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“Of hissing steam, amid the breathless crowd”: A study of the developing representation of Indian Railways during its inaugurations
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim with this study is to investigate the developmental role of the Indian railways as it has been represented in the local newspapers in connection to the openings of different lines in India from 1853-1885. An inquiry has also been made as to whether the railways was used as a polemical tool in the ongoing debates between the nationalists and imperialists. The theoretical framework for the study is postcolonial and is derived by Ian J. Kerr and his article, “Representation and representations of the Railways of colonial and post-colonial South Asia (2003)”. Three different Indian newspapers, Times of India, Hindoo Patriot and Friend of India has been investigated using a discourses analysis were three different aspects of the railway's representation has been made, the segregating aspect, the emancipating aspect and the progressive aspect. The results from the study shows that the articles contain expressions which describe economical, communicative or cultural advantages of the inaugurated railway lines with a slight difference in how they are portrayed depending on the newspaper. Segregating and emancipating aspects were also present in the reporting made by all three newspapers were the two aspects are usually put into different context, and varying depending on the newspaper. Expressions enforcing a dichotomy between a ’we’ and a ’they’ have been found in both the segregating and emancipating aspect but in a considerably greater extent in the segregating expressions. The dichotomy is also generally found in connection to the developing aspects of the railway. A final finding in the study is that civilizing argument existed in both the segregating and emancipating aspects. The civilizing arguments found in the articles mainly bring forward the modernity and development the railways have created and will create for the native people of India, implying that the railways would enrich them with knowledge and urbanity. Concluded, the findings made in the study shows that progression is expressed in the majority of the articles, with slight differences in the focus of whom the progression concerns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 36 p.
Keyword [en]
Railways, India, Development, Nationalism, Imperialist, Times of India, Hindoo Patriot, Friend of India, Postcolonial
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-273670OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-273670DiVA: diva2:894903
Subject / course
Available from: 2016-02-02 Created: 2016-01-16 Last updated: 2016-02-02Bibliographically approved

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