By Sheila Pais James



We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere… 

…We have a country of words. Speak speak so I can put my road on the stone of a stone.

We have a country of words.  Speak speak so we may know the end of this travel. (Mahmood Darwish, cited in Bowman 1994, p. 138)


Bowman (1994) cites Darwish’s poem in reference to the exiled Palestinians after the loss of their homeland in 1948. For Darwish, this ‘country of words’ has taken over or occupied the place of Palestine the territory, in the thoughts and daily activities of the Palestinians as a means of maintaining a sense of national identity. These diasporic Palestinians have constructed a sense of national identity despite the fact that their home or ‘territorial base’ was taken over by another national movement which denied the recognition of their national Palestinian aspirations. Bowman (1994, p. 138) argues that the 1948 loss of their homeland resulted in the construction of a number of different ‘Palestines’ corresponding to the different experiences of Palestinians in the various places of their ‘exile’.

One could say that the Anglo-Indians share a similar predicament to the Palestinians; unlike the Palestinians they have never aspired to nation but they have been displaced by the postcolonial national aspirations of mainstream Indian society. The Anglo-Indians can be termed a diasporic community travelling to their places of migration and resettlement in search of identity and home. India’s Independence and, consequently, the end of the British Raj resulted in their migration to countries like Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States (Blunt 2005, p. 2; Moore 1986, 1996). In this paper, I explore the notion of the Anglo-Indians’ sense of belonging through their historical background and their migration to Australia.

Caplan (1998) stresses that the process of moving across cultures, or globalisation, is not new and that the Anglo-Indians were one of the early results of the globalisation process. In his opinion, the Anglo-Indians reflect the characteristics of transnationals. This is not because of their “migration across political boundaries but through experiencing profound displacement in terms of belonging: by residing in one location but adjudging themselves only at home in another” (Caplan 1998, p. 2). This viewpoint captures an element similar to the Palestinians in the context of the mindset of the Anglo-Indian. Thus, even prior to India’s Independence and the withdrawal of the British, the Anglo-Indians inhabited a liminal space. This liminal space is what Gupta and Ferguson (1992, p. 10) refer to as ‘an imagined state of being or moral location’. In this connection, I draw on Brah’s (1996) interpretation of the concept of ‘home’:


Implied … is an image of ‘home’ as the site for everyday lived experience. It is a discourse of locality, the place where feelings of rootedness ensue from the mundane and the unexpected of daily practice. Home here connotes the networks of family, kin, friends, colleagues and various other ‘significant others’. It signifies the social and psychic geography of space that is experienced in terms of a neighbourhood or a hometown that is a community ‘imagined’ in most part through daily encounter. This ‘home’ is a place with which we remain intimate even in moments of intense alienation from it. It is a sense of ‘feeling at home’. (Brah 1996, p. 4)


Brah discusses ‘home’ in relation to migrants in general who cling to the memories of the life they were accustomed to and bring these memories into their life in their country of migration. The Anglo-Indians reflect Brah’s observation, in that they did not experience this ‘sense of feeling at home’, they did not feel that they belonged in India and were always looking to England as their ‘home’ (Moore 1996; see also Blunt 2005, pp. 2-3). Further, the Anglo-Indians not only identified with the life of British India times, they also “imagined themselves as part of an imperial diaspora in British India” (Blunt 2005, p. 2). In reality, their mundane and daily routines, their networks of family, friends and associates were situated in a geographical space that was not ‘England’ but Anglo-India’. I refer to Anglo-India as the liminal location of the Anglo-Indians living under the British colonial Raj. The Anglo-Indians take with them this feeling of England as ‘home’ to their postcolonial locations of migration and resettlement and the liminal space or imagined state of being gives the Anglo-Indians their diasporic quality (Caplan 1998; Blunt 2005). Caplan’s (1998) politico-historic definition of transnationalism usefully adds to our understanding of the Anglo-Indians, linking their diasporic quality to the concrete historical processes of globalisation.


Using a chronological framework for the chapter, I trace the origins of the mixed-race Anglo-Indian community and their aspirations for whiteness in their quest for identity. I outline the issues of mixed-race identity and racialisation based on colour prejudice and the insecurities faced by the Anglo-Indians in the British colonial system of social gradation. I explore the constructions of Anglo-Indian identity and their dilemma of identity as a mixed-race, transnational, diasporic community formed across the boundaries of race, colonialism and globalisation.


This chapter also focuses on the issues of postcolonial identity experienced by Anglo-Indian migrants who travelled to their postcolonial Australian location in waves of migration during the White Australia Policy and after the introduction of multiculturalism in the 1960s and 1970s. I argue that Anglo-Indians’ aspirations of white identity are linked with their migration to dominant white ‘Anglo-Celtic’ locations like Australia. I further argue that their constructions of Anglo-British identity and of whiteness are instrumental in their choice to migrate to a dominant white Anglo-Celtic settler society like Australia.


Changes in the definition of the term ‘Anglo-Indian’

It is important to stress here that the changes surrounding the definitions of the term Anglo-Indian are crucial to the understanding of the ambiguous nature of the Anglo-Indian community as an ‘identity’ (Abel 1988; Anthony 1969; Bose 1979; Younger 1984; Gilbert 1996; Varma 1979 & Carton 2000). Carton (2000, p. 1) argues that these debates reflect the diversity and multiplicity of the Eurasian condition.


The defining terminologies of the community became crucial to the Anglo-Indian identity-making process and to the continuation of their white race privilege that resulted from their British ancestry. Further, the changes in terminology regarding the definition of the Anglo-Indians were reflective of the aspirations for whiteness, which prompted the Anglo-Indians to seek recognition of their British ancestry.


To be defined as an Anglo-Indian, paternal descent had to be traced from a European father, whether or not the mother was Indian or European and born and domiciled in India. While emphasis was on paternal ancestry, Blunt (2000) points out that the Anglo-Indians’ maternal line of descent could be traced back as early as the eighteenth century but was not taken into account as the paternal link determined who qualified as an Anglo-Indian  


Warren Hastings used the term ‘Anglo-Indian’ initially in the eighteenth century to refer to “both the British in India and their Indian-born children” (Moore 1996, p. 1). From 1789, the British term ‘half-caste’ was used in reference to people of mixed European and Indian origin. Following a protest from the Madras Eurasian Committee in 1827 about the usage of the term ‘half-caste’ in official British documents, the names Eurasian, Indo-Britain, Asian, Anglo-Indian, East Indian, Anglo-Asian, Asiatick, and Asiatick Briton were put forward.  After much debate, the term ‘Eurasian’ was deemed appropriate because it supported the notion that it “encompassed all people of mixed-race regardless of European origins” (Carton 2000, p. 6; see also Ballhatchet 1979, p. 4).


