is an honour to be given charge as editor of the International Journal of
Anglo-Indian Studies, (IJAIS), founded and edited previously by the
distinguished scholar of Anglo-Indian studies, Dr
We are witnessing an emergent intellectual discourse within and about a mixed-race community: the Anglo-Indians, in a debate that is historically, politically and socially informed. It is also enriched by a diversity of themes from India and the Anglo-Indian diaspora as well as by non-Anglo-Indian scholars such as Isha Doshi and Satoshi Mizutani, located in a multidisciplinary forum who access and disseminate a wealth of information about the community.
We also see the discourse going mainstream, with books and articles on Anglo-Indian culture and community widely available in depots such as Amazon.The earlier journals and the reopened IJAIS are an important element of the Anglo-Indian discourse, soon to be joined by film documentaries and multi-media exhibits conceived and produced by Anglo-Indians. These will aim for mainstream television markets as well as DVD outlets to form a component of the genre in public and private library collections that follow the body of work.
It is indeed an exciting time for Anglo-Indian scholars and writers. Such a small community is exhibiting a tremendous cultural blooming. Various Anglo-Indian groups being formed on networking sites voice the concerns, claims and positions of this Indian/diasporic identity, admitting an interest in each others experiences that add to discussions hitherto expressed as outcomes of the International and National Anglo-Indian Associations.
This issue starts with Cheryl Shivan's article that follows the historical Anglo-Indian trajectory and concludes with a queston about the role of Anglo-Indian women in the future. She questions whether Anglo-Indians are doing enough, why are they content to preserve the stuas quo. Should they be demanding that constitutionally Anglo-Indian mothers be recognized as furthering the lineage of the community, to increase it's numbers and prevent it's disappearance into the communities they sprang from, is a question she asks. Cheryl focuses on the aspects of Anglo-Indian women's historical participation in the community with scholarly honesty.
Sheldon Fernandezpresents an article which is an adaptation of a graduate essay on ‘contextual theology’ – a sphere of study that attempts to read the Bible through the eyes of marginalized people such as woman and minorities. Lightly reworked to remove some of its denser academic jargon, this piece examines the religious experiences of Anglo Indian women against new theologies and theoretical research, and examines the usage of theological constructs in furthering the understanding and cooperation among genders.
Satoshi Mizutani is a Japanese professor and scholar on Anglo-Indians. In his carefully researched intervention on a historical moment in Anglo-Indian history, he reveals the results of a conscius effort made by Anglo-Indians to raise a representative regiment within the British armed forces in India and how the notions of 'whiteness' prevailing at the time affected the outcome of this endeavour.
Finally Kathleen Cassity, reviews a current film on Anglo-Indians. She critically examines it's basis and with her nuanced reading of its various constructs she exposes it's stereotypes of Anglo-Indian men and women and their customs, it's often confused though hardly malevolent approach to an Anglo-Indian subject that it purports to empathise with.
This would be a good time to introduce a 'Letters to the Editor' section which will, hopefully, bring in critical responses from readers. This should start from the next issue. Please send your letters to email@example.com
2010 therefore sees the re-opened IJAIS that owes it's debt to efforts made by earlier founders/contributors with the hope that participants, both readers and contributors, will be inspired/provoked into further discussion to keep the IJAIS growing and thriving as the voice of Anglo-Indian people, writers, thinkers, and those who are now not just being discussed but discussing themselves.
HAPPY NEW YEAR