• Lionel Lumb & Adrian Gilbert


Welcome to the 16th issue of the International Journal of Anglo-Indian Studies (writes Lionel Lumb). This edition begins with a fascinating examination of that twilight period when the British Empire was starting to fade and a new era was dawning in India, on the threshold of Independence: The Curious Exclusion Of Anglo-Indians From Mass Slaughter During The Partition Of India. It was a tumultuous time for the sub-continent, and also a pivotal period for Anglo-Indians, during which the seeds of their Diaspora were sown. The author, scholar Dorothy McMenamin, focuses on Anglo-Indians who chose to emigrate from India to New Zealand. Ms. McMenamin has embarked on a major oral history project, on whose findings she has based several papers. The focus of this one, she writes, “is a salient finding that emerged from the oral histories, namely, that although Anglo-Indians witnessed the tumultuous events and slaughter during the period of Partition and Independence, they were not the target of these attacks.”

The next paper, Dislocating The Dislocated: Imperial Constructs in Maud Diver’s Candles in the Wind,’ takes us back to an earlier time. This comes to The Journal from a first-time contributor, Cheryl-Ann Shivan, a PhD student in Pondicherry, India. Unlike the earliest days of the British in India, when marriages and unions between European and Indian were commonplace and socially acceptable – at least to the British – the latter part of the 19th century saw a shift to a tenet upholding “the racial purity of the Anglo-Saxon,” Ms. Shivan writes, and intolerance towards ‘half-castes.’ The author seeks to prove how the literature of the time in general, and in particular Maud Diver’s Candles in the Wind, a romance novel written in 1909, gave long life to prejudices against the Eurasian community,  prejudices that successfully “immortalized for posterity the belittlement of a whole community of people.”

Finally, Rudy Otter – master of fact, fiction and satire – offers his thoughts on The Future of Anglo-Indians. Will the sun set on them as it did on the Empire, or will they somehow survive? Rudy Otter comes down firmly on both sides of the fence – or maybe not – in his inimitably witty way. 

Please keep your work coming in – Dr. Adrian Gilbert and Prof. Lionel Lumb, Editors of The International Journal of Anglo-Indian Studies.