Doing Time with Nehru

The Story of an Indian-Chinese Family

Yin Marsh

Doing Time with Nehru

Yin Marsh

Distributed for Zubaan Books

With an Introduction by Payal Banerjee
160 pages | 10 halftones, 8 line drawings, 10 maps | 5 x 8 | © 2016
Paper $15.00 ISBN: 9789384757809 Published July 2016 World sales rights except India
It’s midnight and there are fists pounding on the door. Authoritative voices shouting, “We’re coming in! Get on the floor!” A few terrorized minutes later a family member is dragged out by armed men, disappearing into the night. This scenario is the greatest fear of many twentieth-century families—and to the unlucky, it’s a lived reality. For the ethnic Chinese who had been settled in Northern India for many years, 1962 was filled with moments of terror like these.

After the Sino-Indian Border War broke out in 1962, on the authorization of Prime Minister Nehru more than two thousand Chinese-Indians were torn from their homes and placed in local jails before being transported more than one thousand miles to the Deoli internment camp in the Rajasthan desert. Born in Calcutta in 1949 and raised in Darjeeling, Yin Marsh was just thirteen years old when first her father was taken and then she, her grandmother, and eight year old brother were forcibly removed from their home and thrown first into Darjeeling Jail. Upon arrival in Deoli, Yin and her family were assigned to the same bungalow where Prime Minister Nehru himself had done time during India’s war for independence.

Eventually released, Yin emigrated to America with her mother. She attended college, married, and raised her own family, all without telling the story of her emotional trauma. It wasn’t until her own college-age daughter began to ask questions and when a friend’s wedding would require her to return to her homeland that Yin was finally able to face what had happened to her and her family. In the fascinating memoir Doing Time with Nehru, the little-known history of how the Chinese were treated in post-Independence India is brought to light and through Yin’s story, readers can glimpse the hardship, cruelty, and harsh lessons required for survival.
Contents
Introduction: Payal Banerjee
Author’s Note
Foreword
Prologue
1 Chungking to Calcutta
2 Calcutta
3 Calcutta Chinese
4 My Family
5 Darjeeling
6 Loreto Convent
7 The Littlest Outlaw
8 Kathmandu
9 Altar Boys
10 Becoming a Day Scholar
11 Wish Realized
12 Bengali Class
13 Conflict
14 Pancakes to Prison
15 Seeking Help
16 Preparing for the C.I.D.
17 A Visit from the C.I.D.
18 Visiting Papa in Jail
19 The Midnight Knock
20 Darjeeling Jail
21 Train to Rajasthan
22 Camp Deoli
23 Doing Time with Nehru
24 Life at Camp
25 Mother Finally Gets Word
26 Guilty Freedom
27 Plane to Kathmandu
Epilogue
Appendix: Historical Background
References
Acknowledgements


 
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