This book analyzes why Indians have been made invisible in Vietnamese society and historiography. It argues that their invisibilization originates in the formulaic metaphor Vietnamese nation-makers have used to portray Indians in their quest for national sovereignty and socialism.
The book presents a complex view on colonial legacies in Vietnam which suggests that Vietnamese nation-makers associate Indians with colonialism and capitalism, ultimately viewed as "non-socialist" and "non-hegemonic" state structures. Furthermore, the book demonstrates how Vietnamese nation-makers achieve the overriding socialist and independent goal of historically differing Indians from Vietnamese nationalisms whilst simultaneously making them invisible. In addition to primary Vietnamese texts which demonstrate the performativity of language and the Vietnamese traditional belief in writing as a sharp weapon for national and class struggles, the author utilizes interviews with Indians and Vietnamese authorities in charge of managing the Indian population.
Bringing to the surface the ways through which Vietnamese intellectuals have invisibilized the Indians for the sake of the visibility of national hegemony and prosperity, this book will be of interest to scholars of Southeast Asian Studies and South Asian Studies, Vietnam Studies, including nation-building, literature, and language.