At 96, Bengal famine photographer dies

Legendary photographer Sunil Janah, who documented the Bengal famine of the 1940s with his black-and-white camera, died of age related-causes at his home in Berkeley at the age of 96.

Sunil Janah. Pic/IANS

Born in Assam in 1918, Janah grew up in Kolkata. When the ban on Communists was lifted by the British, he caught the eye of the Communist Party’s general secretary PC Joshi, who persuaded him to travel with artist Chittoprasad across Bengal to photograph the famine of 1943.

Janah’s photographs of the famine published in the party journal People’s War brought him instant fame because of the horror the young lensman had captured through his camera.

Janah’s wife Shobha died a few weeks ago. He is survived by son Arjun, who lives in Brooklyn.

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