The Anglo-Indians – A 500-year History
S. Muthiah and Harry MacLure
History | 198 pages
Muthiah traces the origins and growth of four generations of Anglo-Indians. He combines meticulous research and a descriptive-analytical approach with a style enlivened by personal anecdote and imagery… If one had to choose just two books on the Anglo-Indian community, one would be this magnum opus of Muthiah’s, brilliantly conceptualized and executed… Muthiah has chronicled our history, a legacy we can bequeath to our children and our children’s children… This history will rekindle in Anglo-Indians wherever they are, pride in themselves and pride in our extraordinary community.
– Dr. Beatrix D’Souza
Former Member of Parliament
Till 1911, the British described any amongst them who had spent long years working in India as ‘Anglo-Indians’. The Census that year defined as Anglo-Indian, anyone born of or descended from an European male permanently settled in India and, by implication, having an Indian mother. For over 500 years, since the Portuguese put down roots in India c. 1500, this community of mixed heritage has been called by various names, some of them rather derogatory. Between 1911 and 1935, the Anglo-Indians evolved as a well-defined community recognised by the Government of India.
The first part of the book traces their history. It is a story of disappointments and of hopes, of sorrow and joy, of uncertainty being a part of their lives from the day they were born – unsure of their identity, futures and place in society. But it is also the story of a people who found happiness, enjoyment and satisfaction in the various niches they were fitted into.
Today, about two-thirds of the community have settled overseas. In India, the other third is progressing as never before. Together, as in the past, they are proving to be achievers and significant contributors wherever they are and against all odds, quite out of proportion with their numbers. Some of those significant contributions they have made are a substantial part of this book.
Indeed, these pages will reveal that small though it be, it is a community with great heritage the wider world should become better aware of.
S. Muthiah, educated in Sri Lanka, India and the United States, was a senior journalist in Sri Lanka for 17 years and then was in printing and publishing in India for 22 years.
His interest in the historical has led to him being described as the ‘Chronicler of Madras’. Chronicled in over 35 books are the stories of Madras (Chennai), those of several of its leading institutions as well as some of its eminent personalities, besides those of two communities he has been part of: The Indo-Lankans and the Nattukottai Chettiars.
A full-time writer and editor since 1990, Muthiah edits Madras Musings, a fortnightly on the city. He is also a columnist for The Hindu, Madras. His best-known books are Madras Rediscovered, Madras – Its Past and its Present, A Madras Miscellany, Getting India on the Move, The Spencer Legend, Looking Back from Moulmein, The Ace of Clubs, The Indo-Lankans and The Chettiar Heritage. He was awarded the MBE (1992) by the Queen of England for his work on heritage and environmental conservation.
Harry MacLure moved from the hotel industry into cartooning, writing and finally publishing 20 years ago when he started the journal Anglos In The Wind, reaching out to Anglo-Indians around the world. His recent venture Anglo-Ink focuses on bringing out books on the community. MacLure has been mainly responsible for the pictorial content of this book.
Richard O’Connor, a senior Customs officer, spends time on the study of history, writing and music when he sheds his uniform. A meticulous researcher, he now spends time on tracking down the stories of Anglo-Indians who have made significant contributions to society. Much of that search is reflected in this book.Product Code: OB-001
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