(Last Updated on : 08-04-2009)
There are over nearly half-a-million Anglo-Indians spread all over the country. The story of the birth and growth of the Anglo-Indian community begins from the founding of the British settlement at Fort St. George, Madras, in 1639, but the community actually traces its ancestry to the Eurasian and Anglo-Indian Association which was inaugurated on 16 December, 1876. The years the followed were of affluence and prosperity. Anglo-Indians, sons of British fathers, were accepted willingly into the covenanted ranks of the British services and they gave a good account of themselves in the armed forces.
From 1857 to 1919 was a period of building and development. The Anglo-Indians played an outstanding role in serving and maintaining the posts and telegraphs, customs and police services, and specially the national asset, the railways.
In 1942, Frank Anthony was elected to succeed Henry Gidney as the president of what was then the All-India Anglo-Indian and Domiciled Europeans Association. On the eve of independence, the request for a single seat in India's Constituent Assembly was refused by the British. Frank Anthony then appealed to the generosity of the Indian leaders and his astute and convincing appeal ensured a place for his community in the Constituent Assembly as also a special position in republican India's constitution.