government of India refused to accept the evidence on the ground, preferring their own idiosyncratic interpretations of the market: as late as November 1943, "The Government of India would admit no intrinsic shortage in Bengal in the Spring of 1943 and, even in November, at the height of the famine, the Director-General of Food in the Council of State said that 'the major trouble in Bengal has been not so much an intrinsic shortage of essential food grains as a breakdown of public confidence'." On 19 October 1943, when the famine was at its peak, Wavell noted in his journal "On the food situation Linlithgow [The outgoing Viceroy] says chief factor morale. [i.e. panic hoarding]"
There was a widespread claim, unevidenced, that there was no shortage really, that there was plenty of rice available but traders were stockpiling it to make speculative profits. In fact, there was strong evidence that this was not so: extensive investigations by police, special branch and officials, backed up by rewards for information, found no examples; raids on traders found that they had significantly smaller trading stocks than they had in normal years. This was confirmed when there was no release of surplus stocks when the famine ended. Only if speculators had stored more than usual, and not released it during the famine year, would they have increased the number of deaths: there is ample evidence that they did not. The Working Class Cost of Living Index rose by 15% to 20% per annum from 1939–46 with a sharp rise in cities in famine districts in 1942/3 because of famine-level rice prices, returning to the average level afterwards. Most contemporary commentators thought the Hindu-Muslim conflict a serious factor. It was even claimed by a leading politician that "Bengal had been deliberately starved out by other provinces" which refused to permit the export of grain.
Supplies from other countries
Any imports would have had to come from Australia, North America or South America. Some supplies from Australia entered the region. The main constraint was shipping. The Battle of the Atlantic was at its peak from mid-1942 to mid-1943, with submarine wolf packs sinking so many ships that the Allies were on the verge of defeat, so shipping could not be spared for India.[K]
By August 1943 Churchill refused to release shipping to send food to India. Initially during the famine he was more concerned with the civilians of Nazi-occupied Greece (who were also suffering from a famine) compared with the Bengalis, noting that the "starvation of anyhow underfed Bengalis is less serious than that of sturdy Greeks".
In July 1944, the Viceroy, Wavell, who had sent an urgent request to release food stocks for India, noted in his diary that "Winston sent me a peevish telegram to ask why Gandhi hadn't died yet! He has never answered my telegram about food."[L]
Administrative and policy failures
The Famine Inquiry Commission (1945) documents a large number of administrative, civil policy and military policy failures. The failure to set up a food administration in 1939 and prepare for rationing was the key failure. The failure to enforce an India-wide food policy with an equality of sacrifice was another. Without this, the administrative controls must prevent any meaningful intervention. Political and administrative failures to set up a system for seizing surplus food in surplus areas also contributed (it was acceptable in deficit areas). There were many others which added to local shortages or otherwise increased the death rate, (e.g. Boat Denial Policy, Rice Denial Policy, various purchasing policies) but were not causes of the famine. During the Famine Inquiry Commission's investigation, one official stated that "We felt difficulty about one thing. That was lack of one co-ordinating authority at the time of famine."
The Boat Denial Policy and Rice Denial Policy resulted from fears by the Army and other British authorities in the middle of 1942 that the Japanese would follow up their conquest of Burma with an invasion of British India by way of Bengal. A scorched earth policy was hastily implemented in the Chittagong region, nearest to the Burmese border, to deny the Japanese easy access to supplies and other resources in case of an invasion. In particular, the Army confiscated many boats (and motor vehicles, carts and even elephants), fearing that the Japanese would commandeer them to speed an advance into India. The inhabitants used the boats for fishing and to take goods to market, and the Army failed to distribute rations to replace the fish and the food lost through the stoppage of commerce. The dislocation in the area forced many of the male inhabitants into the Military Labour Corps, where at least they received rations, but the break-up of families left many children and dependents to beg or to starve.
