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Technologies of Transportation and Communication: Impact in Colonial Punjab

Authors: Mandakini Thakur, Sheena Pall

Abstract:

Technology had been intimately related to colonialism as colonizers found the tools of technology essential to penetrate, organize and develop the unexplored geographical areas which they conquered. Transportation and communication technologies played an important role in consolidating the British rule in India as these were essential components required for quick movement of goods, troops and securing co-ordination between authorities and officials at various levels. The province of Punjab in British India was annexed by the British in 1949 and they immediately started to introduce western technologies of transport and communication for transportation of agricultural produce, security of defence forces and acquiring comprehensive, accurate, and frequent information from every quarter of the region. This paper describes the introduction of western technologies of road and bridge construction, railways, telegraph, telephone, radio transmission and printing press by the British in Colonial Punjab. These technologies created appreciable impact on the colonial Punjabi society which has been highlighted. The paper is intended to contribute to the much needed aspect of History of Technology in colonial Punjab.

Keywords: Colonial Punjab, technology, transportation, communication.

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