British empire killed 165 million Indians in 40 years: Study
A scholarly study found that British colonialism resulted in approximately 165 million deaths in India from 1880 to 1920 while stealing at least $45 trillion in wealth from the country.
An academic study that was recently published in World Development journal found that British colonialism caused approximately 165 million deaths in India from 1880 to 1920.
"This figure is larger than the combined number of deaths from both World Wars, including the Nazi holocaust,” the study, published by economic anthropologist Jason Hickel and his co-author Dylan Sullivan said.
"This staggering figure does not include the tens of millions more Indians who died in human-made famines that were caused by the British Empire," it added.
The study gives the example of the notorious Bengal famine in 1943, where "an estimated 3 million Indians starved to death, while the British government exported food and banned grain imports."
"The 1943 Bengal famine was not a result of natural causes; it was the product of the policies of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill," academic studies by scientists found.
The Bengal famine of 1943 killed 2-3 million people, when Bengal was part of British-ruled India.— Sasha Alyson 🌍🌏🌎 Karma Colonialism (@TrojanAid) September 2, 2021
There was food -- but Winston Churchill ordered it be exported and stockpiled in case Europe needed it as the war dragged on.https://t.co/rIs4vz1yWG pic.twitter.com/ue1H4gBkfZ
Indian politician Shashi Tharoor, who served as an under-secretary-general of the United Nations, has thoroughly documented the British empire's crimes, particularly under Churchill.
“Churchill has as much blood on his hands as Hitler does,” Tharoor stressed. He pointed to “the decisions that he [Churchill] personally signed off during the Bengal famine, when 4.3 million people died because of the decisions he took or endorsed.”
According to the study, experts agree that between 1880 and 1920 was particularly devastating for India. The colonial regime carried out comprehensive population censuses in the 1880s, which revealed that "the death rate increased considerably during this period, from 37.2 deaths per 1,000 people in the 1880s to 44.2 in the 1910s. Life expectancy declined from 26.7 years to 21.9 years."
"Some 50 million excess deaths occurred under the aegis of British colonialism during the period from 1891 to 1920," the study found.
The European empires committed genocidal crimes outside of their borders and "inspired Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, leading to the rise of fascist regimes that carried out similar genocidal crimes within their borders."
Stealing no less than $45 trillion in wealth from India
"During nearly 200 years of colonialism, the British empire stole at least $45 trillion in wealth from India, a prominent economist has calculated," the study added.
"Over roughly 200 years, the East India Company and the British Raj siphoned out at least £9.2 trillion (or $44.6 trillion)... To put that sum in context, Britain’s 2018 GDP estimate is about $3 trillion" https://t.co/1iyV3oXrjJ— AnnieZaidi (@anniezaidi) November 19, 2018
The drain amounted to £9.2 trillion (equal to $45 trillion) between 1765 and 1938, taking India’s export surplus earnings as the measure and compounding it at a 5% rate of interest.
Since Britain took all the earnings, such stagnation is not surprising. "Ordinary people died like flies owing to under-nutrition and disease," the study said.
However, the most telling index is food grain availability. "Because the purchasing power of ordinary Indians was being squeezed by high taxes, the per capita annual consumption of food grains went down from 200kg in 1900 to 157kg on the eve of World War II, and further plummeted to 137kg by 1946."
Global capitalist system founded on European imperial genocides
"The modern capitalist world would not exist without colonialism and the drain," the study noted.
Britain was running current account deficits with Continental Europe and North America after the mid-19th century while investing massively at the same time in these regions.
How was it possible for Britain to export so much capital, which went into building railways, roads, and factories in the US and continental Europe? the study asked.
Its balance of payments deficits with these regions "were being settled by appropriating the financial gold and forex earned by the colonies, especially India."
Every unusual expense, like war, was also put on the Indian budget, and what India was unable to meet through its annual exchange earnings was shown as its indebtedness, on which interest accumulated.