In December 1942 there was a shortage in Calcutta itself. Therefore, government focused on getting supplies to Calcutta by trying to buy surplus stocks in the region. The quantities that District Officers were able to locate and purchase were considered too small to end the famine, so the Government introduced free trade in rice in Eastern India, hoping that traders would sell their stocks to Bengal; however this measure also failed to move large stocks to Bengal. In April and May there was a propaganda drive to convince the population that the high prices were not justified by the supply of food, the goal being that the propaganda would induce hoarders to sell their stocks. When these propaganda drives failed, there was a drive to locate hoarded stocks. H. S. Suhrawardy, Bengal's Minister of Civil Supplies from April 24, 1943, announced that there was no shortage of rice in Bengal and introduced a policy of intimidating "hoarders": this caused looting, extortion and corruption but did not increase the amount of food on the market. When these drives continually failed to locate large stocks, the government realized that the scale of the loss in supply was larger than they had initially believed.
The Indian Army and Allied troops acted only after Wavell became Viceroy and got permission from the Bengal Government. They had vehicles, fuel, men and administrators, which the civil authority did not, so they were much more effective than the civil authority in getting food to the starving outside Calcutta. The distribution was difficult and continued for five months after the November/December 1943 crop was harvested. However, they did not have much food to distribute.
During the course of the famine, 264 thousand tons of rice, 258 thousand tons of wheat and wheat products, and 55 thousand tons of millet were sent to Bengal from the rest of India and overseas in order to relieve the famine. One ton feeds 5.75 people for a year at normal consumption, perhaps 8.2 at emergency survival rates. Various guesses were that the rice production in Bengal was 1.2–2.5 million tons below the ten-year average.
Food prices were high in mid-1942, reflecting the belief that India was in deficit. They rose sharply when the cyclone destroyed a quarter of Bengal's rice crop, and evidence of shortage elsewhere in India and elsewhere in the region emerged, and they continued to rise sharply as the famine bit. Repeated efforts to "break the Calcutta market" and reduce prices by dumping grain on the market failed: the quantities of grain available for intervention were minuscule in relation to the shortage. There was the normal seasonal speculation which puts up prices, forcing the population to reduce consumption and so spread what is available throughout the year (as economists from Adam Smith have pointed out). The high prices determine who is to die, the poor, rather than increase the number of deaths.
Other famines in India
The 1943 Bengal famine may be placed in the context of previous famines in Mughal and British India. The Deccan famine of 1630–32 killed 2,000,000. An estimated 10,000,000 died in the Great Bengal famine of 1770 and 11,000,000 in the Chalisa famine in 1783. During the British rule in India there were approximately 25 major famines spread through states such as Tamil Nadu in South India, Bihar in the north, and Bengal in the east; altogether, between 30 and 40 million Indians were the victims of famines in the latter half of the 20th century.
The orthodox explanation of the famine, from the Famine Inquiry Commission of 1945 was that the Indian provincial and national governments and the British government chose to believe, without evidence and in denial of the evidence, that Bengal had plenty of food available, and so they provided far less food relief than was needed, and many people died. Amartya Sen (1976) challenged this orthodoxy, reviving the claim that there was no shortage of food in Bengal and that the famine was caused by inflation, with those benefiting from inflation eating more and leaving less for the rest of the population. Sen claimed that there was in fact a greater supply in 1943 than in 1941, when there was no famine. This is the explanation that the Bengal Government and other governments believed and acted on in 1943. A recent study carried out by Bikramjit De (2006) suggests that the inflation of rice was allowed to remain unchecked by the Government of Bengal that chose to turn a blind eye to the outbreak of selective shortage of rice in large pockets of the province to ensure the smooth prosecution of the colonial government's war effort in Bengal during the Second World War years. Had the civil servants wanted, they could have stopped the famine from very adversely affecting the countryside.
Some of the dispute is based on matters of fact. Sen bases his argument entirely on small differences in one of the series of crop forecasts over ten years. He claims these forecasts are extremely accurate, but contemporary civil servants and statisticians considered the forecasts meaningless even before they were adjusted by civil servants and politicians. Sen also rejects the orthodox belief that reduced carry over of rice from the previous crop year was a contributing factor. Bowbrick claims that Sen misrepresents the facts in his sources in more than thirty instances and Tauger makes similar claims on a different set of statements by Sen. Goswami (1990) and Dyson and Maharatna (1991) show misrepresentation too.
