Uther Charlton-StevensJan 26, 2023
Anglo-India and the End of Empire
Oxford University Press 2022
It can be easy to think of colonies as having two populations: colonial subjects, and colonial overlords from Europe. It’s an easy narrative: one has power, status and privilege, the other does not. But in practice, European colonies created many populations in-between: groups who benefited from imperial power, yet not one of the elite.
Britain’s almost two-and-a-half centuries-long presence in India created its own local Eurasian community: the Anglo-Indians, the descendents of marriages between English (or other Europeans) and local Indians. They’re the subject of a recent book from Uther Charlton-Stevens–himself of Anglo-Indian descent–titled Anglo-India and the End of Empire (Oxford UP. 2022)
In this interview, Uther and I talk about this community, beneficiaries of–yet also ignored by–the British Empire, and their attempts to find a place for themselves in either the U.K. or an independent India.
Uther is a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and also the author of Anglo-Indians and Minority Politics in South Asia. He earned his doctorate in history from the University of Oxford. Uther spent his early childhood in colonial Hong Kong. Born in Ferozepore, his Anglo-Indian father grew up in Bangalore before migrating to England.
Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.