The Anglo-Indians of Rajasthan
This is the website of the Jaipur Branch of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association and we're mighty proud to present you with a few glimpses of Anglo-India in Rajasthan!
Though we don't have the numbers, we do have the heart, and, in the end, that's what matters most of all!
Historically, the greatest concentrations of Anglo-Indians were to be found in the railway colonies all over India and the same holds true for Rajasthan. Ajmere, Bandikui, Phulera, Gangapur City, Kota, Jodhpur... these were great railway colonies and hence these were hotspots of the Anglo-Indian community.
Ajmere was the administrative capital of Rajasthan in the times of the Raj. Because of that, Ajmere also became the de facto capital of Rajputana when it came to the matter of education. Ajmere boasts of some of the best and oldest educational institutions in Rajasthan. Mount Abu is a hill station in the middle of the Thar. It was (and is) a favoured spot climatically and so Mount Abu grew to become another great centre of education in the desert state. Jodhpur has a good number of Anglo-Indians — and that was not so much because it was a railway centre but more because it was an Air Force station. A number of Anglo-Indians were in the Air Force before and after Independence, and quite a few of them were stationed in Jodhpur.
Jaipur was a late starter for various reasons.
One was that it was not a predominant railway colony. Another, that it was not an administrative centre. Thirdly, it was not a military base.
Even so, Jaipur did boast of a healthy and vibrant Anglo-Indian community from long before Independence.
In the following pages we'll try to give you a feel of what it means to be an Anglo-Indian in Rajasthan!
Name dropping!The earliest Anglo-Indians I can remember are (w.r.t. 1966, when I came to Jaipur (in no particular order)):
(as an aside (and there'll be plenty more asides in the lines and pages to come!) the Peacocks once sent the Woods a Christmas card wishing 'Mr. & Mrs. Woods and their splinters'! Well, they soon got one back wishing 'Mr. & Mrs. Peacock and their peachicks'!)
- - - H. Chapman
- - - April 15, 2013
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