13

On the Wikpedia article about the History of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands:

During the independence of both India (1947) and Burma (1948), the departing British announced their intention to resettle all Anglo-Indians and Anglo-Burmese on these islands to form their own nation, although this never materialized.

Why did this plan fail to materialize?

I tried to search for the source on Google, but all of the results repeat the same claim without citations.

14

On 30 June 1947 (one and a half months before the independence of India), there was a discussion in the UK House of Commons about Anglo-Indians and Europeans (alternative link):

Mr. Gammons asked the Under-Secretary of State for India what reply he has sent, or proposes to send, to the request made by the Anglo-Indian and domiciled European communities of India that they should be established in a homeland of their own and that, in particular, facilities should be provided for them to settle in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

The Under-Secretary of State for India (Mr. Arthur Henderson): A representation has been received from a body called the Britasian League of Calcutta, but it is not considered that any such scheme is practical or desirable, particularly in view of the policy of the Anglo-Indian Association, which regards this scheme as impracticable.

Mr. Gammans: Do the Government accept in principle the responsibility for finding a homeland for the Anglo-Indian community, for whom we have a special responsibility, if they do not desire to remain either in Hindustan or Pakistan?

Mr. Henderson: That is a hypothetical question. The only information which we have is a statement made in February of this year on behalf of the Anglo-Indian Association, that while it is not against individuals emigrating if they choose, it will not officially sponsor any such idea.

Note that there is a typo in the document: "Mr. Gammons" should be "Mr. Gammans".

| improve this answer | |
  • The Nicobars already had a self-sufficient population on them and probably could not have accepted a large influx of other people. – Jurp Apr 9 at 13:48
  • @Jurp: Looking at the small size of those islands, it seems unlikely that you could even fit the entire Anglo-Indian population on them, at least without turning them into something like Singapore or Manhattan. – jamesqf Apr 9 at 16:46
  • @jamesqf - It's a good thing this resettlement wasn't attempted because most of the islands were hit by a tsunami in the early 2000s.A few were completely washed over by the wave and one island split into three. The loss of life was bad, but imagine if they'd added a quarter of million people to the islands 60 years earlier. – Jurp Apr 9 at 18:33
  • 2
    @Jurp Of course they took the tsunami that would happen over 50 years from then into consideration! – CJ Dennis Apr 10 at 0:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.