The Deoliwallahs: Stories from Inside the Barbed Wires of the 1962 Chinese-Indian Internment

When and Where

Friday, February 17, 2023 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Room 208N (2nd floor, North House)
Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON M5S 3K7


Joy Ma (Author of "The Deoliwallahs: The True Story of the 1962 Chinese-Indian Incarceration")


There's a little known story of nearly 3000 Chinese Indians who were incarcerated in a prison camp in Deoli, Rajasthan in 1962 following a border war between India and China. Families, parts of families and single men were taken across India to the west to be imprisoned for up to five years in some cases. What was their experience in the Camp like? And where are they now?

“The Deoliwallahs” explores the identity of incarcerated people. The stories of the survivors are beautiful and heart-breaking: a 13-year old girl who became the head of the family, three friends who forged their bonds amid despair and the vivid memories of the Camp that haunted a mother in her nightmares. Their story is more relevant now than ever as regional wars over territory rages on and injustice against civilians is a stark reality.

Speaker Bio:
Joy Ma grew up in India and has lived in Kolkata and New Delhi. She attended Lady Shri Ram College and graduate school at the New School. She recently published the book The Deoliwallahs: The True Story of the 1962 Chinese-Indian Incarceration. Joy was one of a handful of children born in the Deoli internment camp in Rajasthan. Her connection to the community in the US and Canada taps into the rich narratives of the group. She is co-producer of "Voices of Deoli", a film in post-production.

PDF iconFeb 17 talk with Joy Ma (1).pdf

Contact Information


Sponsor: Centre for South Asian Studies; Co-sponsor: Dr. David Chu Program in Asia-Pacific Studies at the Asia Institute