Anglo-Indians seek minority status, representation in Parliament

The New Anglo Community (NAC), a constituent of the Federation of Anglo-Indian Associations (FAIAI)

Anglo-Indians seek minority status, representation in Parliament

HYDERABAD: The New Anglo Community (NAC), a constituent of the Federation of Anglo-Indian Associations (FAIAI) has urged the Government of India to declare Anglo–Indians as a separate "ethnic and linguistic minority." They have called out the government for "ignoring a community" with a strength of four lakh people spread all over the country and around 10,000 in Hyderabad. "With the only community that has the word 'Indian' in their name, we request the government to hear our demands and examine our plight," they appealed.

They have highlighted the 'wrongdoing' against their community stating that the 2011 census enumerated a niggardly number and pegged the Anglo-Indian population across India at an abysmally low 296, as opposed to the actual four lakh-odd. "We are challenged to prove our own identity as a community," exclaimed NAC president Lauren Scanlon.

World Anglo–Indian Day, as approved and adopted by the British regime in India, is observed on August 2. The same has been adopted and enshrined in Article 366 (2) of the Constitution of India. The Anglo–Indian community celebrates their unique culture and ethnicity on every August 2. While celebrating their community, they also attempt to voice their concern against the injustice meted out to the community.

"The denial of representation and ceasing the two parliament seats reserved for Anglo- Indians is a gross injustice," said Chairman of NAC Malcolm Wolfe. The 126th Constitutional Amendment Bill stated that the nomination of Anglo- Indians to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies shall cease to be in effect. "This must be looked into and the government must restore the representation of Anglo–Indians in Parliament and State Legislatures, Mr. Wolfe added.

Proudly celebrating their contribution to the country in various fields and conducting several cultural programmes, media manager Tyrron Whyte said, "The Chairman of NAC is a retired Air Force officer and my father served in the Indian army." The contributions of the community in establishing Railways, Posts & Telegraph were recognized by the government. However, the NAC strongly felt that their community was being denied opportunities to protect their identity and culture as stipulated in the UN Declaration and adopted by General Assembly in 1992.

The Federation primarily demanded that their Anglo–Indians be included in the list of minorities under the National Commission for Minorities by amending the law. The study conducted by the Ministry of Minority Affairs in 2013 on Anglo–Indians be uploaded on the ministry website for consideration of government agencies, urged the Federation.

Malcom Wolfe said, "We are a peace-loving, hard-working community who constantly contribute to this nation. Through this event, we would like to highlight our "just demands." Anglo–Indian community is an ethnic and linguistic minority with a distinct cultural identity.

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