I’m extremely disappointed with myself for not posting frequently. Seriously, it is driving me to the verge of insanity. While I’m frustrated that I don’t have time to post, there are so many things I have to deal with, like my harmonica classes..! It guzzles almost my entire day..! Anyway, here’s a pretty serious post..
Recently, I finished a book called We Need A Revolution by Sachin Garg, suggested by my friend Amrita. It primarily deals with the struggles of a group of people set out on a mission to protect the rights of the Jarawas, a tribe found in the Andaman islands. Though the characters are fictional, the story is true. The group encounters many obstacles along their way- indifferent media, sinister people, greedy politicians and general politics. I will not describe the plot in detail as that would involve giving away many twists in the story.
Bottom line is that the Jarawas are being exploited. It is as real as it can get. People are making money by conducting ‘human safaris’ where the Jarawas are treated like animals in a zoo wherein they are exposed to the outer world, thus violating their privacy and rights. A few people are bent upon believing that the only way the Jarawas can survive is by integrating them with the outside world. This will result in complete destruction of their culture. Moreover, the Jarawas must compromise their beliefs and value systems if they are integrated. There are reports of the Jarawas being introduced to alcohol and other evils, which is affecting them adversely. They are treated inhumanely by tourists. What is appalling is that the so-called “educated” tourists turn a blind eye to this injustice and continue to support this human-safari. The Jarawas were getting along fine until the construction of the Andaman Trunk Road (ATR). The ATR forged a link between them and the outside world.
The Andaman Islands are perceived to be a calm place, with beaches at every turn. It is hard to imagine that such injustice could happen in the Andamans. Even when it comes to governance, the Andamans are always neglected.
It is high-time the ATR is closed and the human safaris are stopped. If we don’t learn to co-exist, the future of humankind looks disturbingly bleak. Though there have been appeals to the Indian government regarding this issue, the government hasn’t taken necessary action. I’m well aware that this blog post of mine will do nothing to help this issue. I’m capable of nothing but writing a few paragraphs tinged with angst and concern. But, by spreading awareness and sensitising the people about this nefarious activity going on right under our noses, something can surely be done. If you are visiting the Andamans or you know someone who is, I urge you to spread the idea of boycotting the human safari. It is only through collective effort that we can take a step towards helping the Jarawas.