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Famine of 1866 -Bhima Bhoi

July 25th, 2010 by anuradha

nothing to eat

nothing to wear

boundless is the anguish

who indeed can bear to see such misery

among the world’s creatures

let my soul be condemned to hell

but let the Universe be redeemed. 


The Orissa Famine of 1866 saw 1 million people die, a third of the state's population. Over the next two years the impact of the famine took another 4 million human lives. These immortal words of Bhima Bhoi record his anguish over the ravages of this famine. Food and relief aid could not reach across the flooding waters which had cut of Orissa into an island, a Noah's ark with the living creatures quickly starving and dying on it.

Source: Biswamoy Pati in Religion and social 'subversion', Re-examining colonial Orissa (EPW, July/2010)., Bidyut Mohanty in Orissa famine of 1866 Demographic and economic consequences (EPW, Jan/1993)., Siddhath Satpathy in Bhima Bhoi Prayers and Reflections.


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