29 July, 2021

An Old Haunting

The community emerges from the sidelines of history to revisit, research and revel in its ancestry

An Old Haunting
Most Anglo-Indians have fascinating family histories, going back to the days of the East India Company, when marriages and liaisons between Europeans and Indians led to the creation of what was called the ‘East Indian’ community. This community grew and flourished for over two hundred years, but was reduced by more than half its number at the time of Independence, when many families emigrated to the UK, Australia and Canada. Those who stayed behind had their problems, but most Anglo-Indians have assimilated rather well into mainstream India. Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in the community and its history, and even Anglo-Indians settled abroad have cast off their reticence and taken a lively interest in their past.

One such journey into the past is undertaken by Malcolm Speirs, a retired engineer born and settled in England. In The Wasikadars of Awadh, he has put together a fascinating family history, at the same time throwing light on the traditions and lifestyle of nawabi Lucknow. The book is a lovingly...

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