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By Lionel Caplan

One of the legacies of the colonial stumble upon are any variety of modern ‘mixed-race’ populations, descendants of the offspring of sexual unions related to ecu males (colonial officers, investors, etc.) and native ladies. those teams invite severe scholarly consciousness simply because they not just problem notions of a inflexible divide among colonizer and colonized, yet beg a number of questions about continuities and adjustments within the postcolonial global. This e-book issues one such team, the Eurasians of India, or Anglo-Indians as they got here to be distinct. Caplan provides an historicized ethnography in their modern lives as those relate either to the colonial earlier and to stipulations within the current. specifically, he forcefully exhibits that includes which theorists go along with the postcolonial current — blurred barriers, a number of identities, creolized cultures — were a part of the colonial earlier in addition. providing a robust argument opposed to theoretically essentialized notions of tradition, hybridity and postcoloniality, this e-book is a much-needed contribution to contemporary debates in cultural reports, literary thought, anthropology, sociology in addition to historic reviews of colonialism, ‘mixed-race’ populations and cosmopolitan identities.

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Higginbotham’s Guide to the City of Madras (Bremner 1903: 52) mentions the Locomotive and Carriage workshops of the Madras Railway at Perambur which ‘have been an admirable training school for hundreds of Eurasian [boys who] have obtained employment on the railways. ’. 277, quoted in Symonds 1987: 33). Around the same time, according to Bear, virtually all the upper subordinate positions were filled by Anglo-Indians and domiciled Europeans (1998: 9). 11 In the Anglo-Indian population in Madras today there are very few adult householders who were not themselves employed, or do not count at least one recent forebear (grandfather, father, uncle) on the railway, and many trace several.

Women were trained and employed at first in the civil nursing service, established in the early – 30 – Anglo-Indians in Madras 1870s, and subsequently in the military nursing service, set up some two decades later (see Wilkinson 1958). By the early years of the twentieth century they formed a ‘large majority’ of the staff in government and civil hospitals, as well as in railway hospitals (Hartley 1938). In the same period Anglo-Indian women were also engaged in some numbers as shop assistants in European-owned retail firms in the major commercial centres of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras.

We may be reasonably certain that the local women they consorted with were from humble backgrounds, which may go some way to explain the collective amnesia concerning female ancestors among so many Anglo-Indian families. Most Anglo-Indian writers, when they address the issue at all, understandably prefer to note the worthy, even distinguished family backgrounds of these women. When John Ricketts came to Britain in 1830 to plead the Anglo-Indian cause before Parliament he was asked at one point about ‘the native mothers of East Indians’ (as the Anglo-Indians were – 23 – Children of Colonialism then called) and replied that in Bengal ‘the greater proportion of them are .

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