The Indian government and his local representative, Bishnu Pada Ray, have definitely crossed the red line by opening five « schools » for the Jarawa people. They call it « Hotspot » and 150 Jarawas kids will be forced to attend to Ongan language courses. Arun Kumar Jha, the Executive Secretary of the AAJV, the government body in charge of the protection of the Jarawas said : « To prevent any drop-outs we have started distributing bananas to students. » Yes, they give them bananas…
The Jarawa people are already victims of one of the worst racists people in the world. The Indian wealthy tourists that take the Andaman Trunk Road which cuts trough the Jarawa territory. Imagine dozens of cars loaded with tourists throwing bananas by their window car to few Jarawa people by force gathered on the side of the road to be photographed. A human zoo. I have witnessed it. Inside the car, Indian tourists were excited and they were joking about these primitives cannibals and questioning their identity as a human beings.
The Jarawa people are already threaten by poachers who hunt illegally their game, with the complicity of the forest guards who work for the AAJV. Jarawas women have kidnapped and raped. Children have died because of wrong medication given by Indian doctors. The economical development of the Andaman Islands is on tracks with a brand new harbor, the biggest in the Indian Ocean to be built soon and the opening of an international airport to pour in thousands of tourists coming from Phuket or Shanghai. Last month, the Indian government was proud to say that the Jarawa population has reached 480 people. In the same time, they have stated that they will build a railway crossing the Jarawa territory. Now, they have decided to destroy the Jarawa culture with these « schools ». They pretend to teach the Jarawas their own language, it’s a nonsense. They lure them with bananas like the tourists on the human zoo road. They will force 150 kids to go to these « schools », this is almost all of the young Jarawas.
Bishnu Pada Ray (@andamanmp) has informed the Indian parliament that the Jarawas are willing to join the mainstream, and that they need to be educated. The BJP MP of the Andaman Islands is a liar and he will be hold accountable for the destruction the Jarawa culture. The Jarawas have always being denied to express their will. We are the only journalists and film makers who have risked 7 years behind bars to ask them the question : « Do you want to become Indians ? » and their answer is crystal clear : « We don’t want to be part of the outside world. We don ‘t want any contacts with the outside world. We want to stay as we are ? »
Today, this is the beginning of the end. We are facing the ethnocide of the last black indigenous people in the Andaman Islands. After the British army killed all the Great Andamanese people, after the Indian government wiped out almost all the Onge in the little Andaman, they are repeating history by destroying the life and the culture of the Jarawas. They are the last of the original inhabitants of Asia, who have travelled from Africa 70,000 years ago. It’s important to stand against the Indian Government, the BJP’s racist policy and preserve the last of the first humans.
We have launched a petition to keep the Jarawa people safe. Join the 165,000 people who have already signed it.