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Wednesday Seminar |From Old to New: Tere Ghar Ke Samne and fractious neighborships in 1962| 12 June 2024 @ 3:00 PM IST | Zoom Webinar

12 Jun 2024
Navnidhi Sharma
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Time: 3:00 PM

The seminar contests longstanding approaches to the contemporary histories of India and China which centre the nation-state and read the India-China conflict in terms of territorial or ideological contestation. The India-China war unfolded on the fringes of national geography and imagination over the course of thirty-three fraught days in the winter of 1962, reaching most Indian publics through radio, print, and eventually films, situating it in pliable mediatized imaginations instead of direct experience of war. The 1963 Hindi film Tere Ghar Ke Samne (In Front of Your House) — a breezy romance between the children of feuding neighbours building homes across each other —situates the narrative of splintering neighbourly relations in the wide, leafy, and newly carved areas of New Delhi. An unlikely candidate for an exploration of the India-China war, the film enables the historian to ask what an imaginative history of the time might look like if written from a cinematic source that displaces the war-event for a consideration of neighbouring countries. The transposition of neighbourly conflict and reconciliation from borderlands to the urban landscape of New Delhi, reveals a post-war crisis processed in the temporal realm of imagined historical pasts and futures. In its self-reflexive consciousness of imagined neighbouring and its political dimensions, instead of the fact of war as a story of loss already sustained, we find instead a contemplation of the crisis in the present and the future, a serious consideration of the ideals of connected (if not collective) colonial and post-colonial futures, while capturing the moment of their disaggregation through a temporal rupture in its story about a move from a Delhi of ‘Old’ to ‘New.’


About the Speaker

Navnidhi Sharma is a doctoral candidate in Cinema Studies at New York University. Her research thesis traces an imaginative history of India and China through the Hindi films. Her work is located in the intersection of Film History and the connected histories of India-China, placing at its centre the cinematic imagination, discursive media spheres, and the material processes and conditions of film production.


About the Chair

Patricia Uberoi  is an Emeritus Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), Delhi. She served as the Chairperson of the Institute of Chinese Studies from 2015-2021. Her research interests centre on aspects of family, kinship, gender, popular culture, and social policy with respect to both India and China. She is a co-author of The BCIM Forum and Regional Integration (Institute of Chinese Studies, 2012). At the ICS, she has been closely associated for several years with the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Forum for Regional Cooperation, a Track II dialogue focusing on development issues in the region stretching from Northeast India to Southwest China.


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