They appear as small square boxes.

My distro: Debian GNU/Linux 8 (jessie) 64-bit.


Try apt-get install fonts-indic. The package description says:

Description-en: Meta package to install all Indian language fonts. This metapackage merely depends on the various free Indian language font packages available in Debian. Use this if you want fonts for every Indian language.
 The following metapackages will be pulled down as dependency which will inturn pull down real font packages.
   * fonts-beng
   * fonts-deva
   * fonts-gujr
   * fonts-guru
   * fonts-knda
   * fonts-mlym
   * fonts-orya
   * fonts-pagu
   * fonts-taml
   * fonts-telu
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