Today I received an email from Bert Payne of Anglo-Indians.com. He forwarded an email from a Dr Gautam Jayaswal about Anglo-Indians which makes interesting reading. I have included his email below, and my reply to it.
If you would like to comment on this email, please feel free to do so on this blog.
The Indiaman Magazine.
India and all Indians would like the Anglo-Indian community worldwide to take an active role in India and in India’s promising future, politically and economically, just as the rest of the 25 million strong (non Anglo-Indian) Indian diaspora is doing. So we are reaching out to you to be our equal partners in this venture. You are as Indian as us. And you have an equal right and equal responsibility towards India. You can never be accorded the love and respect from the English as you will from us. We want you to ‘come home’. You are us and we are you. We are in this together.
In the past, there has been an estrangement between the Indians and the Anglo-Indians. Part of this is both our fault and part of this is due to circumstances. India felt let down that you had rejected the greatest civilization (Indian) and the greatest religion of the world (Hinduism) for fleeting and non-existent political gains. We also understand that you needed to survive. So let us forget the past and welcome each other with open arms.
It is India that defines you and not England. It is India that brings out the fond memories. England had many colonies worldwide but India had just one legitimate foreign invader in the form of the English, and therefore you are far more important to India than to England. England used you for its purposes, and now does not even give you due respect as a major part of her history. Besides, millions of Hindus were massacred, its wealth was looted, its women raped by the British. And what was our crime ? Between the 1st and the 16th centuries, India was the biggest economy of the world – its downfall was brought about by the English. And now within 60 years of its independence, it’s become a world power again, economically and militarily. By 2075, India will overtake USA and China to be the world’s number one economy again. You are a part of this!
We would like the Anglo-Indian diasporas to:
1. Join non-resident Indian organizations worldwide and attend their meetings just as they were your own
2. Apply for overseas Indian citizenship
3. Take an active interest in India politically, economically, culturally and historically
4. Meet Indian political leaders to put your view points across to them
5. Visit India whenever you can
6. Encourage marriages between Indians and Anglo-Indians.
7. Enjoy and celebrate Indian festivals
8. Watch our silly ‘Bollywood’ movies
9. Teach your children about their Indian heritage
10. One of the dividing factors between Indians and the Anglo-Indian community is religion. Almost 100% of you are Christians. Normally, in mixed races, there is roughly equal representation of both religions amongst the descendants. But amongst you we do not see even a single Hindu. And this pains us. We do understand the economic necessities of adopting Christianity at that time. But times are different now, we live in a world where you can make a free choice. Hinduism is the essence of India. It is more than a religion; it’s also a way of life, a philosophy and a culture. Its depth and depth is unmatched by far. Among its many virtues is its ability to encourage debate and acceptance of wide ranging different philosophies. We request the Anglo-Indian community to study and take up Hinduism if not as a sole religion, then at least as a ‘co-religion’ or a second religion. However, this is not binding on you. Religion can be a sensitive issue, so we welcome debate between our communities to remove any hard feelings. ( For those interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism )
Look forward to working with you on this great adventure.