It took Adolf Hitler and his Nazi cohorts 12 years to round up and murder 6 million Jews, but their Teutonic cousins, the British, managed to kill almost 4 million Indians in just over a year, with Prime Minister Winston Churchill cheering from the sidelines. Australian biochemist Dr Gideon Polya has called the Bengal Famine a “manmade holocaust” because Churchill’s policies were directly responsible for the disaster. Bengal had a bountiful harvest in 1942, but the British started diverting vast quantities of food grain from India to Britain, contributing to a massive food shortage in the areas comprising present-day West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Bangladesh. Author Madhusree Mukerjee tracked down some of the survivors and paints a chilling picture of the effects of hunger and deprivation. In Churchill’s Secret War, she writes: “Parents dumped their starving children into rivers and wells. Many took their lives by throwing themselves in front of trains. Starving people begged for the starchy water in which rice had been boiled. Children ate leaves and vines, yam stems and grass. People were too weak even to cremate their loved ones.”
Sarah Waheed notes: “One of the students in my modern South Asia history class a few years ago, was extremely upset that the book we were reading referred to the Bengal famine as a holocaust, calling the author ‘biased’. When I asked him to clarify and elaborate upon what he meant by ‘biased’, he exclaimed, inflamed, “There was only one holocaust!” The rest of the students were, however, more open to the idea of the 20th century being a century of multiple holocausts. The terms ‘holocaust’ and ‘genocide’, however, continue to elicit trauma envy.”
I first heard of British crimes like this in Mike Davis’ Late Victorian Holocausts which talks about how imperialism affected the Indian subcontinent’s food supply. The system which could feed everyone, even during hard times, was “centralized” to be “more efficient” by the British administration, leading to skyrocketing poverty and famine and a destroyed local ecology.
Howard Stern Talks to Mindy Kaling About Love
- Have you had great love in your life, where it just hurts that it didn't work out?
- Yeah, yeah.
- Why did it not work out?
- Because, uh... this sounds so lame, it's not profound, but people are so different, and you can overlap in certain ways that are important but not... the ones that are the most important, or something.
- Are you still in touch with this guy?
- Yes. Yeah.
- Do you know what he's up to, do you know if he's married now, does he have kids...?
- Yeah, he's, he's not married, no.
- Not married.
- But you check on him.
- Yeah, he's a good friend of mine. Yeah.
- Look at that smile! I think we can set you back up with this guy. I think you're in love.
- Yeah, well, he's my best friend, so it's... that's not...
- He broke up with you or you broke up with him?
- ...He broke up with me.
- You would take him back.
- No... it was years ago when this break up happened.
- Best sex of your life with this guy?
- Oh, man. It was pretty good. He's a smart and funny guy!
- Were you upset when you broke up?
- I was so, so sad. Not angry-sad. Sad-sad. That was the hottest I'd ever looked, because I'd stopped eating...I'd wake up, get out of bed, and not care. We worked together...but I was real miserable.
- I think the guy you were in love with was the guy you co-starred with on the Office. [Kaling LAUGHS] Am I right or am I wrong?
- B.J.? He was... he was -
- He was the guy.
- Well, he was, yes, you are correct, not that the mystery - you're not Sherlock Holmes or anything, Howard -
- I'm Sherlock Holmes! That's right, that's what they call me.
- You're like, 'who have you known for ten years who you worked with...' No, but he legitimately is one of my best friends; he texted me before the show like 'Good luck on Howard,' he's been on my show, he was a producer on the pilot, I see him all the time.
- If he asked you to marry him you would have.
- At the time? Yeah.
- I mean, it would have been.. I was 24. But for the record, if anybody had asked me to marry them I would have...but he's a wonderful guy.
- Well let's hope he calls you tomorrow and asks you to marry him!
- I! I would not - one thing about this is, I love him and think he's a good person, but I'm not holding a candle for him or anything...
- I believe if he called you tomorrow and said, 'I made a terrible mistake; we must get back together and get married,' you would do it.
- I... I don't know. I don't know.
- It's not a 'no.' That's it.
- We'll get you a boyfriend, don't worry about it.