There is also dispute based on what the theories explain. Sen does not explain why the wartime inflation and boom did not cause famine in other war years, but the Famine Inquiry Commission explanation does. The Famine Inquiry Commission explains why the famine lasted only between one poor harvest and the next good one, which Sen's explanation does not. Sen does not explain why the Bengal Government's policy, which was based on the same diagnosis as his own, did not prevent the famine: the Famine Inquiry Commission explanation does. Sen does not provide evidence on what happened to the food that he says existed in Bengal: Bowbrick argues that it is physically impossible for people to eat the quantity of food needed to cause a famine in the way Sen describes, two to four-week's normal food supply each day.
Paul Greenough accepts Amartya Sen's estimate of food availability and shows that this implies that some cultivators and landlords ate far more than in normal years and increased personal security stocks (hoarding) with the result that far less rice was on the market than in 1941. He says that they were able to do this because high prices meant they did not have to sell so much to meet their cash needs. They were willing to eat more than normal and keep rice off the market while their neighbours starved and many died because of the breakdown of traditional rural Bengali obligations of economic help, charity and patronage, which Greenough (1982) analyses at great length. He concludes that the famine was caused by Bengali men, ‘In short, the "man-made" famine was culturally patterned in its onset, crisis and denouement.’ 
News reports, literature, other media
Calcutta's two leading English-language newspapers were The Statesman (at that time a British-owned newspaper)[M] and Amrita Bazar Patrika. In the early months of the famine, government applied pressure on newspapers to "calm public fears about the food supply" and follow the official stance that there was no rice shortage. This effort had some success; The Statesman, for example, initially published editorials asserting that the famine was due solely to speculation and hoarding, while "berating local traders and producers, and praising ministerial efforts."[N] News of the famine was also subject to strict war-time censorship – even use of the word "famine" was prohibited – leading The Statesman later to remark that the UK government "seems virtually to have withheld from the British public knowledge that there was famine in Bengal at all"
Beginning in mid-July 1943 and even more so that August, however, these two began to publish detailed and increasingly critical accounts of the depth and scope of the famine, its impact on society, and the nature of British, Hindu and Muslim political responses. For example, a headline in Amrita Bazar Patrika that month warned "The Famine conditions of 1770 are already upon us," alluding to an earlier Bengal famine that caused the deaths of ten million. It also published an editorial cartoon showing starving peasants gazing at distant international food aid ships with the caption "A Mirage! A Mirage!" The Statesman's reportage and commentary were similarly pointed, as for example when in late July it published accounts of individuals starving to death in the streets of Calcutta, and in later months opined that the famine was "man-made" and the UK government "seems virtually to have withheld from the British public knowledge that there was famine in Bengal at all".
A turning point in news coverage regarding the famine came on 22 August, 1943, when The Statesman published a series of graphic photographs of the starvation and suffering. These "gruesome" images greatly affected both domestic and international perceptions and sparked an international media frenzy. Not only was the rest of the world unaware of the famine in Bengal before The Statesman's photos, many even in India itself had little idea of the scope of social destruction. The photos of human suffering under British rule had a profound psychological effect, and marked "for many, the beginning of the end of colonial rule". The decision by editor Ian Stephens to publish the photos and adopt a defiant editorial stance won accolades from many (the Famine Inquiry Commission) has been described as "a singular act of journalistic courage and conscientiousness, without which many more lives would have surely been lost". They also spurred Amrita Bazar Patrika and the Communist Party's organ The People's War to publish similar images; the latter would make photographer Sunil Janah famous.
A contemporary sketch book of iconic scenes of famine victims, Hungry Bengal: a tour through Midnapur District in November, 1943 by Chittaprosad was immediately banned by the British and 5000 copies were seized and destroyed. One copy was hidden by Chittaprosad's family and is now in the possession of the Delhi Art Gallery. The Delhi Art Gallery showcased Chittaprosad's Famine Series in an exhibition in September 2011.
