What is the Anglo Indian Community?
The term Anglo Indian can also mean ‘English Indians’. When India was under British Raj, some people from Europe were called in India due to their technical knowledge and many other necessities. Primarily the construction of railways undertaken by British authorities required such people with specific knowledge. Later, they married Indian women and their children are called ‘Anglo Indians’. They had a significant population with many members involved in administrative duties. It became a community and all their descendants were termed as ‘Anglo Indians’, too.
During the Independence movement of India, they were not accepted by the local population of India. Post-independence, many Anglo Indians migrated to the UK and other europian countries. Frank Anthony was a notable figure amongst the Anglo Indian community. Born in Jabalpur, he was the first president of the ‘All India Anglo-Indian Association’. Frank Anthony had presented the Anglo Indian community during the partition of India and negotiated special provisions for the community in the Indian Constitution. He is widely regarded for the inclusion of article 331 in the Constitution of India. As per this article, the president of India may appoint two members of the Anglo Indian community to the Lok Sabha. He was a nominated member in the Lok sabha until his death in 1971.
As per the article 366 (2) of the constitution, Anglo Indian is defined as ‘a person whose father or any of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent but who is a native of India.’
The central government led by Narendra Modi had introduced a bill in the parliament to not extend the provision of the nomination of two members of the Anglo-Indian Indian community by the president. The provision for the nomination of members of SC, ST, and Anglo-Indian communities expired on January 25, 2020. The central government, however, has extended the nomination for SC and ST communities for the next ten years. During the argument, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that there are only 296 members of the Anglo Indian community in India as per the 2011 census. Figure 296 was widely deferred by other opposition MPs and also by the Anglo-Indian community. The community said that there should be at least 3 Lakh Anglo-Indians in the country.
Anglo Indian MPs
To give them proper representation in the parliament, the president used to nominate two Anglo Indian members to the lower house of the parliament i.e. Lok Sabha under Article 331 of the constitution. Similarly, the governor of states also nominates one member of the community to the lower house of state legislative assembly (Vidhan Sabha). After nomination, these members can take membership of any political party of India within six months. As a consequence of which, they will be bound to party whips and agenda. It is to be noted that the two members are elected only when no Anglo-Indian is amongst the directly elected MPs.
Role of the Anglo-Indian MPs:
Any nominated MP of Ango Indian community has the same powers as that of other directly elected MPs of parliament.
The most important function of the MPs is law-making. Since the Parliament is the highest legislative body in the country, the Members of Parliament of both the Houses can legislate on any matter included in the Union List and the Concurrent List of the Constitution. When an ordinary Bill is initiated in the Parliament, both Houses of Parliament must pass the Bill for it to become a Law.
The MPs can also legislate on items included in the State List in special circumstances such as:
a) When an Emergency is promulgated under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution,
b) A resolution is passed by the Rajya Sabha with special majority, thereby asking to make a law for the state in the national interest, which can remain valid for one year,
c) A resolution by two or three states urging upon the Parliament to make law for them on certain items of the State list, and
d) If any international treaty or agreement is to be executed.
Control over the Executive:
Since India follows a Parliamentary form of Government, the executive is directly responsible to the Parliament. In other words, the MPs can keep a watch on the everyday activities of the Executive, question them, expose them and remove a ruling Cabinet from power, by passing the vote of no confidence. Any serious administrative lapses may be brought to the fore by adjournment motions, cut motions, censure motions and debates by the MPs. The Indian Parliament holds the MPs individually and collectively, and a Council of Ministers remains in power so long as it enjoys the confidence of the Lok Sabha. This is a critical function of the Lower House.
One of the foremost functions of the Anglo-Indian MPs, like other MPs, is their financial powers. Through the presentation of the Annual Budget, the presence of the two Standing Committees, and the legislation over the Money Bills, the Parliament enjoys supreme authority over the financial deliberations of the Executive.
The MPs can impeach the President, the Vice President, and other high Federal Officers, from their post. The MPs can also enjoy certain punitive powers to punish its members as well as non-members for acting against the Constitution of India.
The MPs of both the Houses can amend the Constitution of India.
The MPs enjoy certain special electoral powers such as electing the President and the Vice President of the country.
The qualifications for members of the Anglo-Indian community to be nominated to the Parliament are:
● He or she must be a citizen of India.
● He or she must not be less than 25 years of age.
● He or she should not hold any office of profit under the Government of India, or the Government of any other state.
● He or she should not be of unsound mind.
The term of such nominated MPs is five years.
Salary and Facilities of the Anglo Indian MPs
These provisions are governed by the Members of the parliament act, 1954. After the implementation of the 7th Pay commission, Anglo Indian MPs, along with other MPs get Rs. 1 Lakh per month as basic salary. They are also entitled to Rs. 45,000 as a constituency allowance. The overall expenditure per MP by the government of India, after considering perks such as medical, travel and many other facilities is around Rs. 2.7 Lakh per month.
The facilities of Anglo Indian MPs include a daily allowance of Rs. 2000., Travel allowance, free accommodation, telephone facility, water, and electricity allowance, subsidized meals, etc. MPs also get a pension of Rs. 20,000 per month after retirement.
Last Updated on April 27, 2020