ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Illuminating the Quest for Technological Modernity

Let There Be Light: Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Electricity in Colonial Bengal, 1880–1945 by Suvobrata Sarkar, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020; pp xiv + 294, `850.

Following Edward Said’s (1978) monumental work on Orienta­lism, the fundamental premise of colonial epistemology, which visualised the West and the East as the opposites of each other, has long been challenged. Related to this is the critique of the general perception that all modern scientific and technological knowledge flowed from the West to the East. Instead, various ­recent researches have pointed out that not only Western scientific knowledge and technological advancement underwent significant metamorphoses in the colonies, but also in some of the cases, the technical expertise and processes were first developed in the colonies and then they were transferred to Europe.

The present work by Suvobrata Sarkar is a welcome addition to this nuanced und­erstanding of the circulatory nature of modern scientific knowledge and techno­logical advancement with a special emp­hasis on entrepreneurship and electricity generation in colonial Bengal.

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Updated On : 7th May, 2022
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