You are here

Tansen Sen: The Long March that Never Was: The Delhi-Peking Friendship March of 1963 and Its Global Context

In the aftermath of the India-China war of 1962, anti-China (and anti-Chinese) feelings were rampant across India. These feelings led to the Indian government's decision to intern and deport several thousand Chinese immigrants. The print media became vociferous in their criticism of the Chinese government, and members of the general public vented their anger by wrecking Chinese-owned businesses. In this background of anti-China hysteria, a group of Gandhians in India, led by Vinoba Bhave, and the World Peace Brigade decided to organize a march from Delhi to Beijing with the objective of (re)establishing peaceful relationship between India and China and push for a peaceful resolution of the border dispute. The march started from Raj Ghat in Delhi on 1 March, 1963, but ended eight months later in Assam after the Chinese government refused to grant visas to the marchers. Through an analysis of archival materials and personal papers of several people involved in the march, this presentation examines the crucial turning point in contemporary India-China relations within the broader contexts of the Cold War era, the transnational peace movements, and the role of civil societies in a decolonized world.   
Tansen Sen received his MA from Peking University and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in Asian history and religions and has special scholarly interests in India-China interactions, Indian Ocean trade, Buddhism, and Silk Road archeology. He has done extensive research in India, China, Japan, and Singapore with grants from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Japan Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore).



Wednesday, April 29, 2015. 12:00 PM


Encina Hall West, Room 208


Center for South Asia, Center for East Asian Studies


Free and open to the public.