The Newsletter 52 Winter 2009

The Orissa famine of 1866

Ganeswar Nayak

Famine dominates the pages of Indian economic history. In 1866 one of the most devastating famines – known as the Na Anka famine – visited Orissa, killing a third of its population. Subsequently, a Famine Commission was formed and its recommendations constitute an important milestone in the economic history of Orissa. The development of roads, railways, ports and navigable irrigation canals became a priority. Ganeswar Nayak argues that this focus on transport and communication in colonial Orissa was the precursor for the province’s socio-economic transformation.

Download PDF from menu on right to read full article »