Carton (2000, pp. 7-8) charts how this hybridity became defined as ‘Anglo-Indian’ as the British consolidated imperial power in India and were concerned with safeguarding their boundaries from the threat of continental European influence. The usage of the term ‘Anglo-Indian’ as representative of all mixed-race people in India was formally recognised in the late nineteenth century with the formation of the Imperial Anglo-Indian Association in 1898. There were concerns that the British heritage would not be recognised if the title ‘Eurasian’ were to be adopted. In this connection, Carton quotes the leader of the Anglo-Indian Deputation to the Secretary of State for India, Dr.Wallace as follows:


Britishers we are and Britishers we ever must and shall be. Once we relinquish this name (Anglo-Indians) and permit ourselves to be styled ‘Eurasians’ or ‘Statutory natives of India’ we become estranged from our proud heritage as Britishers. (Wallace 1930, cited in Carton 2000, p. 7)


According to Carton (2000, p. 7) for Wallace, inherent in the adoption of the term ‘Anglo-Indian’ was the political and cultural significance of distancing the Anglo-Indian community from native Indians and from racial terminologies like ‘Eurasian’. As the quotation above indicates, Anglo-Indians considered themselves descendants of a proud British heritage. This reflected the Anglo-Indians’ aspirations for inclusion into British society.


Hawes (1996) discovered the disparity between the aspirations for status and opportunity among educated Anglo-Indians and those that were permitted by the British.  The British unfavourably stereotyped the Anglo-Indian community as being amiable, unambitious and unfitted to major responsibility. Contrasts were made between the post-colonial achievements of Anglo-Indians in Indian states, which offered greater opportunities than they enjoyed under the British Raj. This was attributed to differences in education and employment (Hawes 1996, pp. vi-viii).


The term Anglo-Indian was officially adopted in 1911. Lord Hardinge used the term Anglo-Indians in the Indian Census of that year (Moore 1996, pp. 1-2) as referring to “those of either racially unmixed or mixed heritage” (McMenamin 2001, p. 1). Unlike before, the British officers working in India were excluded from this definition. The ‘domiciled’ Europeans born and habitually resident in India also gained formal recognition and were categorised as “Anglo-Indians rather than as the elite British” (McMenamin 2001, pp. 1-2). Thus, for the first time, the term   ‘Anglo-Indian’ officially designated a population that had previously been known as, among many other names, ‘Anglo-Asian’, ‘Asiatic Briton’, ‘Country-born’, ‘Domiciled Indian’, ‘Domiciled European’, ‘East Indian’, ‘Eurindian’, ‘Euro-Asian’, ‘Euro-Briton’, ‘Euro-Indian’  ‘Half-caste’, ‘Indo-Briton’ and ‘Eurasian’ (Carton 2000).


From 1911, the term Anglo-Indian was “taken to signify persons who were of European descent in the male line but of mixed European and Indian blood” (Anthony 1969, p. 3). This definition clearly specified who could be called an Anglo-Indian for inclusion into the Anglo-Indian community and was later legalised by the Government of India Act of 1935, Article 366 (2) and repeated in the 1950 Constitution of Independent India as follows:


An ‘Anglo-Indian’ means a person whose father or any of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent but who is domiciled within the territory of India and is or was born within such territory of parents habitually resident therein and not established there for temporary purposes only. (The Constitution of India, paragraph 366, cited in Anthony 1969, p. 5)


This definition indicates that the Anglo-Indians were victorious in their struggle to trace their heritage in a specific manner through the male line of the family as indicated in the Constitutional provisions (Wright 1997, p. 11). For Carton (2000, pp. 1-2), the evidence of multiple ways of describing and portraying the Anglo-Indians in India establishes that “the Anglo-Indians were imagined, and imagined themselves as different things at different times”. In his view therefore, this multiplicity challenges the assumption of mixed-race being synonymous with British rule and undermines any notion of Anglo-Indian as a constant or fixed identifier. Nevertheless, the term ‘Anglo-Indian’ has been used to identify those Indians with an Anglo or European heritage and they identify themselves with this nomenclature. As a consequence, all reference to this community throughout this paper will be as ‘Anglo-Indians’.


Origins of the mixed-race community in India: 1400-1857

The Anglo-Indians are described as one among the numerous minority groups occupying the Indian subcontinent. Many minority groups trace their descent from ancient lineages prior to the Europeans’ presence on the scene, when Indian Hindus, Armenian and Muslim merchants traded with Turkey, Arabia, Persia and Tibet. The Anglo-Indian community’s history on the other hand, only started at the end of the fifteenth century with the arrival of the Portuguese on the subcontinent of India (Vellinga 1994).


The emergence of the Anglo-Indian community was framed by waves of European activity from when Portuguese (fifteenth century), Dutch (mid-sixteenth century) and French (early seventeenth century) merchants started trading with India, initially to obtain a share in the existing trade with Bengal (Bose 1967, p. 263; Gilbert 1996, p.13; Gist 1967a). Early British traders interested in joining in the spice trade with the East were encouraged by Queen Elizabeth I, who granted a charter on 31 December 1600 to a company of English merchants giving them exclusive rights to trade with the East. This eventuated in the establishment of the British East India Company whose sole intention was to trade with the East (Lawford 1978, pp. 11-30). In this process, along with the French, the British merchants also came to India in the early seventeenth century (Weston 1939).


Carton (2000, p. 2) reports that early European travellers confirm the fact that Eurasian communities existed in India well before the British arrived on the scene. He argues that the evidence of a Eurasian community is indicated as early as 1546, by the use of the term mestico, and later mustees, among early Portuguese in India in reference to a person born in India of mixed descent. He cites Hobson and Jobson (1903) who found that the term “mestizo was also used in India by 1588 to describe a person who was halfe an Indian, and halfe a Portugall”. Underlying this definition is the recognition of hybridity and the need to clarify its existence.


The Anglo-Indian community thus developed as the product of European colonisation and specifically ‘colonial desire’, and consequential ‘hybridity’ (Young 1995) involving liaisons both formal and informal involving European colonial males and native females of India. These unions were encouraged, especially with the official restriction of European women from travelling / migrating to the British colonies (Stoler 1989). “Even the chiefs were not accompanied by their wives, and the others were not expected to marry” (Roberts 1952, p. 75).  Varma (1979, p. 1) summarises this process in terms of the Anglo-Indians as “the legacy of Europeans’ commercial and political enterprise in India, resulting in the inevitable co-mingling, many a time illegitimate, between European men and Indian women”. In Caplan’s (1998, p. 2) words, “In time, despite their disparate ancestry, they came to be recognized (but not always or uniformly to recognize themselves) as a community of Anglo-Indians”. Thus, the Anglo-Indians were the creation of the direct expansionist policies of the Portuguese, Dutch, French and British traders and colonists (Moore 1996, p. 2).