The novel has been dealt with in celebrated novels and films. Asani Sanket by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay is a fictional account of a young doctor and his wife in rural Bengal during the 1943 famine. The book was adapted into a film of the same name (English title: Distant Thunder) by celebrated director Satyajit Ray in 1973. The film features in "The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made". Also well-known are So Many Hungers! (1947) by Bhabani Bhattacharya, and Aakaaler Sandhane by Amalendu Chakraborty, (cinematised in 1980 by Mrinal Sen).
A Bengali play, with this famine as the main theme in it's plot, 'Nemesis' was written by Natyaguru Nurul Momen. Another Bengali play about the famine, Nabanna was written by Bijon Bhattacharya and staged by Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) in 1944 under the direction of Sombhu Mitra and later in 1948, by Bohurupee under the direction of Kumar Roy. IPTA also took the play to several parts of the country and collected funds for famine relief in rural Bengal.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bengal famine 1943.|
- 2008 global rice crisis
- Bihar famine of 1873–74
- Famine in India
- List of famines
- Ruzagayura famine in Rwanda, 1943-1944
- See Dyson & Maharatna 1991 for a review of the data and the various estimates made.
- The Bengal cyclone of October 16, 1942 came through the Bay of Bengal and made landfall on the present-day Purba Medinipur district of India, causing around 40,000 fatalities and extensive damage (notably in Contai)
- Braund 1944 quotes the February 1943 evidence to the Second Food Conference on this. See also Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, p. 32
- Knight 1954 gives a contemporary account of the Indian situation. Tauger 2003 and Tauger 2003 cover both India and the region.
- See Peter Bowbrick, How Amartya Sen's Theories Cause Famines (Nottingham, 1999), page 36; Sen 1976a, p. 1279; Greenough 1982, p. 261
- See Dewey 1978 for a review
- Bowley & Robertson 1934, p. 35 thought however that they might be useful for "warning the government of imminent famine." They proved useless for this in 1943.
- The Permanent Settlement fixed land tax, while in other provinces it was based on planted area and yield, which revenue officers had to calculate each year.
- Desai 1953, p. 8; Dewey 1978, p. 311 quoting the Imperial Council of Agricultural Research 1950. Panse 1954, p. 27 points out that experience shows that 'eye estimation makes for a general toning down of fluctuations', which would help explain why the degree of shortfall was not appreciated.
- Braund 1944, p. 12 (citing Government of India letter to all provinces dated 13 February 1943.)
- Winston Churchill was later to state: 'The Battle of the Atlantic was the dominating factor all through the war. Never for one moment could we forget that everything happening elsewhere, on land, at sea or in the air depended ultimately on its outcome.'  The supply situation in Britain was such there was talk of being unable to continue the war, with supplies of fuel being particularly low.
- Wavell 1973, p. 78
- The Statesman was sold in 1962 to "a consortium of Indian industrialists" (Hirschmann 2004, p. 155)
- Note also that The Statesman was the only major newspaper that had acquiesced to (or been persuaded by) government pressure to present the Quit India movement in a negative light.(Greenough 1983, p. 355, note 7), (Greenough 1999, p. 43, note 7)
- Sen 1981, p. 203.
- Frere 1874; Hunter 1873; Bengal Administration 1897; Mahalanobis, Mukherjea & Ghosh 1946.
- Greenough 1982.
- Knight 1954.
- Tauger 2009, p. 186.
- Tauger 2009, p. 187.
- Tauger 2009, p. 188.
- Mansergh 1971, p. 357.
- Longshore 2007, p. 258.
- Mansergh 1971, p. 357; Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, pp. 32, 65, 66, 236.
- Greenough 1982, pp. 93–96.
- Padmanabhan 1973, pp. 11–26; Tauger 2003; Tauger 2009.
- Government of India 1942.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, pp. 179–200.
- Tarling 1993, pp. 139-40.
- Bayly & Harper 2004, p. 284.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945b.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, pp. 18, 43, 173.
- Great Britain. Royal Commission on Agriculture in India 1928, VIII, p. 605.
- Mahalanobis 1944, p. 77.
- Bengal Land Revenue Commission 1940, vol I, p. 76.
- Mahalanobis 1944.
- Mansergh 1973, Document no. 158.
- Trevaskis 1931, p. 200; Government of India 1915, pp. 12–24; Panse 1954, p. 26.
