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Through War and Famine Bengal, 1939-45

Srimanjari . (Author)
Synopsis World War II and the Bengal famine of 1943 are the two windows through which this book explores the history of Bengal between 1939 and 1945. the social base of the different sections of the people in the region determined the impact of both the war and the famine on them. Drawing upon this multimensional reality, the book presents a holistic history of Bengal during this period.
The author delves into questions of how the War transformed the relations between the imperials states and its subjects, and their political representatives. She focuses on the fear and hopes, and the political ambitions and frustrations of different political groups and individuals as the state used propaganda and force to command their loyalty. The works shows how the War provided an opportunity to challenge the validity of the colonial classification of  martial and non-martial races at it was applied in Bengal. It highlights the tense relations between the military and civil society and how war and the deprivation drew religious and lower-caste groups into sectarian politics.
Bringing to the fore the alterations in the economic landscape of Bengal, the book discusses the reality of the wage cuts, longer working hours, absence of insurance against injury and non-payment of compensation. It draws attention to the economic distress of the peasants, the curious case of the famine unfolding in the rural interiors, and the government’s debt collection drive in 1943 that made a mockery of its own famine relief activities. The author argues that it was not just a coincidence or a war-time casualty that a substantial section of the destitute women were driven by circumstances into the network of prostitution in the war-years.
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About the author

Srimanjari .

Srimanjari is Associate Professor at the Department of History, Miranda House, University of Delhi.

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Bibliographic information

Title Through War and Famine Bengal, 1939-45
Author Srimanjari .
Format Hardcover
Date published: 26.08.2009
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788125035480
length xiv+274p., Figures; Maps; Appendix; Glossary; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.
Subjects History