Which Eurasians Can Speak? Elite Politics, the Lower Classes and Contested Eurasian Identity


  • Brent Otto


This paper explores the historic identity formation of the mixed-race Anglo-Indian community and its fault lines, through a poem entitled The Eurasian Anthem, which was published in a colonial journal in 1826. By examining the anonymous authorship of the poem, its form, historic context and resonances, what emerges are the hidden power dynamics between elite and lower class Anglo-Indians. The carefully crafted collective Anglo-Indian identity put forward by the poem is directed towards colonial authorities, making it an unmistakably political tract in its time. The class and power differences among Anglo-Indians that our exposition of this poem reveal constitute an early example of how the Anglo-Indian identity project would always be politically consequential and internally contested.