- Panse 1954, p. 26; Dewey 1978, p. 305.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, pp. 44, 45.
- Mahalanobis 1944, p. 71.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, p. 33.
- Bhatia 1967, p. 35.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, p. 77.
- Mahalanobis 1944, p. 69.
- Dyson & Maharatna 1991.
- Braund 1944; Pinnell 1944; Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a.
- Braund 1944, p. 12.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, pp. 57, 93.
- Stephens 1966, p. 181.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, pp. 198- 199.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, pp. 61, 99, 104, 105.
- Sen 1976b, pp. 174, 175.
- Mukerjee 2014.
- Slim 1956, pp. 146–147.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, pp. 56, 74.
- Braund 1944, p. 31.
- Wavell 1973, p. 34.
- Bowbrick 1986.
- Singh 1965.
- Dutt 1944; Ghosh 1944; Rajan 1944; Mansergh 1971; Mansergh 1973, vol IV, p. 358; Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, p. 84.
- Wavell 1973, p. 239.
- Blame for India Famine 1943.
- Costello & Hughes 1977, p. 210.
- Costello & Hughes 1977, p. 155.
- Herman 2009, p. 513; Ghose 1993, p. 111; Tharoor 2003, p. 133.
- Gopal 1993.
- Wheatcroft 2014.
- Tharoor 2010: "Churchill's only response to a telegram from the government in Delhi about people perishing in the famine was to ask why Gandhi hadn't died yet."
- Brennan 1988, p. 562.
- Bayly & Harper 2004, pp. 284–285.
- Bayly & Harper 2004, p. 283.
- Tauger 2009, p. 183.
- Greenough 1982, pp. 117, 122–126.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, pp. 54–55.
- Andrew Fitzgerald (April 10, 2013). "10 Terrible Famines In History". Listverse.
- Bhatia 1985.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a; Braund 1944; Pinnell 1944; Bowbrick 1986; Bowbrick 1987.
- Famine Inquiry Commission 1945a, pp. 44, 45; Dewey 1978, p. 305; Tauger 2003; Bowley & Robertson 1934; Great Britain. Royal Commission on Agriculture in India 1928, VIII, p. 605; Mahalanobis 1944, p. 77; Panse 1954, p. 26; Bengal Land Revenue Commission 1940, vol I, p. 76; Mansergh 1973, Document no. 158; Trevaskis 1931, p. 200.
- Bowbrick 1986; Bowbrick 1987; Bowbrick.
- Tauger 2003.
- Tauger 2009.
- Greenough 1982, pp. 118, 138.
- Greenough 1982, p. 265.
- Sen 1977; Ó Gráda 2015, p. 42.
- Ó Gráda 2015, p. 4.
- Mukherjee 2015, p. xxx.
- Ó Gráda 2015, p. 57, citing "Consequences of Untruth," Statesman, 12 October 1943.
- Ó Gráda 2015, p. xxx.
- Ó Gráda 2015, pp. 9.
- Ó Gráda 2015, pp. 5.
- Islam 2007a, p. 422, citing The Statesman, "Reflections on Disaster," 23 September 1943.
- Ó Gráda 2015, p. 57, citing The Statesman, "Consequences of Untruth," 12 October 1943.
- Mukherjee 2015, p. 125.
- Mukerjee 2011, p. 175.
- Vernon 2009, p. 148.
- Sen 1977; Ó Gráda 2015, p. 42.
- Ó Gráda 2015, p. 42, note 13; p. 77, note 132..
- Mukherjee 2015, p. 139.
- Chittaprosad's Bengal Famine 19 July 2011.
- New York Times 2003.
- Lowe & Lloyd 1997, p. 438; Dharwadker 2005, p. 407.
- Bayly, Christopher; Harper, Tim (2004). Forgotten Armies: Britain's Asian Empire & the War with Japan. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-029331-0.
- Bengal Administration (1897). Bengal Famine Code (Revised Edition of December 1895 ed.). Calcutta.
- Bengal Land Revenue Commission (1940) Report cited in Mahalanobis (1944)
- Bhatia, B. M. (1967). Famines in India. Bombay: Asia Publishing House.
