Churchill’s role in the 1943 Famine highlighted in new film

In mid-January 2018, Bengal Shadows - a new documentary film on The 1943 Famine was screened at Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan and its Indira Gandhi Center. NSAN editor Lars Eklund was present at the occasion, as well as the two Bengali-French film makers Joy Bannerjee and Partho Bhattacharya. The film highlights how the British colonial regime acted in a critical military position in 1943. Japanese troops together with the 40,000 man strong  Indian National Army (INA), led by freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose, had conquered Burma and was about to ockupy/liberate (what perspective one now has) also India. In front of that threat, the British applied the scorched earth policy to Bengal. The infrastructure was systematically destroyed, bridges were exploded, grain stores burned, and at the same time the army took by force all available resources without a moment to think about the consequences for the civilian population. Which became catastrophic, not least because the harvest was nil last year due to a cyclone so reserves were lacking. And when the disaster was a fact, the British govenment led by Winston Churchill did not make any effort to provide emergency aid. Australian ships with grains that could have been delivered to Bengal were ordered to go to Europe instead.
Winston Churchill - this in the West, so beloved iconic figure for freedom and against dictatorship in Europe, played a major role in these events. As being a full-bred racist he was in charge of these events creating a famine disaster in present India and Bangladesh that killed between three and five million people. The 1943 Famine, has been known for decades, but few outside South Asia have discussed it, but the film clearly shows Churchill’s role, becoming a war criminal of rank. The film was first screened at SOAS, University of London in November 2017.
Satyajit Ray masterfully portrayed the disaster in his 1973 movie Distant Thunder (Ashani Sanket), and excerpts from it are featured in Bengal Shadows, which, moreover, relies heavily on the story of Madhusree Mukerjees book Churchill, the Secret War. Read more about the movie in an article in The Wire.