Opium! Submission! Kismet! Lattice work, caravanserai fountains a sultan dancing on a tray! Maharajah, rajah a thousand-year-old-shah! Waving from minarets clogs made of mother-of-pearl; women with henna-stained noses working their looms with their feet. In the wind, green-turbaned imams calling the people to prayer. This is the Orient the French poet sees. […] Orient! The soil on which naked slaves die of hunger. The common property of everyone except those born on it. The land where hunger itself perishes with famine! But the silos are full to the brim, full of grain - only for Europe. - Nazim Hikmet
*The nadir for war-time India was the Bengal famine of 1943. In a year of good harvest, the cost imposed on India of supporting the massively increased military presence of wartime led to inflation of food prices and catastrophic famine. The London government opposed the provision of any famine relief. Churchill blocked the Canadian government and local commanders from providing food aid, proclaiming “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion”. Even his underling Amery, Secretary for India, was moved to tell Churchill to his face that he had a “Hitler-like attitude”. The resulting, entirely man-made famine killed between 1.5 and 3.5 million Indians and should be ranked alongside Stalin’s Holodomor as an act of state murder on an unimaginable scale.