- "Blame for India Famine". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 1 October 1943. p. 2. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Bowbrick. "Appendix Two: Action by the Government". Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Bowbrick, Peter (1986). "The causes of famine: A refutation of Professor Sen's theory" (PDF). Food Policy. Elsevier. 11 (2): 105–124. doi:10.1016/0306-9192(86)90059-X. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Bowbrick, Peter. "How Sen's theory causes famines". Bowbrick.org.uk. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
- Bowbrick, Peter (February 1987). "Rejoinder: An untenable hypothesis on the causes of famine" (PDF). Food Policy. Elsevier. 12 (1): 5–9. doi:10.1016/0306-9192(87)90042-X. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Bowley, A. L.; Robertson, D. H. (1934). A Scheme for an Economic Census of India. Cited in Dewey, C., (1978) ‘Patwari and Chaukidar: subordinate officials and the reliability of India's agricultural statistics.’ pp 280–314, Cited in Mahalanobis (1944): Dewey, C. and Hopkins, A. G. (1978), The Imperial Impact: Studies in the Economic History of Africa and India, Athlone Press. bowbrick.org.uk
- Braund, H. B. L. (1944). Famine in Bengal, Typescript. British Library Doc D792
- Brennan, Lance (August 1988). "Government Famine Relief in Bengal, 1943". The Journal of Asian Studies. Cambridge. 47 (3): 541–566. doi:10.2307/2056974. JSTOR 2056974.
- "Chittaprosad's Bengal Famine". The Wall Street Journal. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Costello, John; Hughes, Terry (1977). The Battle of the Atlantic. London: Collins. OCLC 464381083.
- Desai, Rajanikant Chhaganlal (1953). Standard of living in India and Pakistan, 1931-32 to 1940-41. Bombay: Popular Book Depot.
- Dewey, Clive (1978). "Patwari and Chaukidar: Subordinate Officials and the Reliability of India's Agricultural Statistics" (PDF). In Dewey, Clive; Hopkins, Anthony G. The Imperial Impact: Studies in the Economic History of Africa and India. Athlone Press for the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.
- Dharwadker, A. B. (1 November 2005). Theatres of Independence: Drama, Theory, and Urban Performance in India since 1947. University of Iowa Press. ISBN 978-0-87745-961-3. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- Dutt, T. K. (1944). Hungry Bengal. Lahore: Indian printing works.
- Dyson, Tim; Maharatna, Arup (September 1991). "Excess mortality during the Great Bengal Famine: A Re-evaluation". The Indian Economic and Social History Review. SAGE. 28 (3): 281–297. doi:10.1177/001946469102800303.
- Famine Inquiry Commission (1945a). Report on Bengal. New Delhi: Government of India. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- Famine Inquiry Commission (1945b). Final Report. Madras: Government of India.
- Frere, Henry Bartle (1874). On the Impending Bengal Famine: How it Will be Met and how to Prevent Future Famines in India. London: John Murray.
- Ghose, Sankar (1993). Jawaharlal Nehru, a biography. Allied Publishers. ISBN 978-81-7023-369-5. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- Ghosh, K. C. Famines in Bengal, 1170–1943 Calcutta: Indian Associated Publishing, 1944.
- Ghosh, Tushar Kanti (1944). The Bengal Tragedy. Lahore: Hero Publications.
- Gopal, S. (1993). "Churchill and the Indians". In Louis, Wm. Roger; Blake, Robert. Churchill: A Major New Assessment of His Life and Achievements.
- Government of India, (1915), Revenue Proceedings IR-Ag, March, 12–24.
- Government of India, Report on the marketing of rice in India and Burma, Government of India Press, Calcutta. 1942.
- Great Britain. Royal Commission on Agriculture in India (1928). Report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture in India, Parliamentary Papers. VIII. OCLC 801829.
- Greenough, Paul Robert (1982). Prosperity and Misery in Modern Bengal: The Famine of 1943-1944. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-503082-2.
- Greenough, Paul Robert (1982). Prosperity and Misery in Modern Bengal: The Famine of 1943-1944. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-503082-2.
