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The history of industrialization in the Indian subcontinent and the colonial industrial heritage remains

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9:30 AM, Tuesday 30 Aug 2022 (20 minutes)

Nothing in modern heritage makes sense except in the light of industrialization and its heritage. Although the industrial revolution started in the west, but its effects reached Asia and Africa in one way or another. One of the influencing factors was the practice of colonization of the western forces. Indian subcontinent even before the colonization by Britishers was under the influence and monopoly of British east Indian company which eventually lead to its occupation and colonization. The industrial infrastructure developed by the Britishers was under specific agenda to trade goods from and to the region, but the fact can't be ignored is that it revolutionized the industries and industrial infrastructure of the Indian subcontinent. The buildings and industrial infrastructure left behind are still in use in various sectors of India Pakistan and Bangladesh, some of which are associated with the dark and contentious history of colonization. Therefore, this industrial heritage can be seen as a mending source to cope with the contentious past of colonization, reusing and preserving it in a way that benefits the local, national, and international communities positively.

The paper is a part of broader Ph.D. research on the topic of “Industrial heritage and its adaptive reuse potential in Pakistan”. It will discuss the case study of the Karachi harbor site (Figure 1) and the Mughalpora railway workshop (Figure 2) in the city of Lahore through the lens of industrial heritage. Both sites were developed in British India. The sites are studied through site visits, surveys, and archival data collection from different sources like the British Library, Sindh library, Karachi port trust library, and railway archive department.  

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