Interact with the Anglo-Indian Project
Almost three years ago the Anglo-Indian Project was created to provide an outlet for a genealogical exploration of my Indian roots. Initially, the plan was to explore records of ancestors and build a family tree. As the project gained momentum, the focus broadened. The family tree remains an ongoing project (and has grown to seven generations), but the Anglo-Indian Project aims to achieve more.
The Anglo-Indian community (or communities) around the world are forgotten. When the British government withdrew from India in 1947, India gained its independence, the British retreated to their homeland, but Anglo-Indians were left ‘homeless’. This community was born out of the British colonisation of India and played a pivotal role in the British Raj – but were left with limited options in late 1947: Remain in India and identify as ‘Indian’ or make a new home in the UK and identify as a ‘British’ citizen. Many took other options to move to Australia, Canada, and the USA among other (predominantly European) locations. But, the identity of ‘Anglo-Indian’ was effectively lost. The community lives on throughout the world, but numbers are falling. Politically, there is little, if any, acknowledgement of Anglo-Indians. Of course, this is not all negative. As the world evolves, communities migrate and sometimes dissipate. It is important that we do not forget these communities and their important historical and contemporary roles. The Anglo-Indian Project strives to keep this fire burning for the global Anglo-Indian community.
Reflecting on the past three years shows that the AIP is achieving this. But there is more to be done.
There are other organisations doing similar, excellent work (see AIP Resources III for more information).
Taking Stock: What has been posted on the Anglo-Indian Project?
249 posts on a range of topics have provided insight into the Anglo-Indian community through the eyes of the Hassett family lineage. As part of the reflective process, it has been useful to look at what types of posts and how many of each have been presented.
As depicted in the chart (right), overall 67 posts (27%) have focused on the people of the AIP (i.e. the ancestors and their records). The greatest attention has been given to context and resources – 107 posts (43%) overall. Reflection has been a critical element which feeds through the AIP – 30 posts (12%) have been reflective pieces. 28 food posts (11%) and 17 travel posts (7%) have also been presented (technically, these lie within context and resources, but have been popular posts so are separated to visualise the space they are given).
These broad areas reflect the clustering of posts over time through the nine project review posts. There are many ways to group the posts and this is not intended as a definitive account, but does provide a useful visual of the focus. The AIP has been focused on the Hassett lineage in India and providing context to their lives, so the majority of posts focusing on context and people is no surprise, but it is good to acknowledge that this is being achieved.
Comparing these figures to the first year of posts (81 in total) shows the increase of focus on contextual topics over time. As depicted in the chart (left), of the 81 posts in 2015, 28 (35%) focused on the people of the AIP and 29 (36%) on context and resources. 10 reflective posts made up 12% of the total, 14 posts on food (17%) and no posts on travel (the theme of travel was not introduced until 2016).
What does all this mean? Taking time to think and reflect on what the project has achieved is critical for maintaining focus – this theme runs throughout the AIP and will continue to do so.
There is still a lot to be shared – currently over 140 draft posts and many unexplored areas. Previous posts, for example see Post 100, Post 150, Post 200 – have raised questions about the purpose of the AIP, the structure and outlets used for the AIP, the future directions to be taken, and how long can – and should – a project such as this continue. These questions are always at the forefront of any publication and action taken by the AIP. In short, it’s an indefinite project if it is to keep that Anglo-Indian fire burning. Some useful links to some other reflective and summary posts are below:
Links to previous summaries:
- Anglo-Indian Project Review: Part I (reviews 12 AIP posts)
- Anglo-Indian Project Review: Part II (reviews 21 AIP posts)
- Anglo-Indian Project Review: Part III (reviews 24 AIP posts)
- Anglo-Indian Project Review: Part IV (reviews 18 AIP posts)
- Anglo-Indian Project Review: Part V (reviews 25 AIP posts)
- Anglo-Indian Project Review: Part VI (reviews 36 AIP posts)
- Anglo-Indian Project Review: Part VII (reviews 24 AIP posts)
- Anglo-Indian Project Review: Part VIII (reviews 36 AIP posts)
- Anglo-Indian Project Review: Part IX (reviews 33 AIP posts)
Interact with the Anglo-Indian Project