'Lost Memory Eternalised' (section 3)


Perfect knowledge, Imperfect bodies


The Bengal famine in 1943 was the creation of the British colonial state apparatus. Millions perished on the streets of Calcutta, now Kolkata, following the exodus from villages where the economy was in decline due to land reforms and cultivation of indigo. Into the fourth year of World War II, the situation worsened, a million people perished on the city streets. Long before this tragedy, in the city of Madras, some 5.5 million people died between 1876 and 1878 from hunger. Willoughby Wallace Hooper, a British officer and photographer recorded the emaciated bodies.