Heard of famine wages? How British rulers’ thrift policies shaped Indian capitalism: The Print

(This article first appeared in The Print on September 13, 2022)

  • It is well known that Winston Churchill’s policies to reroute grain from Bengal to the war fronts impoverished the entire province in a few months. And 2.5 to 3.8 million people perished. But famines in colonial India were not just the result of global exigencies of a shocking war. Famine management revealed two other principles of colonialism as it played out in the late 19th century: The colonial government’s impetus to maintain free trade, and the reliance on caste and gender-based hierarchies to perpetuate economic prosperity…

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