In 1687, a family allowance of one pagola or gold mohur (a guinea coin) was paid for the birth of a child from a marriage between a native woman and a British soldier of Fort St. George, Madras (Moore 1986, p. 4; Stark 1936, p. 18; Younger 1984, pp. 2-3). Hedin (1934, p. 167) refers to this allowance as a small pecuniary encouragement for “Britishers who married Indian women, as the Company wished to hasten the development of an Anglo-Indian community”. These children were ‘country-born’ (had a mother whose parents were completely Indian with no European traces) and merged into the Anglo-Indian community, to serve as a “bulwark for the British Raj, a buffer but also a bridge between the rulers and their subjects” (Moore 1996, p. 2). Their local knowledge of India and its people made them invaluable to the British (Stark 1936, pp. 27-28). Thus, they were officially tolerated and their presence was encouraged to aid the British (Ballhatchet 1979, pp.  96-97; Moore 1986, pp. 3-8; Schermerhorn 1970, pp. 114-115).


Vellinga (1994) draws our attention to the emergence of yet another phenomenon, namely the social distancing between the Indian community and the Anglo-Indians. The Indian communities rejected Indian women who had relations with the Portuguese and other Europeans, forcing them to congregate with the Europeans or amongst themselves. This was due to the rigid caste system prevailing in India at the time of colonisation, which excluded mixed-race progeny from gaining acceptance in society. It was the mixed-race offspring who, over time, became identified as the Anglo-Indians of India (Wright 1998, p. 2). Caplan (2001, p. 1) writes that, “The descendants from these unions are still identified as mixed-race and form a culturally composite group”.


Social distance was not an issue between the British and their subjects in seventeenth and eighteenth century India. Cohn (1987, p. 425) points out that in the mid to late eighteenth century, some Englishmen adopted a Mughal-Indian way of life, having Indian wives and mistresses in the ‘heyday of nabobism’ (see also Caplan 1998; Gaikwad 1967[1], p. 1). Stoler (1989, p. 154) states that they ‘produced a quotidian world in which the dominant cultural influence was native’.


The East India Company gave the Anglo-Indians encouragement and ready employment. They were treated similarly to the British, thus ensuring the growth of a mixed community. Also, until the middle of the eighteenth century, Anglo-Indian children were often sent to England to receive further education (Laurie 1888[2]; Minto 1974; Ballhatchet 1979; Moore 1986, p. 146; Bayly 1988). They did so without the attachment of any stigma to their origins from either marital or extramarital relations with Indian women. Schools aimed at organising education to make Anglo-Indians fit for public service departments were also established in Calcutta, Madras, Bangalore, Lucknow and other British settlements (Gaikwad 1967 p. 24; Younger 1984, pp. 2-3; Andrews 2006).


The hardening of British attitudes towards the Anglo-Indians began when the size and balance of this mixed-race population changed and by 1750 they outnumbered the British (Moore 1996, p. 2; see also Caplan 1998). The British feared an uprising such as the mestizo led rebellion in Haiti[3] in 1791. In 1792, for example, the editor of The Calcutta Chronicle wrote: “If forthwith drastic measures are not put into operation to keep down the East Indian (Anglo-Indian) race, they will do to the British in India what the Mulattoes have done to the Spaniards in San Domingo” (Vellinga 1994). The consequent imposition of restrictions closed a large area of employment for Anglo-Indians who saw these actions as discriminatory as they had previously been treated as British and perceived themselves to be British both by culture and inclination. Accounts of the situation at the time suggest that these measures reduced the Anglo-Indians to political impotence and social degradation (Gilbert 1996, pp. 22-25).


From 1791, the Anglo-Indians were banned from serving in the East India Company’s armies (Moore 1996, p. 2). In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the Anglo-Indians were discharged from all ranks of the army; they were barred from the Company’s civil, military or marine services. In reality, the Anglo-Indians were thus no longer affiliated with the ruling colonial elite. Hawes (1996, vii-viii) draws from Anthony (1969), D’Souza (1976), Stark (1936) and Abel (1988) who all agreed that in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries British policy deliberately limited and stifled Anglo-Indian ambitions, education and job prospects. One of the reasons for Anglo-Indians being excluded from serving within the East India Company was because of the desire of Governors and shareholders of the Company to reserve these positions for their own sons (Vellinga 1994).


Gilbert (1996, pp. 22-25) and Chailley (1910) described how the British became concerned with maintaining racial purity. From the late 1700s onwards, just being of British heritage was not enough. The only people who were regarded as being “real English [were] those who are so twice over, by blood and by surroundings” (Chailley 1910, pp. 534-535). Although this was not made official, it became a general trend. Mixed Anglo-Indians and also pure Englishmen born in India were excluded. According to Chailley, “These people [Anglo-Indians] would not be able to rise ... to those lofty summits from which an empire is surveyed and directed” (Chailley 1910, pp. 534-535). Miscegenation was resented and opposed within the governing classes, and mixed populations in India were viewed as a threat to the European community (Stoler 1989, p. 47).


Vellinga (1994) found that discrimination by the British harmed the Anglo-Indians psychologically since they had always identified themselves with the British throughout their history. As noted earlier, in the years of British colonial expansion, intermarriage between British men and native women was encouraged. However, soon after assumption of rule by the British Crown was established in India, this trend was reversed. By the beginning of the nineteenth century it was taboo for all but British men of low status to associate with Anglo-Indians or Indians (Younger 1984, p. 45).


Vellinga (1994) clarifies that this division was not based on colour alone, but on the original place of birth in the geographical sense. Europeans were characterised as possessing civilisation, culture, religion, dress and education. These characteristics sustained the European community and ensured the continuation of their white race privilege. Thus, purity of race played a role in the segregation and ambiguity of the Anglo-Indians while later on, skin colour became an indicator of their inclusion or exclusion from the social scheme of events.


