Focus on India during October
19th September 2023
By Engagement Committee
Join the members of FHACT’s newest Special Interest Group – our India SIG, during October 2023 to learn more about the many ways that you might be connected to India and its peoples. We have three events available…
Monthly Meeting 7pm Tuesday 3 October 2023
Dr Meera Ashar, Director of the ANU’s South Asia Research Institute (SARI), will present Thinking with Gandhi.
No other figure has been the subject of greater affection, veneration, scorn, critique and controversy in the history of the Subcontinent than Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Dr Ashar will sidestep most conversations about Gandhi, the man, and focus on thinking through a set of ideas about nation and civilisation from his powerful text, Hind Swaraj. In untangling these ideas of what it means to belong and what kind of society one might attempt to forge after colonialism, we may discover that Gandhi remains an unmatched interlocutor for anyone interested in exploring a pathway to a more humane, decolonial society.
This meeting is open to members of Family History ACT and visitors. It is free and you can attend in person or via Zoom. Please visit our website to reserve your place.
India SIG Meeting 10am Saturday 7 October 2023
The topic for this meeting will be "My Ancestors Were............."! with group members invited to share their particular areas of ancestral interest related to India. This meeting is only open to members of Family History ACT. If you’re a member of FHACT, it is free to join but remember to log onto our website to reserve you place.
Special Event - 7pm Monday 23 October 2023 –
Through the lens of history, Anglo Indians and Domiciled Europeans
Unlike today, during the British Raj in India, discussions of mixed racial heritage were taboo. British and 'Domiciled European' families often concealed their Indian ancestry, even those classified as 'Anglo-Indians' from 1911, previously known as ‘Eurasians’. Official documents and coded language obscured these backgrounds. The domiciled community in India, including those of varying skin tones, sometimes claimed European origins to 'pass' as white. Upon migrating to countries like Britain and Australia, many Anglo-Indians altered their narratives to emphasize European heritage. This phenomenon extended to celebrities in Hollywood and the music industry. Recent DNA testing has uncovered concealed Indian ancestry, making this a crucial aspect for those exploring their English and Indian ancestors' history, highlighting the complexity of identity, race, and cultural heritage during colonial times.
Dr. Uther Charlton-Stevens will explore ancestral aspects of colonial British society, including race, colour and class hierarchy. If you have British ancestors who were elites, professionals, civil servants, in the military or business people, you likely have a connection to India. The cosmopolitan period of East India Company rule saw "abundant 'interracial' sex and occasional marriage, alongside greater cultural openness and exchange. The result was a large and growing 'mixed-race' community, known by the early twentieth century as Anglo-Indians."
Dr Charlton-Stevens is an author, historian and Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He completed his doctorate in South Asian History, with a thesis on Decolonising Anglo-Indians, at the University of Oxford. His latest book — Anglo-India and the End of Empire — was released in September 2022. His research focuses on the history of the Anglo-Indians, a 'mixed-race' community arising from the European and British imperial presence in colonial India and Burma (modern Myanmar).
This meeting is open to members of Family History ACT and visitors.
Cost: FHACT Members $10.50
Non Members $15.00
You can attend in person or via Zoom. Please visit our website to reserve your place.