“...Our Business Is Not To Look Back But To Look Ahead.” The Bengal Famine of 1943

Allie Jacobius


The evolution of the Bengal Famine of 1943 stemmed from the local government’s inability to respond and provide for the people of Bengal, India. In contrast the Government of India had the ability to respond to the famine yet due to the overwhelming fear of setting back the platform of independence throughout India, Viceroy Wavell and Secretary of State Leopold Amery neglected to take this path. This paper plans to argue this point through the examination of Viceroy Archibald Wavell’s perspective and reflection of the Bengal Famine of 1943 as well as through powers given to the Provincial Governors through the Government of India Act of 1935. Although the British maintained power within India during The Bengal Famine of 1943, the provinces in India were given a considerable amount of authority and jurisdiction over its people and administrative policies. This act outlines the responsibility of these provincial governors and ultimately their mis-allocation of sufficient famine relief during 1943. The examination of the Bengal Famine of 1943 with respect to the Government of India act of 1935 allows one to understand the systematic impediments that cost millions of lives.


Bengal Famine of 1943, Government of India Act of 1935, local government

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