The British ensured separation of the ruling elite by housing them in purpose built quarters close to the local community, but away from Indian people. The elite had spacious houses and gardens connected by straight roads, in contrast to the congested Indian towns with winding streets which seemed different, mysterious and threatening. Similarly, the soldiers were secluded in military camps or cantonments. With health concerns about the soldiers contracting dangerous diseases from associating with prostitutes, the soldiers’ cantonments incorporated regimental bazaars (markets for prostitution) and a central bazaar for the soldiers’ sexual needs (Ballhatchet 1979, pp. 2-3).


The fear of venereal disease among the soldiers resulted in the increased arrival of single European women in India at the end of the eighteenth century. These European women were encouraged to travel to India in large numbers for legitimate unions to replace the irregular ones (Varma 1979, pp. 13-14). Their presence coincided with the threats to the colonials from educated and westernised Indians and the rise of the Nationalist movement, thus intensifying racism. Further, European women were banned from contact with Indian men even though European men of low status were allowed sexual contact with Indian women. The presence of European women thus increased the already prevalent tension (Vellinga 1994).


With improved conditions, more Englishwomen came to live in India, and this resulted in widening the social distance between the ruling race and the colonised (Stoler 1991, pp. 64-67). In Ballhatchet’s (1979, p. 5) account:


As wives, they hastened the disappearance of the Indian mistress. As hostesses they fostered the development of exclusive social groups in every civil station. As women they were thought of by Englishmen to be in need of protection from lascivious Indians.


Conversely, Indians were taken aback by European mannerisms in eating, drinking and personal hygiene, ladies baring their shoulders and dancing on social occasions. This did not affect the stringent Indian caste restraints or the traditional seclusion of Indian women. Hence, when Indian men came to British receptions without their wives, they were perceived to be a threat, in case they initiated alliances with white women at these events. British men belonging to the dominant elite were jealous of possible sexual relations between women of the elite class and men of subordinate groups (Ballhatchet 1979, pp. 5-6).


During the 1830s, Anglo-Indians occupied the lower levels of the British social hierarchy in India. Although they were not accepted as British subjects at the higher levels they were recognised as within the broader circles of British society in India.  The “‘better born’ sons of British civil servants and military officers” (socially higher class Anglo-Indians) held the best jobs compared to the lower levels of society who lived like paupers (Hawes 1996, p. x). These poor Anglo-Indians aspired unsuccessfully to being accepted as ‘wholly’ British. Upper class British fathers tried to maintain the social status of their children by sending their children back to Britain, acquired employment for the boys and suitable marriages for the girls. ‘Class’ was important and favoured them, in comparison to the children of the poorest and most disadvantaged section in Britain (Hawes 1996, pp. ix-x).


Vellinga (1994) draws attention to the British lifestyle, which resulted in a class-based hierarchy of European society with the poor Europeans and the Anglo-Indians at the bottom of the hierarchy. Hence, the Anglo-Indians occupied the lower echelons of society under British rule.


For Hawes (1996, p. vi) the Anglo-Indians, who were often “the Cinderellas of British society, are nowadays but a footnote to the historical account of British India”. Hawes (1996) explains this neglect of the community as a consequence of their marginality in relation to great government affairs. Many Anglo-Indians worked in government offices in the early nineteenth century. The poverty that many Anglo-Indians experienced as a result of these poorly paid jobs provoked leaders of the Anglo-Indian community in the early nineteenth century to write letters and petitions to the English-language press in India expressing their disappointed expectations, given the positions assigned to them in the European society, which they felt they belonged to (Hawes 1996, p vii).


The Anglo-Indians tried to organize themselves into the East Indian movement and put forward petitions to the Houses of Parliament in England between 1827 and 1830, complaining about their social, political and economic disabilities as East Indians, as Anglo-Indians were termed at that time. However, they were unsuccessful as their petition came at the inconvenient time when the Members of Parliament had more important political matters to discuss. In the light of the demand for India’s Independence, preference was given to hearing the demands of larger groups of the Indian population, particularly the Muslims (Gist & Wright 1973, p. 18). With the demise of their leaders (Derozio, Ricketts and Kyd), the position of the Anglo-Indians remained marginalised between the British and Indian communities (Vellinga 1994).


The racial system of inclusion into and exclusion from whiteness among whites and nonwhites that developed in India over the late eighteenth and nineteenth century accounted for Anglo-Indians’ aspirations to whiteness. On the subject of race, Lyons (1998) draws a link between the status of the Anglo-Indians and the Indian caste system in which the fairer castes were the higher castes in comparison to the darker Indians. Following from this, the Indians therefore viewed those Anglo-Indians who were darker as belonging to the lower castes, many of whom were also converted to Christianity by the missionaries during the British Raj (Lyons 1998).


In this manner, in the nineteenth century the colour-based distinctions gradually became coded into a more rigid system of social distinctiveness separating the British from the mixed-race people. According to Moore (1996), the fairer became known as ‘Anglo-Indian’ and the darker people as ‘Eurasian’. In her view, the fairer Anglo-Indians were often the wealthier and the darker Anglo-Indians were poorer. “Anglo-Indians were of British descent and were British subjects”; some even claimed to be British to escape prejudice (Moore 1996, p. 1). The British however, did not accept such identification as they did not see Anglo-Indians as kinsmen and regarded them as ‘half-caste’ people who were socially, morally and intellectually inferior to the sons and daughters of Britain (Gist & Wright, 1973, p.152). The Anglo-Indians attempted to counter this by trying to be more like the British.  Some Anglo-Indians advanced their campaign to be called ‘Anglo-Indians’ to establish a closer link with the British Raj, in contrast to the general term ‘Eurasian’ (Varma 1979; Bose 1979).


In the first half of the nineteenth century Anglo-Indians were considered inferior by the British because of their hybridity and they were progressively demeaned in terms of their economic position (Caplan 1998). On the other hand, the Anglo-Indians also adopted many of the prejudices of the British towards the Indian people of dark complexion (Moore 1996, p. 1). This resulted in the rejection of the Anglo-Indians by both British and Indian communities. “On both the social and cultural level the Anglo-Indians were alien to many other Indians, though kin to them on the biological level” (Gist & Wright 1973, p. 55). Gaikwad (1967, p. 4) asserted that the Anglo-Indians were “mid-way between two cultural worlds…they could never get to know the West to which they aspired to belong, nor did they have emotional ties with India where they really belonged.” Hence, they were caught between the European attitude of superiority towards Indian and Anglo-Indian and the Indian mistrust of them due to their own aloofness, sense of superiority, and Western-oriented culture.


Thus whiteness for the Anglo-Indians in India was not a fixed category (Young 1995).


