Chinese Indians in Fire: Refractions of Ethnicity, Gender, Sexuality and Citizenship in Post-Colonial India’s Memories of the Sino-Indian War

Chinese Indians in Fire: Refractions  of Ethnicity, Gender, Sexuality and  Citizenship in Post-Colonial India’s  Memories of the Sino-Indian War by Payal Banerjee

This article utilises the representation of the Chinese characters in the film Fire (1996) as a strategic site from which to examine the institutional marginalisation of India’s Chinese minority community since the Sino-Indian war of 1962.

Through a close examination of diplomatic documents and white papers exchanged between the governments of China and India during the 1960’s, publications of the Indian government on the Sino-Indian war as well as newspaper articles and film reviews on ‘Fire’, this article delineates how the film’s dehistoricised approach in representing Chinese minority voices and their criticisms against Indian society results in obscuring the legacy of the oppression of the Chinese community in India and in reiterating the state’s nationalist construction of the Chinese Indians as treacherous, back-stabbing and irrational ‘others’.

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