Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Bengal famine caused by a fungus.
'S.Y. Padmanabhan shows that the Bengal famine of 1943 was caused by a
helminthosporium fungus epidemic on the rice crop (which confirms the view of the
Famine Inquiry Commission, but directly opposes all Sen's explanations). "Nothing as
devastating as the Bengal epiphototic of 1942 has been recorded in plant pathological
literature. The only other instance that bears comparison in loss sustained by a food
crop and the human calamity that followed in its wake is the Irish potato famine of
1845". He gives evidence that the losses for some varieties of rice were 90%. He was
there. This is the only evidence based on what was harvested. The statistics everyone
else uses are based on highly suspect crop forecasts, mostly made before the cyclone
and the fungus epidemic. S.Y. Padmanabhan, "The Great Bengal Famine", Annual
Review of Phytopathology vol II 1973 p11-24. (Professor Mark Tauger found this
paper and recognized its importance. Mark Tauger, Entitlement, Shortage, and
the 1943 Bengal Famine: Another Look, Journal of Peasant Studies, vol. 31, no.
1, Octobor 2003, 45-72.)'
Dr. Peter Bowbrick