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The reader encounters the term “Anglo-Indian official” in the second paragraph of the story “Shooting an Elephant”. Here, George Orwell, who is also the narrator of the story, states that “feelings like these are the normal by-products of imperialism; ask any Anglo-Indian official, if you can catch him off duty”. He is referring to the feelings of helplessness he, and other Anglo-Indian officials like him have for being a part of the oppressive British regime. They detest the Britons’ cruelty towards the Burmese, and at the same time hate the bitter behavior exhibited by the majority of local Burmese towards Britons of all classes. For instance, he says that “while none of the natives had the guts to raise a riot, most would probably be capable of spitting betel juice at a female European passerby”. He is tired of being constantly mocked by the natives.

The Anglo-Indian officials were a group of people of British origin, who were employed to serve within the British colonial government in various parts of India, for example, Orwell was serving the British government in the capacity of a sub-divisional police officer. At the time, the British viewed Burma as an extension of India. The Encyclopedia attached in the references below, explains the term “Anglo-Indian officials” as used in “Shooting an Elephant” to refer to “the British people who worked in the various imperial services”. It gives additional uses of this term in “The Road to Wigan Pier”, where Orwell states that “every Anglo-Indian is haunted by a sense of guilt, knowing that they really have no right to invade a foreign country and hold the population down by force; only those who are doing something “demonstrably useful,” like forest officers, doctors, and engineers, seem to have an untroubled conscience”.

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Shooting an Elephant

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