Indo-Anglians: The new caste

Indo-Anglians: The new caste

It is famously said that India is vertically divided by religions and horizontally by castes. (File Photo)

It is famously said that India is vertically divided by religions and horizontally by castes. As if we do not have enough castes, it has now been established that a new caste is emerging and making its presence felt.

This new caste is a class by itself and is quite unique. Members of this creed belong to all the religions. By and large, they are not overtly religious, and many are in inter-caste and inter-religious marriages. They are well educated and are economically better off.

About three generations of this caste have had their education in English medium institutions. They enjoy English movies, listen to English music and read English novels.

They are comfortable in Western clothes and Western cuisine. Journalist Sajith Pai is given credit for identifying this phenomenon and giving this neo-caste a name. He has christened them – Indo-Anglians.

The advent of Indo-Anglians is essentially an urban phenomenon. The most defining characteristic of this new breed is that they converse only in English amongst themselves, i.e., in the company of friends, family and at home. This transformation takes place gradually when two to three generations of a family have had their education in English medium and have lived in the metros.

When a family starts speaking to their children in English right from their childhood, it is guaranteed to push them to be Indo-Anglians. Soon they find their comfort zone being Indo-Anglians and interacting in English. It is not as though they have no knowledge of their mother tongue, Hindi or the regional language.

They are multilingual but converse within their circle only in English. Over a period, English becomes the language they think in and count the numbers. Once this stage is reached it confirms their transformation as a member of the new caste. Indo-Anglians, in general, belong to upper-middle-class and above. They are essentially two-income-families with disposable income. This elite class yearns for exclusive products and services. They are fashionable. They dine in expensive multi-cuisine eateries. They send their children to international schools and prepare them to go abroad for their higher education and in some cases even under-graduation. These Indo-Anglian children are ready to be integrated seamlessly in any Western society.

Indo-Anglians are darlings of those in the luxury industry. There are many products specifically targeted to cater to this class. It is estimated that currently there are upward of 2 million in India who could be categorised as Indo-Anglians, making them an attractive segment for high-end products and services. If you have read this ‘middle’ this far, chances are you are an Indo-Anglian!