Anglo-Indians: Buying into Nationhood?
Andrews focuses on Asansol, a small industrial city (coal, iron and steel) by Indian standards but one of the fastest growing in the state of West Bengal. Its significant railway junction, in particular, accounts for the presence of an Anglo-Indian community that, unlike those in other parts of the state, tend to own their homes and put down roots in India. Andrews’ ethnographic investigation tests the idea that, at least in part, this is a result of a growing sense of citizenship in the local Anglo-Indian community. She asks whether they are involved in any level of governance, administration and decision-making, and whether the minority status of their cultural and religious affiliations is still significant. The discussion illuminates various aspects of ‘modern’ India, such as a transnational workforce; economic changes, such as property speculation and development; the effect of cultural and religious differences; and the impact this has had on this community.
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