November 27, 2012
Churchill’s Secret War
|Time||Tuesday, 6:00 pm|
Committee on Global Thought
|Location||Uris Hall, Room 141 / Google Map|
Speaker: Madhusree Mukerjee
Discussant: Partha Chatterjee
Madhusree Mukerjee, author of Churchill's Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India During World War II, in conversation with CGT member Partha Chatterjee.
In 1943, during World War II, the eastern province of Bengal in British India underwent a famine that killed 3 million people or more. The famine has long been understood as arising from a conglomeration of local factors. A wealth of newly unearthed documents show, however, that a series of decisions by Winston Churchill and his War Cabinet precipitated and aggravated the famine. In particular, at the height of the famine Churchill deliberately withheld relief shipments of grain, although both ships and grain were available. He also rejected offers of help for India from the United States. These decisions can be traced partly to Churchill's efforts to protect the British economy after the war-the ships were used instead to stockpile grain for postwar use in Europe and the UK-and partly to Churchill's intense hostility toward Indians, who were seeking independence from British rule.
Madhusree Mukerjee is a former physicist and science journalist. She has worked as an editor for Scientific American magazine and authored two books, The Land of Naked People: Encounters with Stone Age Islanders (Houghton Mifflin, 2003) and Churchill's Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India During World War II (Basic Books, 2010).
|Co-Sponsor(s)||International Media, Advocacy and Communications Specialization at SIPA|
|South Asian Journalists Association|