The colonial British Raj: 1857-1947

The Indian Mutiny of 1857 challenged the British hold over India and was followed by the abolition of the East India Company in 1858. The British government subsequently assumed direct rule in place of the East India Company. The structure of power did not change and under Crown rule there was no regular enquiry as before, when the Company charter had to be renewed every twenty years. At the time of the Mutiny, the Anglo-Indians sided with the British and their loyalty and pro-British attitude was rewarded. The British established more schools based on British principles and also provided new jobs for the Anglo-Indians in the railways, post and telegraphs, customs and police. Since these jobs were in the subordinate rungs of the public services, they did not pose any threats to the existing system (Vellinga 1994). Nevertheless, it showed a change in attitude towards the Anglo-Indians and they were considered to be under the protection of the Raj.


The Indian caste system had much in common with nineteenth century European racial thinking. European racial theories, however, were based on genetics and heredity and the Hindu caste system was not. Racial characteristics were also used in political power struggles while the caste system was not. Vellinga (1994) notes that the assertion of British superiority in assuming the responsibility to promote the development of England as well as capitalism in the uncivilized parts of the world, ignited race consciousness among the Indian elite, feelings of pride in their own racial origin, and a claim of Hindu superiority. Indians felt superior towards both Europeans and Anglo-Indians (Vellinga 1994).


Racial prejudice reached its peak under Viceroy Lord Curzon during 1899-1905. A further threat was perceived from the successful Indians such as Satyendranath Tagore who joined the official elite in 1863 by passing the Indian Civil Service Exams. The Ilbert Bill of 1883 enabled Indian judges to try European British subjects on criminal charges. There was opposition to this Bill resulting in a ‘hypocritical compromise’: A European British subject could be tried by a jury comprising at least fifty percent European British subjects or Americans. Though the race of the judge was not mentioned, it was implied that Indian judges could not be trusted with having power over British defendants.  For Ballhatchet (1979, pp. 6-8), this episode indicated that the structure of British power and authority was threatened.  British rights to their power on grounds of having superior knowledge and intellect were challenged by ‘competition-wallahs’ who had succeeded in the Indian Civil Service. As a result, the British resorted to arguments of racial superiority vis-à-vis both the Indians and the Anglo-Indians.


Decline of the British colonial Raj: 1900-1947

With the onset of World War I, the Anglo-Indians improved their position a little with the opportunity to fight in the British Army. However, with the end of the War, many Anglo-Indians were unemployed and forced back into poverty. An inquiry in 1918-1919 indicated that competition with educated Indians was on the increase and resulted in worsening living conditions for the lower class Anglo-Indians in places like Calcutta (Macrae 1920). Consequently, the position of Anglo-Indians was already declining (Vellinga 1994). Younger (1984, p. 45) argues that Anglo-Indians rarely considered marriage outside the community by 1919 a contributing factor before the First World War to the growth of the Anglo-Indian community’s identification. From 1920, the then Government of India shifted its favour towards Indian nationals as against the Anglo-Indians. As a result, the conditions of the Anglo-Indians deteriorated further as job possibilities and social positioning were further jeopardised (Younger 1984).  As Anglo-Indians they were considered ‘statutory natives of India’ by the British but not Indian nationals on account of their British links resulting in their ambiguous positioning and consequent insecurity of employment (Gist & Wright, 1973, p. 1 8, ibid, p. 77; see also Cottrell 1979; Vellinga 1994).


Economic and political insecurity prompted the Anglo-Indian community to send delegations to England in 1923 and 1925 to present their demands to the Secretary of State for India (Gist & Wright 1973, p. 18). The Anglo-Indians’ ‘marginal position’ was officially defined by the Secretary of State for India in 1925 as follows:


For purposes of employment under Government and inclusion in schemes of Indianization, members of the Anglo-Indian and Domiciled European Community are Statutory Natives of India. For purposes of education and internal security, their status, in so far as it admits to definition, approximates that of European British subjects. (British Parliamentary Debates, pp. 1925-26, cited in Gist & Wright 1973, p. 18)


This official definition was intended to ensure equal access to employment and education for the Anglo-Indians and other Indians but simultaneously it also formalised the recognition of the Anglo-Indians as a marginal entity. Consequently, fewer Anglo-Indians and more Indian workers were selected for the available job opportunities. In comparison to the privileges the Anglo-Indians enjoyed in the past, their economic security became doubtful. This stimulated the Anglo-Indians to pursue in their efforts ‘to plead’ for constitutional protections to develop their status and conditions (Gist & Wright 1973, pp. 18-19, ibid pp. 60-61).


In the 1930s, steps to establish a representative Government of India created further insecurity in employment for Anglo-Indians, who were mainly employed in the public service.  Anglo-Indian activists failed to achieve their aim to be on par with the British nationals in India. In this context, prominent Anglo-Indian historians stress that this was on account of the Anglo-Indians’ view regarding “the British debt to their [Anglo-Indians’] loyal community”, which led them to “emphasise their Britishness, and attack past British policy towards them” (Hawes 1996, p. viii). Nevertheless, the All India Anglo-Indian Association, founded in 1926, was successful in achieving special reservations for Anglo-Indians in education and employment in the Government of India Act, 1935.


The end of the British colonial Raj: 1947

The pivotal point for Anglo-Indians as an identity was the end of the Raj in 1947. The handover of power to the Indian government and the unexpected departure of the British from India presented some problems of identity choices for this community. Unlike most Europeans, the Anglo-Indians were expected to stay behind in their country of birth (Anthony 1969; Blunt 2000).


Prior to India’s Independence, some leaders of the Anglo-Indian community, like Frank Anthony, placed emphasis on their Indian origins and the choice for the Anglo-Indians to identify as Indians and to consider India as their ‘home’ rather than migrate in search of ‘home’ to England . However, not all Anglo-Indians considered the idea of India as ‘home’ and some were in search of an identity they felt was more appropriate to the Anglo-Indian community (Anthony 1969; Vellinga 1994). 


After India’s Independence, the leaders of the Anglo-Indian community, like Frank Anthony, President of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association in the post-World War II period, explored possibilities to resolve this conflict of identity. Anthony (1969) called upon the Anglo-Indian community to recognise that they were Indians by nationality and Anglo-Indians by virtue of their cultural ways.


The Constitution of India ensured certain protections, including reserved employment quotas, in the Post and Telegraphs departments and the railways for Anglo-Indians who remained in India though some of them experienced difficulties in securing these reserved positions (Gaikwad, 1967, pp. 97-105). At the end of the colonial period and for ten years after Independence, the Anglo-Indians continued to hold positions in clerical jobs, transport and communication. Despite this, the Anglo-Indian community in India declined in number in the decades after Independence due to their postcolonial migration from India and to changing self-definition, resulting in a phase where the social, cultural, and social-psychological identities could no longer be easily maintained (Wright 1997, p.11; see also Cottrell 1979).


