Google marked the 160th anniversary of India’s first passenger train with a doodle


On Tuesday, Google marked the 160th anniversary of India’s first passenger train with a doodle. On April 16, 1853 India’s first passenger locomotive ran between Bombay to Thane. There are several theories why the railways were introduced in India. They range from political to strategic to economic reasons for the own benefit of the British. Ulterior rather than altruistic motives are attributed to the British. Actually in those days many Princely States also owned their railways. The fringe benefits to India are no doubt acknowledged. The railways unified India, broke down caste-region-religious barriers, increased trade etc. But personally, I feel the railway is an instance of ‘technology transfer’. Railway became realty, regardless of the intention behind it, only because its time had come. The British rule only accelerated its advent. It had taken more than 300 years — from 1456 to 1772 — for the printing press to arrive in India from Germany. But it took barely 30 years — from 1825 to 1853 — years for railway to operate to India from Britain.


We overlook the historical role performed by the railways in India. The railways led to the growth of a civil society in India. Without the railways, modern politics could not have struck roots. This can be explained in the following manner. Prior to the advent of the railways, horse was the rapidest mode of transportation. But few could afford a horse. Its usage was critically limited for military purpose.

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Source: niticentral