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Timeline of Major Famines in India during British Rule

29-AUG-2018 17:31
    Timeline of Major Famines in India during British Rule

    A famine is a widespread scarcity of food. It can be caused by several factors like war, inflation, crop failure, population imbalance, or government policies. It is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality.

    India was hit by recurrent famine from 1760 AD to till 1943 AD. As per British sources, there were more than 85 million Indians died in these famines which were in reality genocides done by the British Raj.

    Timeline of Major Famines in India during British Rule

    1. Great Bengal Famine of 1770

    Region: Bihar, Northern and Central Bengal

    Consequences: Around 10 million were people died which was about one third of the then population of Bengal.

    Governor-General/ Viceroy [Governors (1758–1774), Governor General of Bengal (1773–1833), Governor General of India (1833–1858)]: John Cartier

    2. Chalisa famine of 1782–84

    Region: Delhi, Western Oudh, Eastern Punjab region, Rajputana, and Kashmir

    Consequences: Around 11 million people were died

    Governor-General/ Viceroy [Governors (1758–1774), Governor General of Bengal (1773–1833), Governor General of India (1833–1858)]: Warren Hastings

    3. Doji Bara famine or Skull famine of 1788–94

    Region: Hyderabad, Southern Maratha country, Deccan, Gujarat, and Marwar

    Consequences: Around 11 million people were died

    Governor-General/ Viceroy [Governors (1758–1774), Governor General of Bengal (1773–1833), Governor General of India (1833–1858)]: Charles Cornwallis and Sir John Shore

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    4. Agra famine of 1837–38

    Region: Central Doab and trans-Jumna districts of the North-Western Provinces

    Consequences: Around 0.8 million (or 800,000) people were died

    Governor-General/ Viceroy [Governors (1758–1774), Governor General of Bengal (1773–1833), Governor General of India (1833–1858)]: George Eden

    5. Upper Doab famine of 1860–61

    Region: Upper Doab of Agra; Delhi and Hissar divisions of the Punjab

    Consequences: Around 2 million people were died

    Governor-General/ Viceroy [Governors (1758–1774), Governor General of Bengal (1773–1833), Governor General of India (1833–1858)]: Lord Canning

     

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    6. Orissa famine of 1866

    Region: Orissa and Bihar

    Consequences: Around 1 million (814,469 in Orissa, 135,676 in Bihar) people were died

    Governor-General/ Viceroy [Governors (1758–1774), Governor General of Bengal (1773–1833), Governor General of India (1833–1858)]: Lord John Lawrence

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    7. Rajasthan famine of 1869

    Region: Ajmer, Western Agra, Eastern Punjab

    Consequences: Around 1.5 million people were died

    Governor-General/ Viceroy [Governors (1758–1774), Governor General of Bengal (1773–1833), Governor General of India (1833–1858)]: Lord John Lawrence

    8. Bihar famine of 1873–74

    Region: Bihar

    Governor-General/ Viceroy [Governors (1758–1774), Governor General of Bengal (1773–1833), Governor General of India (1833–1858)]: Lord Lytton I

    9. Southern India famine of 1876–78

    Region: Madras and Bombay

    Consequences: Around 6.1 to 10.3 million people were died

    Governor-General/ Viceroy [Governors (1758–1774), Governor General of Bengal (1773–1833), Governor General of India (1833–1858)]: Lord Lytton I

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    10. Indian famine of 1896–97

    Region: Madras, Bombay Deccan, Bengal, United Provinces, Central Provinces.

    Consequences: Around 5 million people were died

    Governor-General/ Viceroy [Governors (1758–1774), Governor General of Bengal (1773–1833), Governor General of India (1833–1858)]: Lord Elgin II

    11. Indian famine of 1899–1900

    Region: Madras, Bombay Deccan, Bengal, United Provinces, Central Provinces.

    Consequences: Around 5 million people were died

    Governor-General/ Viceroy [Governors (1758–1774), Governor General of Bengal (1773–1833), Governor General of India (1833–1858)]: Lord Curzon

    12. Bengal famine of 1943

    Region: Bengal

    Consequences: Around 1.5 million from starvation; 2.1 million including deaths from epidemics

    Governor-General/ Viceroy [Governors (1758–1774), Governor General of Bengal (1773–1833), Governor General of India (1833–1858)]: Lord Linlithgow

    The history of British rule in India was characterized by number of recurring famines and these famines were the essential consequences of character of British rule in India.

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    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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