It is easy to write off a community by stereotyping its members. But to learn about them – and their contributions to the country they have made their home, is a difficult but rewarding job.

S. Muthiah decided to do the latter and thus brought forth a book tracing the origin and developments of the Anglo-Indian community, which has a 500-year-old history in India.

Mr. Muthiah and Harry MacLure, have jointly co-authored the book ‘The Anglo-Indians: A 500-Year History’, which was released on Tuesday.

Richard O’Connor, a customs officer has also contributed to the book. At a function organised by publisher Niyogi Books and The Madras Book Club, the book was launched by Beatrix D’Souza, former member of Parliament. It was received by Geoffrey K. Francis, former MLA.

Mr. Muthaiah, who introduced the book, said his association with the community began 80 years ago, when he was three years old. Since then, he had made friends, had had colleagues at work and that had prompted him to consider writing a book on Anglo-Indians.

By definition a person born of male European descent who has made India his or her home is an Anglo-Indian. The Indian Constitution has also accepted this definition. At the time of Independence, there were 5 lakh Anglo-Indians, but two thirds migrated to Australia, UK, Canada and US. Today, the community is 1.5 lakh strong in India.

Dr. D’Souza and Dr. Francis urged the community to take pride in its achievements and contributions to India. Consul Generals of the UK, the United States and Australia who commended the book said the community had assimilated the culture of the host land they inhabited and had richly contributed to it.

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