Economist Mahima Khanna, Cambridge Stevenson Prize
And Dire Indian Poverty
By Dr Gideon Polya
20 November, 2011
Brilliant economics student Mahima Khanna from Kolkata has been awarded the prestigious Stevenson Prize by the University of Cambridge for her outstanding economics research work. She has become the third Indian to receive this award after Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and Sir Partha Dasgupta, Frank Ramsey Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge, UK. However India 's economic success must reach all Indians.
The Times of India (see: http://idiva.com/news-work-life/kolkata-girl-wins-cambridge-university-high-honours/9077 ) quotes Mahima Khanna saying “Imagine sharing the roll of honour with the gods in my field of study… My MPhil papers were related to trade liberalization and informality, based on evidences from the manufacturing sector in India . The size of the informal sector in India is growing. The government should patronize it. India 's fiscal deficits and interest rates also interest me.”
This is more evidence (if more evidence were wanted) of India “moving forward” (to quote the horrible contemporary Newspeak) after suffering 2 centuries of genocidal British rule in which avoidable deaths in India from British-imposed deprivation in the period 1757-1947 totaled 1.8 billion, an Indian Holocaust and an Indian Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention. Using census and other estimates of Indian population in these periods, post-invasion excess deaths totaled 0.6 billion, 1757-1837; 0.5 billion, 1837-1901 under Queen Victoria; and 0.4 billion in 1901-1947; this being 1.5 billion in total and 1.8 billion victims if the carnage in the various royalty-ruled Indian British Protectorate States are included (see: http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article21072 ) .
In the last decade in particular, India and China have resumed economic advance toward the economic leadership of the World that they enjoyed in 1750, before the advent of genocidal European colonialism and imperialism
According to “Indian Child” (see: http://www.indianchild.com/population_of_india.htm ) “between 1911 and 1920, the birth and death rates were virtually equal--about forty-eight births and forty-eight deaths per 1,000 population” whereas in the US the “ideal” annual death rate in the pre-antibiotic era early 1920s was 11 per 1,000 population per year (see: http://www.shimonoseki-cu.ac.jp/~sullivan/2011TB/2011TB_Week12_Demographic%20Change.pdf ) and the birth rate was 27.7 per 1,000 population per year (see: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005067.html ). Using Indian census data 1870-1950, assuming an Indian population of about 200 million in the period 1760-1870, and estimating by interpolation from available data an Indian avoidable death rate in (deaths per 1,000 of population) of 37 (1757-1920), 35 (1920-1930), 30 (1930-1940) and 24 (1940-1950), one can estimate Indian excess deaths of 592 million (1757-1837), 497 million (1837-1901) and 418 million (1901-1947), roughly 1.5 billion in total or 1.8 billion including the Native States.
Of course Eurocentric people may quibble about using the “advanced” US pre-antibiotic era 1920s death rate of 11 per 1,000 of population as a baseline for estimating Indian avoidable mortality (avoidable mortality rate equals observed death rate minus death rate expected for a decently run society with the same demographics). However Indian Ayurvedic medicine had a huge empirical basis gathered over thousands of years (see J.N. Govil and V.K. Singh, “Recent Progress in Medicinal Plants”, 2002, a huge multivolume series) and Indian surgical procedures were thousands of years ahead of pre-Ignaz Semmelweiss (pre-1847) 19th century European practice in terms of sterile practice (Semmelweiss Medallist and famous surgeon Professor Jeno Polya, “The History of Medical Science”, Budapest, 1944).
1.8 billion avoidable Indian deaths from deprivation under the genocidal British over 2 centuries is not that surprising when one considers that despite modern medicine, antibiotics, and the essential absence of famine avoidable deaths from deprivation in the period 1950-2005 in India and South Asia totaled totalled 0.35 billion and 0.47 billion, respectively (see "Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950": http://globalavoidablemortality.blogspot.com/2008/08/body-count-global-avoidable-mortality.html ).
A cogent summary of genocidal British policy has been given by outstanding Indian ecofeminist and physicist Dr Vandana Shiva (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandana_Shiva ) : “The British created a group of owners of land who would then be the rent collectors, who would then finance the empire and meantime people were losing their land. And this had simultaneous impact on hunger because if all your surplus is being extracted to pay taxes then the very producers of food go hungry, which is why 2 million people [6-7 million] died in the Bengal famine of 1942 [1942-1945]. Not because there wasn't enough rice in India — we were exporting rice for the war — but because of the way the free trade rights of commerce were higher than the rights of people to eat. And the entire force of the British empire was being used to extract the last amount of paddy from the peasants” (see Dr Vandana Shiva, “Colonisation and Independence ”: http://www.abc.net.au/specials/shiva/pg04.htm ) .
Churchill was well aware of the consequences of imposed deprivation on Britain 's subjects in India . Thus Churchill back in 1935 in a speech to the UK House of Commons: “In the standard of life they have nothing to spare. The slightest fall from the present standard of life in India means slow starvation, and the actual squeezing out of life, not only of millions but of scores of millions of people, who have come into the world at your invitation and under the shield and protection of British power” (see Chapter 14, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 1998, 2008: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ).
Of course through Churchill's deliberate sustained policies 6-7 million Indians were deliberately starved to death in Bengal and adjoining provinces in 1942-1945 while the World looked on and White Australia had to build novel storage silos to store a mountain of hoarded grain kept from starving India under British instructions (see "Bengali Holocaust: how Australia helped Britain kill 6-7 million Indians in WW2": http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article21228 ).
Indians should be very pleased of the award to the brilliant economist Mahima Khanna, and the huge economic advances being made by India after 2 centuries of genocidal British rule that converted India from being a world economic leader (together with China) in 1750 to a starvation-subjugated charnel house that is well described as Britain's Auschwitz. Currently about 3.7 million Indians and 5.3 million South Asians still die avoidably each year from deprivation out of a population of 1.1 billion (India) and 1.5 billion (South Asia) . In contrast, avoidable deaths in China each year are essentially zero (0). The fruits of India 's economic advance need to be shared much more equitably. Economic advance of a society is about maximizing the psychological ands physiological well-being of everyone.
Dr Gideon Polya currently teaches science students at a major Australian university. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has recently published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007): http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1445960.htm ) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has just published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot..com/ ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open2.net/thingsweforgot/ bengalfamine_programme.html ). When words fail one can say it in pictures - for images of Gideon Polya's huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/ .
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