Gist and Wright (1973, p. 151) argue that the marginality of the Anglo-Indians was because their mother tongue, religion, family organization and general style of life that distinguished them from the Indians. Gist and Wright (1973, p. 156) emphasize that the ethnocentric nature of the Anglo-Indian community and their pro-British standpoint during the colonial Raj as well as after Independence, reiterated their alienation from mainstream Indian society as “alien misfits who would not likely accept the role and responsibilities of Indian citizenship”. Further, in their opinion, as long as the memory of the Anglo-Indian community was linked with being symbolic of the British it would alienate their minority group indefinitely especially from staunchly nationalistic Indians. Bose (1979) writes that some of the Anglo-Indians who stayed in India integrated well into upper class Indian Hindu society. He points out that there were also many poorer Anglo-Indians who dwelt on their memories of the past glories of the Raj. They continued to maintain illusions of England as their ‘home’ (Blunt 2005, p. 2; Bose 1979), living in India not feeling at home; they felt homeless and imagined England to be ‘home’. Blunt (2000) points out that questions of ‘home’ and ‘identity’ were ‘enshrined’ and inseparably bound in the official definition of 1935, which was adopted by the 1950 Constitution of Independent India discussed earlier in this paper. However, while she draws our attention to questions of home and identity, more crucial was the fact that the Anglo-Indians had to reconstruct their identity and jeopardise their sense of an ‘Anglo-India’ in an Independent India without the presence of the dominant white British ensuring the protection of their community (Anthony 1969; Blunt, 2000). Gist and Wright (1973, p. 55) give the example of an Anglo-Indian school principal who was from Calcutta but migrated to England after India’s Independence. This lady stated the dilemma of her own identity as her heart being in England while her responsibilities rested in India. Wright (1997, p. 5) reports how Anglo-Indians in post colonial India experienced the mixed identity of regarding England as their ‘homeland’ while having to adopt the Indian nationality. He describes the existence of a community called the Grant Govan Homes comprising of eight cottages, seven of which were homes for seven aging Anglo-Indian families. These families congregated in the eight cottages for meals, games and to remember the past. In his observation, these Anglo-Indians classified as a “very small community [which] is indeed an island of England still remaining in Delhi, India, as a marker of, as one member of the Community put it, ‘The Good Old Days’”. Elaborating the nature of this mixed identity he relates how contemporary Anglo-Indians were under pressure to keep up with modernisation in India and “strip themselves of as much British or Anglo-Indian identity as possible”. Wright (1997, p. 5) exemplifies the social-psychological identity of the Anglo-Indians by providing an example of an Anglo-Indian manager of a small hotel in New Delhi who admitted that Anglo-Indians had to portray themselves as being as ‘Indian as possible’ in public. 


Thus, many Anglo-Indians were unable to resolve the issue of ‘identity’, and as declared in the title of Anthony’s (1969) book Britain’s Betrayal in India, they felt betrayed and insecure, prompting their migration to countries perceived to be similar to their life under the Raj, like England, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. (Gist & Wright, 1973, pp 157-158). Wright (1997, p. 11) reports of international Anglo-Indian communities, that  “In some countries, enclaves and formal as well as informal groupings have emerged to provide both a critical mass as well as a means for perpetuating [their Anglo-Indian] identity”.


Postcolonial migration

Climate, proximity, and the country’s British roots meant that many considered Australia a desirable destination. According to Deefholts (2005) an Anglo-Indian now residing in Canada, 150,000 Anglo-Indians had left India in the 1950s and 1960s in search of better employment opportunities in Australia, Britain, Canada, the US and New Zealand. Deefholts (2005) stressed that this migration was similar to Indians migrating for better educational and employment prospects. This reiterates the transnational nature of the Anglo-Indian community as Caplan (1998) had defined it but downplays the striving for whiteness aspect of the Anglo-Indian migrants which this paper explores.


Blunt’s (2005) work on Anglo-Indian communities in India, Britain and Australia, explores the geographies of home and identity, and studies the politics of whiteness and the ambivalent place of Anglo-Indians in ‘white’ Australia. In an earlier account, Blunt (2000) found the place of the Anglo-Indians in Australia is distinct from other Indians and from other non-English speaking migrants, though Australian Anglo-Indians experienced ambivalence about their place in multicultural Australia. This ambivalence was drawn from their successful assimilation based on their ‘Anglo’ heritage along with their unique Anglo-Indian identity. In her view, even as transnationals, the Anglo-Indians have to identify with their ‘Anglo’ heritage resulting in a possible tension or identity dilemma in multicultural Australia. She recognised these ‘tensions’, to use Hage’s (1998, p. 18) terminology, as the “‘fantasies of white supremacy in a multicultural society’ where ideas of whiteness remain dominant in both cultural and racial terms” (Blunt 2000).


What Blunt acknowledges as tensions I explore in terms of a dilemma of identity. Lyons (1998), for example, suggests that Anglo-Indians experienced a resistance to assimilate in India after the British returned to England, as they feared they could lose their identity. Nevertheless, she stresses that this was in contrast to their postcolonial identity as Australian Anglo-Indians whose “assimilation in Australia meant identifying with the dominant white, western culture and feeling more at home” (Lyons 1998). She writes that,


The Anglo-Indians are mostly [a] progressive, self-sufficient and adjustable community; they have been able to adapt themselves to the new situation and conditions presented to them in the country they migrated [to], at the same time keeping the link with the country of their birth…


The older Anglo-Indians therefore prefer to stay within their own community and cling to their own distinctive lifestyle, a mixture of the British and the Indian […] They prefer to organise for themselves a little India in their own homes and the social get togethers, ‘the way it was in India itself.’ They prefer the Indian spicy food and the association with only Anglo-Indians. (Lyons 1998)


Lyons’ (1998) comments support my proposition that the Anglo-Indians of Australia can be seen as transnational diasporic migrants living in a liminal space in Australia. I contend that they are diasporic in view of how they adopt new lifestyles but are living in a liminal space simultaneously keeping links with the Anglo-India they lived in under the Raj.


In the next section, I explore the transcolonial[4] location of the Anglo-Indians. Caplan (1998) records that in the 1960s and 1970s the introduction of legislation limited nonwhites, specifically Asians and Africans, from entering Britain. This prompted the Anglo-Indians to consider migration to Australia, which started abandoning its ‘whites-only’ policy in 1967 and had stopped discriminating against potential settlers on the basis of ancestry or nationality by 1972  (Caplan 1998, p. 3). The next section also briefly summarises the White Australia Policy and refers to literature pertaining to the Anglo-Indians and the issues concerning their migration to the transcolonial location of Australia.


