chapter  6
A nation on the move?
Railway travel and conceptualisations of space in colonial India
ByAparajita Mukhopadhyay
Pages 23

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One of most significant colonial assertions about the transformative capacity of railways was its ability to create a ‘nation’ – both in the imagination and in reality. The post-colonial scholarship too, though with minor modifications, continues to accept that railways created a ‘national’ space in India. This chapter departs from this dominant scholarship. It contests assumptions about the creation and completeness of ‘national’ space and the role of railways in the process. On the contrary, the chapter illustrates contradictory conceptualisations of territories – processes that had consequences for colonial Indian society and beyond.