Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

Reader 1

Niklas Frykman

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Rights Information

© 2012 Prashant L. Fonseka

Abstract

This paper examines how the development of the railway-telegraph technological complex impacted the tenuous relationship between the rulers and those they ruled; the British and the Indians. Through the experience of building and operating the railway, Indians came to understand the railway and telegraph as their own technologies well before the eventual handover of control over the networks from the British. The reasons behind the British desire to retain their grasp over the networks included profit, power, and orientalist notions of socially advancing Indians, all at the expense of Indian taxpayers. This arrangement was problematic and ultimately facilitated the Raj's undoing, while revealing certain realities of British imperial rule.

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