Migration to Australia

The ‘White Australia Policy’, officially discarded in the 1970s, was originally instituted to keep non-whites out of Australia. The motto, “Australia for the White Man” (Varma 1974, p. 218) cited on the masthead of the Sydney Bulletin from 1888 symbolised Australia’s settler society’s politics of race.

Also known as the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901, the White Australia Policy was aimed at exclusion of the ‘other’[5]‘non-whites’, non-European populations of migrants and operated between 1901 and 1966 with the aim to preserve the Britishness of the colonial society (Cope, Castles & Kalantzis 1991, p.1; Jamrozik, Boland & Urquhart 1995, p. 38; Castles & Vasta 1996, p.1; see also Jupp 1991, p. 54; Lopez 2000). The 1901 Act was the culmination of earlier laws passed by the pre-Federation individual colonies.


Lopez (2000, p. 43) emphasises that Australian policy-makers were motivated by visions of Australia developing into a key section of the British Empire. He notes that the original goal of the immigration policy from 1901 to 1945 was the assimilation of migrants into Australia’s predominantly Anglo-Celtic population as permanent settlers. Migrants were selected with the aim of maintaining and preserving Australia’s ethnic and cultural homogeneity.  The system ranked migrants on the basis of their racial and cultural likeness to British-Australians. While Britons were highly preferred, Northern Europeans came next but Southern Europeans were perceived as far less assimilable and hence were less desired. Asians and other nonwhites were the least desired. Further, the Australian government offered financial help to any preferred categories as against the virtual exclusion of the least desired, according to the principles of the White Australia Policy (Lopez 2000, p. 43; see also Foster & Stockley 1984, pp. 21-22).


According to Jupp (1991, p. 54) on account of the existence of the White Australia Policy, there were only 25000 Asians and 3000 Pacific Islanders recorded on the 1947 Census. This was the effect of conscious governmental policy to maintain a white British population between 1901 and 1947 (Jupp 1991, p. 54; Yarwood 1962). Moreover, the white population of Australia were mainly from European backgrounds and adopted British identities and beliefs in the superiority of a British way of life, which was racist towards non-Europeans and Indigenous people alike (Hollinsworth 1998; Jayasuriya & Pookong 1999, p. 7). Thus, the White Australia Policy was “rooted in ideas of white superiority” (Blunt 2005, p. 143).


Castles and Vasta (1996, p. 1) point out that non-British Europeans (e.g. Italians and Germans) were not excluded owing to the requirement for their skills and labour but were effectively kept in inferior positions through discriminatory restrictions on land ownership, exclusion from certain jobs, and prohibition of foreign-language schools and newspapers. However, the abolition and replacement of these laws and policies towards immigrant groups in the 1960s and 1970s by multiculturalism, they argue, provided a new inclusionary (multicultural) definition of Australian national identity (Castles & Vasta 1996, pp. 1-2).


Before WW II, non-British European immigration gained public support and a degree of acceptance for multicultural ethnic groups and categories of migrants who were previously excluded. However, underlying all immigration policy was the assimilationist expectation that non-British immigrants should adopt Australian culture and the English language to ensure social harmony. Here again, those who were deemed unable to become “good Australians” were to be excluded (Jupp 1991, p. 55).


The motto on the masthead of the Sydney Bulletin, “Australia for the White Man” was removed in 1960 when Donald Horne became the editor of the Bulletin, reflecting the growing public disenchantment with the White Australia Policy. The Migration Act of 1958 was the first indication of the changing attitudes towards the White Australia Policy. This Act dropped the racist and discriminatory dictation test that had existed since 1901 and the rule that applicants of non-European backgrounds with a less than 75 percent European appearance were to be rejected. While the dictation test would not have posed a barrier to Anglo-Indians, the waiving of the second rule was applicable to the Anglo-Indians of dark skin colour. By 1966, the then Liberal government had relaxed restrictions on ‘mixed race’ admissions and the White Australia Policy was officially abolished during the Whitlam Labour Government (1972-1975). This policy shift paved the way for part-Europeans, in particular those of mixed-race like Anglo-Indians, Anglo-Burmese, Burghers from Srilanka and those of Dutch origin from Indonesia to be accepted into Australia. These changes also regularised the immigration of ‘distinguished and highly qualified’, later referred to as ‘well-qualified Asians’, category (Jayasuriya & Pookong 1999, pp. 9-13; see also Brawley 1995).


The earliest record of Anglo-Indian immigration can be traced to the suggestion made by the editor of The Eastern Guardian (an Anglo-Indian newspaper) on August 23, 1851, (Varma 1979, p. 134 cited in Gilbert 1996, p. 35). This eventuated when Australia was in favour of immigration and coincided with the Anglo-Indians “looking for greener pastures” (Gilbert 1996, p. 35). Anglo-Indians also migrated to Australia in 1852 and 1854. Gilbert (1996, p. 36) records that the South Australian Board of Advice and Correspondence for Anglo-Indian Colonisation provided assistance to “Anglo-Indians desirous to settle in South Australia” (see also Varma 1979, p. 135). It was with the information provided by this Board that Anglo-Indians would have sought to migrate to South Australia.  However, Gilbert (1996, p 36) notes that migration to South Australia witnessed the hardening attitudes against Asian immigration in Australia during the White Australia Policy era, and also because the Anglo-Indians were not skilled as “cultivators” and could not be categorised “cheap labour” like the ethnic Indians[6] (the Sikhs/Punjabis) of Woolgoolga, a few hundred kilometres from Sydney studied by de Lepervanche (1984).


In 1947, when notions of racial purity were prevalent at the height of the White Australia Policy, 700 unanticipated Anglo-Indians migrated to Australia aboard the troopship HMS Manoora, despite the Labour Minister for Immigration specifying that the ship be assigned to transport Australians and British people of pure European descent.


This was followed by further migration during the 1960s when the White Australia Policy was less restrictive and in the 1970s when a second wave of Anglo-Indians resettled in Australia (Blunt 2005, pp. 139-140; Gilbert 1996, p. 37). According to Gilbert (1996, pp. 36-37), while Australia started expanding it needed the technical skills such as those acquired by the Anglo-Indians in the areas of the railways and postal and telegraphs services while they were employed in India. Younger (1987a, p. 27 cited in Gilbert, 1996, p. 40) reports how the Anglo-Indians’ Westernised lifestyle enabled them to integrate successfully into Australian society. They were recruited into the Australian workforce as doctors, engineers and journalists, in computer technology, or as academics, went into business, and worked for the Australian government.


