Technology and Rural Change in Eastern India, 1830-1980

Hardcover | March 19, 2014

bySmritikumar Sarkar

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The book discusses how Western technology, primarily the means of transport and manufacture, changed the Indian village. Technology reached India through colonialism, as also through corporate bodies and private enterprise. The study is based on British Bengal, which correspondis topresent-day West Bengal and Bangladesh. British Bengal also included Bihar, Orissa, and Assam for intermediary periods - these areas have also been frequently referred to by way of illustration.With Calcutta as the hub, eastern India was the gateway of technology transmission to India. Underneath the relatively known areas of technology build-up, there was an inner layer of its transmission from the colonial metropolis to the interior, which is much less known. This book, a social historyof technology in the main, analyses the context and results of technology induction to the village, such as the railways redrawing the morphology of rural settlement, the new tools-led empowerment of artisans, or their dispossession due to mechanization.While technology improved the quality of life in the West, it largely failed to mitigate poverty in rural India. The book addresses why it failed to accelerate development in India. Based on local level sources, the work blends hard data with folk usage, oral tradition, songs, sayings, andvernacular literature, thereby infusing into the text both a life and a historical insight most often ignored.

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The book discusses how Western technology, primarily the means of transport and manufacture, changed the Indian village. Technology reached India through colonialism, as also through corporate bodies and private enterprise. The study is based on British Bengal, which correspondis topresent-day West Bengal and Bangladesh. British Bengal...

Smritikumar Sarkar is Professor and Vice Chancellor at the University of Burdwan, West Bengal. His areas of research are social and economic history of modern India, Indian artisans, blacksmith tribes, traditional technology, and rural economy and society. He is also a freelance writer and has published with many leading newspapers in...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 8.75 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:March 19, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019809230X

ISBN - 13:9780198092308

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsForewordPrefaceAcknowledgementsAbbreviationsIntroduction1. Bullock Cart to the Railways: Exploring the Interior2. New Tools in Old Hands: Artisan as Barefoot Entrepreneur3. Machines in the Periphery: Rice, Sugar and Oil Mills4. Technology Beckons: Bhadralok Enterprise in the Suburbs5. Power of the Steam: Breakdown of the Old EconomyConclusion: Village Society at the CrossroadsGlossaryBibliographyIndexAbout the Author