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The Two MPs of British Descent Who Do not Have to Stand in Indian Election


on 2019/4/17 12:36:51 ( 776 reads )

Source


NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 15, 2019 (The Guardian): Winning a seat in India's parliament can take months of gruelling campaigning across vast electorates, often in stifling heat. Unless you are George Baker. The award-winning actor from eastern India is one of just two members of the country's 545-seat lower house whose name will not appear on any ballot in India's six-week election season, which kicked off on Thursday. A vestige of India's colonial history, and a sign of the magnanimous spirit with which the country said goodbye to its British former masters, his is one of two seats in the country's parliament still reserved for Anglo-Indians: Indian citizens of European descent.

Along with another Anglo-Indian, Richard Hay, Baker was appointed to parliament in 2015, where he has the same powers as any MP to vote and spend money on the development of the estimated 150,000 members of his community who remain. Their terms last until 2020. Anglo-Indians are distinct from Indian Christians, who have existed in the country since shortly after Jesus's reputed death. Nor were they British citizens, who were free to return home after India became independent in 1947. The community who have been called "Midnight's Orphans" were caught in the middle: descendants of Europeans who had married Indians or else migrated and settled in the country; Christians who spoke English and cultivated British lifestyles but with Indian lineages stretching back hundreds of years, in some cases.

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