The Gift of Fear
(Via R. Mcnamara)
Sarah Waheed notes: “One of the students in my modern South Asia history class a few years ago, was extremely upset that the book we were reading referred to the Bengal famine as a holocaust, calling the author ‘biased’. When I asked him to clarify and elaborate upon what he meant by ‘biased’, he exclaimed, inflamed, “There was only one holocaust!” The rest of the students were, however, more open to the idea of the 20th century being a century of multiple holocausts. The terms ‘holocaust’ and ‘genocide’, however, continue to elicit trauma envy.”
I first heard of British crimes like this in Mike Davis’ Late Victorian Holocausts which talks about how imperialism affected the Indian subcontinent’s food supply. The system which could feed everyone, even during hard times, was “centralized” to be “more efficient” by the British administration, leading to skyrocketing poverty and famine and a destroyed local ecology.