322 pages | 4 B/W Illus.
Anglo-Indians are a mixed-race, Christian and Anglophone minority community which arose in South Asia during the long period of European colonialism. An often neglected part of the British Raj, their presence complicates the traditional binary through which British imperialism is viewed – of ruler and ruled, coloniser and colonised.
The book analyses the processes of ethnic group formation and political organisation, beginning with petitions to the East India Company state, through the Raj’s constitutional communalism, to constitution-making for the new India. It details how Anglo-Indians sought to preserve protected areas of state and railway employment amidst the growing demands of Indian nationalism. Anglo-Indians both suffered and benefitted from colonial British prejudices, being expected to loyally serve the colonial state as a result of their ties of kinship and culture to the colonial power, whilst being the victims of racial and social discrimination. This mixed experience was embodied in their intermediate position in the Raj’s evolving socio-racial employment hierarchy. The question of why and how a numerically small group, who were privileged relative to the great majority of people in South Asia, were granted nominated representatives and reserved employment in the new Indian Constitution, amidst a general curtailment of minority group rights, is tackled directly. Based on a wide range of source materials from Indian and British archives, including the Anglo-Indian Review and the debates of the Constituent Assembly of India, the book illuminatingly foregrounds the issues facing the smaller minorities during the drawn out process of decolonisation in South Asia. It will be of interest to students and researchers of South Asia, Imperial and Global History, Politics, and Mixed Race Studies.
I. East Indians
II. The ‘Eurasian Problem’
III. Becoming Anglo-Indians
IV. Making a Minority
V. Escapisms of Empire
VI. Constituting the Nation
The Royal Asiatic Society was founded in 1823 ‘for the investigation of subjects connected with, and for the encouragement of science, literature and the arts in relation to, Asia’. Informed by these goals, the policy of the Society’s Editorial Board is to make available in appropriate formats the results of original research in the humanities and social sciences having to do with Asia, defined in the broadest geographical and cultural sense and up to the present day.
Professor Francis Robinson, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK (Chair); Professor Tim Barrett, SOAS, University of London, UK; Dr Evrim Binbaş, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; Professor Anna Contadini, SOAS, University of London, UK; Professor Michael Feener, National University of Singapore; Dr Gordon Johnson, University of Cambridge, UK; Professor David Morgan, University of Wisconsin–Madison, US; Dr. BMC Brend; Dr. R. Llewellyn Jones MBE