In Gilbert’s (1996, p. 42) view, in British colonial society the white-skinned Anglo-Indians were capable of passing themselves off as British in order to get better job opportunities and class privileges. In his opinion, the issue of skin colour is of particular relevance to the Australian Anglo-Indians, in terms of their assimilation into Australian society. He draws attention to the fact that, while many Anglo-Indians are physically indistinguishable from Anglo-Celtic Australians, many others are not and consequently became victims of discrimination and prejudice. He found that, though the White Australia policy was beginning to change during the 1960s, there were occasions when different nonwhites/coloured members of the same family could not enter Australia (Gilbert 1996, pp. 40-41). He quotes Martin’s (1989, p. 95) example of a case in 1964:


Despite being claimed by his twin brother, a man was rejected from immigrating to Australia, being classified as ‘non-European’ due to a ‘swarthy and dark’ complexion. Upon investigation Martin found that these twin brothers were born of a British Army father and an Indian born mother. In contrast, the other twin was fair and looked completely European in appearance. (Martin 1989 cited in Gilbert 1996, 40-41)


Hence, dark-skinned Anglo-Indians had experiences of ‘exclusion’ on the basis of their skin colour regardless of their possession of an Anglo background or acculturated Britishness. In this connection, Blunt (2000) points out that entry into Australia was based on the Anglo-Indians’ proof of European descent and white looks, which would enable assimilation. However, to the Australian public, the Anglo-Indians’ Indian ancestry was often more noticeable:


Anglo-Indians could migrate to Australia from the late 1960s because they were seen as culturally European, but when they arrived they were often perceived as Indian. (Blunt 2000)


While some Anglo-Indians did suffer discrimination based on their skin colour, overall their cultural whiteness enabled their easy assimilation. Colquhoun (1997) conducted a series of psychological studies focussed on the adaptation and well being of Anglo-Indians in Australia. His findings suggest that, for the Anglo-Indians, adaptation to life in Australia overall had been achieved fairly easily. However, they perceived themselves as different from other ethnic minorities in terms of being Western and having English as a first language. His participants also reported that life in Australia was different from India. Unlike India, they felt Australia placed less emphasis on a person’s status, religion or social functions. It is interesting that they saw the differences between Australia and India as those same indicators which defined them as a community. Colquhoun found that without those indicators Anglo-Indians were very similar to many other Anglo-Celtic Australians (Colquhoun 1997).

Thus, increased numbers of Anglo-Indians migrated to Australia to settle in a British-settler society. Their British cultural values and traditions were similar to Anglo-Celtic Australians and enabled them to blend into their transnational location of Australia. However, the cultural capital of whiteness was not equally shared by all Anglo-Indian migrants.



This paper focused on different markers of ‘Anglo-Indian’ and how they changed over time. The term ‘Anglo’ was always counted through the paternal line with the maternal only relevant to produce ‘mixed race’. However, at times the English who were not mixed race but habitually resident or born in India were also counted as Anglo-Indians. This was possibly because they were considered to live in incorrect ‘surroundings’ and tended to associate with the Indians.


The Anglo-Indians were allocated in a changing place between the British and the Indians which at times was full of tension. The Indians of high caste presumed they were superior to the Anglo-Indians, particularly with growing nationalism, while the British assuming they were superior to the Anglo-Indians but at times distancing them from, or favouring them vis-à-vis, the Indians in terms of job opportunities and so on. The ‘whiter’ more ‘middle class’ Anglo-Indians placed themselves above the ‘darker’ more ‘working class’ group of Anglo-Indians which was at times called ‘Eurasian’. Furthermore, it is clear that racialisation affected the Anglo-Indians as a hybrid community in India under the British Raj.


After India became independent, many Anglo-Indians who remained in India were of the opinion that their mixed-race heritage would not be challenged in an Anglo-Celtic Australian society on the basis of whiteness as had been the case in India (Wright 1997). Many other Anglo-Indians immigrated to English-speaking countries, including Australia. The immigration relaxation in the 1960s and 1970s during which time increased numbers of Anglo-Indians sought entry into Australia. Multiculturalism provided the space for Anglo-Indians to consider pursuing their aspirations for white identity and future in Australia where the Anglo-Celtic communities had similar cultural characteristics to the patterns to they were accustomed to during the Raj. However, the cultural capital of whiteness was not equally shared by all Anglo-Indian migrants to Australia.



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Sheila Pais James teaches at Flinders University. Her main interests include Anglo-Indian studies, International Development Aid Programmes and Research studies. Her PhD thesis researched the social constructions of identity among Anglo-Indians of South Australia. She is involved with inspiring confidence and success among students in their academic life at Flinders University.




[1] Gaikwad (1967, p. 18) records how the officials of the East India Company were referred to as Nabobs in England.

[2] See Laurie (1888) for Lord Macaulay’s minutes on education in India. Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay resided in India from 1834-1838 and held the position of a member of the Supreme Council of India. Macaulay’s (1835) document: ‘Minutes on Indian Education’ led to the then Governor General of India, Lord Bentinck’s resolution in regards to the teaching of English literature and language to the Indian people ( ,

[3] In 1791, the Africans in Haiti under the leadership of mixed-bloods successfully revolted against the French (Moore 1986, p. 22).

[4] I use the term transcolonial to refer to the transnational space namely Australia. In this usage I extend Caplan’s (1998) terminology of the Anglo-Indians as colonial transnationals to include a combination of both aspects of transnationalism and the colonial perspective of the Anglo-Indians. As transnational migrants the Anglo-Indians migrate to Australia equipped with the colonial capitals of whiteness, drawn from their British affiliations. Further, their choice of migration to a British settler society with a similar colonial-based Anglo-Celtic society provides the link for my usage of the term transcolonial to refer to their postcolonial Australian location as ‘transcolonial Australia’. 

[5] Here the term ‘other’ is taken to refer to that which is not acceptable within mainstream Anglo-Celtics and those who because of racial and ethnic characteristics do not readily conform to the dominant British core and are therefore viewed as outside the preferred norm of assimilation or integration (Nile 1991, p. 8).

[6] Prior to 1956 new criteria for Australian emigration had been introduced. They permitted the admission of Non-Europeans under the category ‘qualified’ and ‘distinguished’ temporary immigrants. In this manner, a majority of Indians came to work as indentured labour and  free labourers (de Lepervanche, 1984, p. 12)