The Motorisation of the 'Mufassil': Automobile Traffic and Social Change in Rural North India, c. 1925-70 (Modern Indian History, funded by DFG)
This project analyses the interdependency of transport developments and social change in rural North India between 1925 and 1970. In doing so, it particularly looks at the relationship between expanding motor transport and two specific processes of social transformation: a) the dynamics of social differentiation and b) the development of structures of circulation. It inquires more directly into prerequisites and context of capital investment and employment in this newly emerging transport sector on the one hand and into economic and socio-spatial implications of the 'automobilisation' for the circulation of humans and commodities and for the transport infrastructure in its entirety on the other hand. The case study will focus on North-West Uttar Pradesh. This region experienced a particularly rapid motor transport development resulting from a dynamic field of force of various social actors. Besides governmental institutions, this included newly emerging industries (such as automobile, oil and construction material industry, agribusiness), commercial pressure groups, carrying businesses, village actors, pilgrims and the public.