- Greenough, Paul R. (1983). "Political Mobilization and the Underground Literature of the Quit India Movement, 1942-44". Modern Asian Studies. 17 (3): 353–386 – via JSTOR.. Reprinted as Greenough, Paul R. (1999). "Political Mobilization and the Underground Literature of the Quit India Movement, 1942-44". Social Scientist. 27 (7/8): 11–47 – via JSTOR.
- Herman, Arthur (2009). Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age.
- Hirschmann, Edwin (Summer 2004). "The Hidden Roots of a Great Newspaper: Calcutta's "Statesman"". Victorian Periodicals Review. 37 (2, The Nineteenth-Century Press in India): 141–160 – via JSTOR.
- Hunter, William Wilson (1873). Famine Aspects of Bengal Districts. Simla.
- Imperial Council of Agricultural Research (1950). Sample Surveys for the Estimation of Yield of Foodcrops, 1944-49. Cited in Dewey, C., (1978) ‘Patwari and Chaukidar: subordinate officials and the reliability of India's agricultural statistics.’ pp 280–314, In Dewey, C. and Hopkins, A.G. (1978), The Imperial Impact: Studies in the Economic History of Africa and India, Athlone Press. bowbrick.org.uk
- Islam, M. Mufakharul (2007a). "The Great Bengal Famine and the Question of FAD Yet Again". Modern Asian Studies. 41 (02): 421–440. doi:10.1017/S0026749X06002435. ISSN 0026-749X.
- Knight, Henry (1954). Food Administration in India, 1939-47. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-0447-2.
- Lazzaro, Joseph. "Bengal Famine Of 1943 - A Man-Made Holocaust". ibtimes.com. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- Longshore, David (2007). Encyclopedia of Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones. New York: Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-0816062959.
- Lowe, Lisa; Lloyd, David (27 October 1997). The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-2046-3. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- Mahalanobis, P. C. (1944). "Proceedings of the National Institute of Sciences of India, x P.71" (PDF). Organisation of Statistics in the Post-War Period.
- Mahalanobis, P. C.; Mukherjea, R.K.; Ghosh, A (1946). "A sample survey of after effects of Bengal famine of 1943". Sankhya. 7 (4): 337–400.
- Mansergh, Nicholas, ed. (1971). The Transfer of Power 1942-7. III. H.M.S.O.
- Mansergh, Nicholas, ed. (1973). The Transfer of Power 1942-7. IV. H.M.S.O.
- Mukerjee, Madhusree (2014). "Bengal Famine of 1943". Economic and Political Weekly. 49.
- Mukerjee, Madhusree (2011). Churchill's Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India During World War II. ReadHowYouWant.com. ISBN 978-1-4596-1363-8.
- Mukerjee, Madhusree (2014). "Bengal Famine of 1943: An Appraisal of the Famine Inquiry Commission". Economic and Political Weekly. 49 (11): 71–5.
- Mukherjee, Janam (2015). Hungry Bengal: War, Famine and the End of Empire. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-061306-8.
- Myers, David. "Causes of the Great Bengal Famine 1943". suite.io. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- New York Times (April 29, 2003). "The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- Ó Gráda, Cormac (2015). "'Sufficiency and Sufficiency and Sufficiency': Revisiting the Great Bengal Famine of 1943–44". Eating People Is Wrong, and Other Essays on Famine, Its Past, and Its Future. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9781400865819 – via De Gruyter. Conference paper available at UCD Centrefor Economic Research (Working Paper Series). Accessed 9 February 2016.
- Padmanabhan, S. Y. (1973). "The Great Bengal Famine". Annual Review of Phytopathology. Annual Reviews. 11: 11–24. doi:10.1146/annurev.py.11.090173.000303.
- Panse, V. G. (1954). "Report on the Scheme for the Improvement of the Agricultural Statistics 1954 Delhi" (PDF). Delhi.
- Pinnell, L. G., The Pinnell Archive on the Bengal Famine: Evidence to the Famine Inquiry Commission 1944. British Library doc EUR Doc 911.
- Rajan, N. S. R. (1944). Famine in Retrospect. Bombay: Padma Publications.
