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Eurasian problem when he wrote: "I can hardly imagine a more profitless, unmanageable community than one so composed as the Eurasians. It might be long before it would grow to what would be called a class dangerous to the State, but very few years will make it, if neglected, a glaring reproach to the Government, and to the faith which it will, however ignorant and vicious, nominally profess. On the other hand, if cared for betimes, it will become a source of strength to British rule and usefulness in India." And Lord Lytton, writing twenty years afterwards, recorded a minute in which, whilst deploring the condition of this community, he struck a warning note as to the consequences which would inevitably ensue unless some measures were devised to avert what he called "this great political and social danger." He drew the attention of the Local Governments to the question, and appointed a Commission in 1879 to report on the education of Eurasian and Anglo-Indian children, with the result that certain facilities were granted these classes for educating their sons and daughters, a sum of money being appropriated for that purpose by the Government. At the same time encouragement was given to an organization, in different parts of the country, of associations for the welfare of Anglo-Indians and Eurasians. What has been the outcome of these measures? It would be idle to disguise the fact that these remedies have failed to accomplish any good. The evil is more accentuated now than it was before. The education thus provided has to some extent been availed of, but the opportunities for utilizing this education have been limited. Lord Lytton had foreseen this difficulty, when he wrote: "We cannot hope that measures for the education of destitute European and Eurasian children will be successful, if they are undertaken without reference to the means of existence available for such children in after-life." Whilst, on the one hand the number of those to be provided for has very iargely increased, on the other hand the education imparted to the natives has had the effect of ousting to a great extent the
Eurasians from that class of appointments which they had previously held; moreover, the Government has found serious obstacles in the way of making any special provision for them, and the non-official European employers of labour are showing a preference for men that are born and bred in England. As to the associations that had been started in various centres, they unfortunately failed to produce any good results. They had practically lost sight of the object, which ought to have been their chief consideration, that of consolidating into one community the divergent sections into which the Christians of European descent in India are divided, and had allowed questions of colour and position to influence their mutual relations. No serious attempt was made to infuse life into a community, not only indifferent to its own interests, but practically inert, and to stimulate it with a desire for self-respect, self-help, and mutual co-operation, so that by a combined effort there would be some chance of promoting the moral, mental and physical welfare of the individuals of which it is composed. Curiously enough, these associations gave indications of life only when their feeble efforts were put forward to resist what they considered the encroachments of the natives in their attempt at self-advancement and in their agitation for obtaining administrative reforms. As a matter of fact, those persons for whose benefit these associations were organized. took but little interest in them. They were composed of a handful of members, most of whom thought they had done their duty when they had paid a small annual subscription, and as to any practical results, they might have been nonexistent.
Before investigating the causes which have reduced the Eurasians to their present condition, it will be desirable to obtain a precise idea as to who these people are, and how it is they happen to be split up into so many sections and sub-sections. In the last census the number of Eurasians in India is given at 80,000, but at least 20 per cent. more may be safely added to this figure to represent the real
mixed population in India, for it is an undoubted fact that a large number of those belonging to this class took advantage of a fair but tell-tale skin to pass themselves off as pure Europeans. Taking into account the increase. in their number within the last ten years, the Eurasians may fairly be reckoned at the present time at 120,000. A writer in Madras has under the authority of Government written a series of "bulletins" on anthropology. The last number of the Museum Bulletin contains an interesting account of the Eurasians. Mr. Edward Thurston thus describes the community: "In colour Eurasians range from sooty black through sundry shades of brown and yellow to pale white, and even, as a very rare exception, florid or rosy. The skin darkens with advancing age, and even among those with fair skins there remains a tell-tale pigment on the neck, knees and elbows, as also in the axillæ, the glands of which, as in the native, pour out under the influence of emotion or exercise a profuse watery secretion." In some cases, indeed, there is hardly any trace of the European to be found in them. Those which
may be said to form the lower strata of the Eurasians are generally to be met with in Presidency towns, and in smaller numbers they are scattered over the most important cities of India, and are usually called “East Indians.”
"East Indians" contribute perhaps much the larger proportion of the mixed population, and are the descendants mainly of Portuguese settlers, partly by marriage and partly by concubinage with native women. To these must also be added the descendants in the third or fourth degree of British soldiers serving the East India Company, some of whom made India their home, and contracted marriages more or less legal with natives. Their progeny in the first instance were, of course, Eurasians, but by intermarriages with "East Indians" or pure Indians, the European blood diminished, till at last very little of it is found in the veins of the present generation. The condition of the "East Indians" is especially wretched-they find they
have no home, no ties to bind them to one country or another, and are fully cognizant of the fact that they are looked upon with contempt by the Europeans and shunned. by the Indians. They bear European names, no doubt, and adopt a kind of European dress, and speak a corrupt form of a European language, but in their habits and mode of living they are strongly Oriental. They profess the Christian religion, but are most impartial in their devotions to deities of other religions. They will as readily illuminate their houses in honour of a Hindoo goddess, or make offerings to the Tazias in the Mohurrum in adoration of a Mahomedan saint as they will burn a couple of candles to propitiate the Virgin Mary. That they have degenerated, and are degenerating still more every day, is an undoubted fact, and now in the words of the late Archdeacon Baly, one of the best friends this community has ever had, they have come to be recognised as "in the mass an immoral, pampered and unproductive class, too idle or too conceited. to submit to hard work and practise an honest industry as unbecoming their European descent. It has so little of European energy and manliness, and approaches so nearly to the natives of the country in habits and mode of life, that except in the external profession of a different faith, and in the partial use of a different language and mode of dress, there is not much distinction between them."
The Eurasians, properly so called, are mostly of English descent, their male progenitors having come out to India to fill subordinate offices under Government, or in mercantile offices and railways, or it may be they were adventurers in search of a living. They settled in this country and contracted marriages in some cases with the better class of "East Indians," and in others with Indian women. Some of them no doubt are descendants of soldiers, who, owing to some fortuitous circumstance, have been prevented from sinking into the class of "East Indians "; on the other hand, there are not a few who can trace their ancestry to Europeans of high rank, who, previous to the existing facilities
for returning to and visiting their homes, were in the habit of forming connections with the women of the country, who to all intents and purposes took up the position of a wife, whether or not a legal ceremony of marriage had been observed. Indeed, if we look back to the past history of India, we will find the names of some most distinguished officers, civil and military, who belonged to this class, and whose sons and daughters, having received a good education, married pure Europeans, and thus transmitted their Indian blood to their descendants, many of whom at the present moment are holding a high position in AngloIndian society, but they would feel deeply insulted if anyone insinuated that there was any mixture of blood in their veins. The Eurasians taken as a class are undoubtedly on the increase, for they receive large accessions from the domiciled Anglo-Indians, who often contract marriages with them and become absorbed in them. By the Indians they are called kiranis (lit., clerks), which at one time accurately described their occupation, for their one aim in life seems to have been to procure clerkships, and to live and die in that capacity. Before higher education was imparted to the pure Indians, there was an ample field for the employment of Eurasians as section writers and clerks in various offices; but with the spread of education they came to be gradually ousted by the Hindoos and Mahomedans, who were found competent to do the same work on a much smaller remuneration. Fortunately for them, a very wide and extensive field of employment has been made available, which, though not very lucrative in all its branches, on the other hand, does not demand a very high education from those who join its ranks. The network of railways that is gradually spreading over the length and breadth of the land affords employment to thousands of Eurasians, who in large centres form quite a community of their own.
But what are the evils which have retarded the material and moral advancement of this community? The evils are many, and are far-reaching in their results. They may