Nowhere in my piece have I accused the Anglo-Indian community of misusing the nomination provisions of the Constitution, nor have I said that they are not Indians.
Yet, it is also true, as documented in my article, that several governments have chosen to nominate Anglo-Indians to the State Assemblies even before proving their strength on the floor of the House. As for their population, all figures are at best estimates, in the absence of any Census data. However, even Ananthasayanam Ayyangar told the Constituent Assembly that their population was not even “five lakhs for the whole of India.” Considering their migration from India in the subsequent debates — a fact testified by many academic tracts and anecdotal accounts — Dr. Dias’ estimate appears overly optimistic. Since the Census of India is expected to soon report the precise population of the community, the contentious issue about their number will likely get resolved.
As for the Anglo-Indian Nomination Action Committee, its formation and demand was reported by The Hindu. (http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/panel-to-suggest-angloindian-for-nomination-to-assembly/article4726373.ece). Those who challenge the status quo are often dismissed outright. That said, Dr. Dias’ own record in Parliament is commendable — he has 98 per cent attendance, has participated 63 times in debates, and asked 117 questions.
(Ajaz Ashraf is a Delhi-based journalist. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)