- Sen, Amartya (August 1976a). "Famines as failures of exchange entitlements". Economic and Political Weekly. Special Number.
- Sen, Amartya (1977). "Starvation and exchange entitlements: a general approach and its application to the Great Bengal Famine". Cambridge Journal of Economics. 1 (1): 33–59.
- Sen, Amartya (1981). Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-828463-5.
- Sen, Shila (1976b). Muslim Politics in Bengal, 1937-1947. New Delhi: Impex India.
- Singh, Ayodhya (1965). Sectional Price Movements in India. Banaras Hindu University.
- Slim, William (1956). Defeat Into Victory (2nd ed.). Cassell & Company. ISBN 978-0-330-50997-8.
- Stephens, Ian Melville (1966). Monsoon morning. London: Ernest Benn.
- Tarling, Nicholas, ed. (1993). The Cambridge History of South East Asia. II. ISBN 9780521355063.
- Tauger, Mark B. (2003). "Entitlement, Shortage and the 1943 Bengal Famine: Another Look" (PDF). Journal of Peasant Studies. Routledge. 31 (1): 45–72. doi:10.1080/0306615031000169125.
- Tauger, Mark B. (March 2009). "The Indian Famine Crises of World War II". British Scholar. Edinburgh University Press. 1 (2): 166–196. doi:10.3366/brs.2009.0004.
- Tharoor, Shashi (2003). Nehru: the invention of India. Arcade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-55970-697-1. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- Tharoor, Shashi (29 November 2010). "The Ugly Briton". Time. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
- Trevaskis, H. K. (1931). The Punjab Today: An Economic Survey of the Punjab in Recent Years (1890-1925). 1. Lahore: The Civil and Military gazette Press.
- Trevaskis, H. K. (1932). The Punjab Today: An Economic Survey of the Punjab in Recent Years (1890-1925). 2. Lahore: The Civil and Military gazette Press.
- Vernon, Jame s (2009). Hunger: A Modern History. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-04467-8.
- Wavell, Archibald Percival (1973). Moon, Penderel, ed. Wavell: The Viceroy's journal. Oxford University Press.
- Wheatcroft, Geoffrey (15 August 2014). "'Churchill and Empire' by Lawrence James". The New York Times. (subscription required (. ))
- Aykroyd, Wallace Ruddell (1974). The Conquest of Famine. London: Chatto and Windus.
- Bedi, Freda (1944). Bengal Lamenting. Lahore: Lion Press.
- Bhatia, B. M. (1991). Famines in India: A Study in Some Aspects of the Economic History of India with Special Reference to Food Problem, 1860-1990. Delhi: Konark Publishers. ISBN 978-81-220-0211-9.
- Dyson, Tim (1991). "On the Demography of South Asian Famines, Part II". Population Studies. Routledge. 45 (2): 279–297. doi:10.1080/0032472031000145446.
- Goswami, Omkar (December 1990). "The Bengal Famine of 1943: Re-examining the Data". The Indian Economic and Social History Review. SAGE. 27 (4): 445–463. doi:10.1177/001946469002700403.
- Iqbal, Farrukh; You, Jong-Il (2001). "Ideas of Justice". Democracy, Market Economics, and Development: An Asian Perspective. Washington, D.C.: World Bank. pp. 9–24. ISBN 978-0-8213-4862-8.
- Keay, John (2000). India: A History. Grove Press. ISBN 978-0-8021-3797-5.
- Mahalanobis, P. C. (1946). "Recent experiments in statistical sampling in the Indian Statistical Institute". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Part iv: 326–378.
- Mahalanobis, P. C. (1946). "Sample Surveys of Crop Yields in India". Sankhya. 7. (1945-46)
- Masefield, Geoffrey Bussell (1963). Famine: Its Prevention and Relief. Oxford University Press.
- Mukerjee, Madhusree (2010). Churchill's Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India During World War II. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02260-1.
- Ó Gráda, Cormac (March 2007). "Making Famine History". Journal of Economic Literature. American Economic Association. 45 (1): 5–38. JSTOR 27646746.
- Palekar, Shreekant A. (1962). Real wages in India, 1939-1950. Bombay: International Book House.