Anglo-Indian writers unfurl the final curtain

Tuesday 19th January 2016 07:04 EST

CTR Books, a US-based publishing enterprise dedicated to promoting Anglo-Indian heritage and culture, has just released its eighth and final paperback – titled "Curtain Call - Anglo-Indian Reflections" - flagged as one of the most exciting projects to roll off its presses.

Edited by eminent Anglo-Indian professors Kathy Cassity and Rochelle Almeida, the book features the work of Anglo-Indian and Indian authors, both new and established, spanning the varied experiences of a little-known mixed-race community which had its beginnings during the British Raj in India when white-settler Britishers, missing the presence of British females, married Indian women.

Anglo-Indians are totally British in outlook, their mother tongue is English and they follow the Christian faith. They have British as well as French, Dutch and Portuguese surnames, reflecting the various European nations that occupied India at different periods in the subcontinent’s colourful history. At its peak, the Anglo-Indian community numbered around 500,000 and when India became independent in 1947 most migrated to Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and elsewhere, with around 200,000 still in India today.

Publisher and philanthropist Blair Williams, a New Jersey-based Anglo-Indian businessman, runs CTR (Calcutta Tiljallah Relief) a registered "not for profit" charity he set up in 1999 to help alleviate India's Anglo-Indians from financial distress. He started publishing books in 2002 with one penned by himself entitled "Anglo-Indians - Vanishing Remnants of a Bygone Era", because he felt that the community had been "grossly stereotyped" in the past. He wanted to set the record straight by issuing books written by Anglo-Indian and other writers who "really knew our community". He said the final book contained "excellent stories, memoirs and reflections" like all the other books he has published.

Williams added: "Our books not only make interesting reading but buyers also get to help less fortunate people as the gross proceeds of all books bought go to helping India's Anglo-Indians. We provide monthly sums to over 250 seniors and finance the education of the community's children."

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