Role of Anglo Indians today

I found this movie an interesting glimpse into the world of the Anglo-Indian population, or at least the older ones who are aging as memories of decadent empire fade. Do Anglo-Indians face discrimination like that which was shown in the movie? How many Anglo Indians still live in India now?


I am a fourth generation Anglo-Indian woman from Calcutta. The AI population is very small in India today (sorry don't really have an exact number), due to mass immigration to Australia, Canada, UK and US.

The question of discrimination is a very complex one, and has so many levels, that it's mind boggling!

To give you a jist, after the Raj ended, the AI's were seen as liabilites by both sides, the British never really sorted out or knew what to do, with this "half caste/race" population, which they largely helped create initially, as they wanted loyalists in the Indian midst.
The other Indians, saw the "race" as an extension of the Raj, and really didn't want them either, although they weren't as discriminating as the British were. After all, we were achoot, but "half Indian", with English education and manners, which was useful.
There was a huge backlash against the "firingee jat" in the years following independance. So many AI stereotypes were created, mostly negative I am afraid. However, the AI's were somewhat to blame for this discrimination.

The AI's themselves were not accepting of the larger Indian population, and really saw themselves as different and superior (another complex created by the British, to make sure their "little loyalists" remained loyal to the Raj). The AI's didn't see themselves as Indians, and always talked of the UK as "home".

All of this largely changed in the late 1970's, as the Anglo Indians had two choices, adapt to living in an independant India or immigrate. So, many learnt to live in the best of both worlds.

I am of that 70's generation. I am Indian first and Anglo second. I am very comfortable living in both cultures, I speak fluent Hindi and Bengali, have an indepth knowledge of Hinduism and Islam, I am totally comfortable in a Mandir or Masjid as I am in a Church, in a sari, shalwar or Western dress, singing bhajans or hymns. A very good place to be. I am proud of both my Indian and Anglo heritage.

The sad thing is, not many Indians know about us or our history, and so we are sort of lost to time and space.

I'll tell you, I knew many a Violet Stoneham, in very similar sad situations! So I can relate to this film completely!

A wonderful movie by Apornadi!


7 years have passed and it is a tragedy that nobody else has replied to your poignant comment. Thank you for this wonderful account from an AI point of view.

I am a Catholic residing in Mumbai.

They call me Eraserhead.