Essay

Persecution of Chinese Indians

Print edition : January 09, 2015

June 9, 1963: Union Home Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri visiting the Chinese internment camp at Deoli in Rajasthan. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Businesswoman Monica Liu, a member of India's Chinese community, during an interview with AFP at her restaurant in Kolkata on October 14, 2014. Suspected of being a spy or a China sympathiser, nine-year-old Monica Liu and her family were sent to the detention camp in Deoli. Her strongest memories are of her family's desperation once they were finally freed without charge by the Indian government. Photo: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP

The weekly dry ration for the Chinese internees at the Deoli camp being taken to their barracks in a pushcart. Those who returned to their homes in India after languishing in the camp for years found their property and belongings confiscated, auctioned or looted. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

An Indian woman of Chinese origin after shopping at a special Sunday outdoor market of traditional Chinese food and goods in Kolkata on October 12. The community was once tens of thousands strong, after Chinese arrived in India from the 1700s as traders or carpenters or to set up sugar refineries and tanneries. It now numbers about 4,000. Photo: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP

December 7, 1941: The aftermath of an attack on Pearl Harbour by the Japanese. Following this, lobbyists from the western States of the U.S. pressured Congress and the President to remove persons of Japanese descent from the west coast, both immigrant and U.S. born. Photo: The Hindu Archives

The least the Indian state can do is offer an apology for sending about 3,000 people of Chinese descent to a detention camp in the Rajasthan desert after India’s war with China in 1962 and take effective ameliorative measures to improve the lot of the Chinese Indians in the country.
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