Contents: Introduction. 1. The Telegraph. 2. Cable. 3. Wireless. 4. Telecommunications in Post-Independence India. 5. Postscript. Index.
Telecommunications was vital to the imperial project and connecting India—the jewel in the British crown—was a key priority. However, intercolonial rivalries outside and within India as well as contestations between private and public ownership of telecommunications made that task difficult.
The author explores these differences and ties the history of telegraph, cable, and wireless in British India to the evolving story of telecommunications in post-Independence India.
This book examines the role of the telegraph, oceanic cables, and the wireless in the context of the political economy and compulsions of Empire to control global flows of communications. It argues that history is absolutely critical to understanding the present, and the imprint of the past continues to shape the Indian state’s engagements with telecommunications. This volume undertakes the project of bridging the gap between past and present, and highlighting a narrative of time- and space-specific innovation and growth tempered by political circumstances, geopolitical developments, and economic compulsions.