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.


1 Answer 1


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".

  • 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 at 18:33
  • 3
    @Jurp Of course they took the tsunami that would happen over 50 years from then into consideration!
    – CJ Dennis
    Apr 10, 2020 at 0:21

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