Making a nation with tracks: The Railways’ impact on India

Making a nation with tracks: The Railways’ impact on India

In these days of low-budget airlines, it is only thought a common, time-taking mode of travel. But given Mahatma Gandhi, the Kakori conspiracy, the Partition refugees’ trains, Godhra, or even films from “Aradhana” to “Dilwalwe Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” and “Sonar Kella” to “Sholay”, would India have had the same trajectory to its nationhood, freedom, politics and culture without its railways?

It seems difficult, says scholar Arup K. Chatterjee in this fairly comprehensive account of the impact of the railways’ over century and a half old presence in the subcontinent.

Citing a British author, who had in 1865 – when the railways had just begun to come up in India – held that they could do the task of making India a nation which any native ruler, be it Akbar or Tipu Sultan, had not managed, Chatterjee notes that “how efficiently the railways did, or did not, nationalise India has occasionally come under scrutiny”. Read More…

 

 

 

Credit By: Mathrubhumi

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