"Disgusting" video emerges of Andaman tribe dancing for food

NEW DELHI Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:15pm IST

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A video showing women of the Jarawa, an endangered tribe in the Andaman islands, dancing half-naked as tourists threw biscuits and bananas, created a media furore in India on Wednesday.

The UK-based Observer newspaper released the video over the weekend showing a policeman asking the tribe's women to dance for food, after allegedly taking nearly 16,000 rupees as bribe from tourists.

"This story reeks of colonialism and the disgusting and degrading 'human zoos' of the past," Stephen Corry, director of Survival International, a global group for the rights of tribes, said in a statement.

The cluster of about 570 Andaman and Nicobar islands, of which only about three dozen are inhabited, belong to India and are home to tribes who have lived there for thousands of years.

The Jarawa is one such indigenous tribe, barely 400 in numbers, in the Andaman islands which largely shuns interaction with outsiders. Indian law prohibits close contact with the Jarawas or photographing them but the newspaper said they were being taught to beg and take money for tobacco and food.

Local police said the controversial video footage was "irresponsible and old".

"At the time this video was recorded, most of the Jarawas did not wear clothes. Even today those in the jungle are not clothed. It is also obvious that it is videographer (who is breaking the law of the land) and who is inciting them to dance," Andaman and Nicobar police said in a statement quoted by the Indian Express newspaper.

The Observer reporter who visited the Andaman islands said he did not know when the controversial footage was recorded but said local tour operators have more such videos.

"The video itself is clearly an evidence of abuse, I mean that's the whole point of doing the report," reporter Gethin Chamberlain told the CNN-IBN news network.

The video was picked up by many Indian news channels on Wednesday and the government was quick to react, with Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo saying the clips were "disgusting".

The minister promised to take action and has asked for a report from the local administration.

Click here to see the video.

FILED UNDER:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

DEFENCE

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Canonisation

Canonisation

Pope declares sainthood of two Indians, four Italians.  Full Article 

Stake Sale Strike

Stake Sale Strike

Coal India trade unions call off strike in victory for Modi.  Full Article 

Markets Weekahead

Markets Weekahead

Ride the bull with a finger on the ejector button.  Full Article 

Arms Purchase

Arms Purchase

India approves $2.6 bln mounted gun purchase - official.  Full Article 

Interview with Bulgari CEO

Interview: Bulgari CEO

Bulgari CEO: we shouldn’t have left India so we’re back  Full Article 

Formula One

Formula One

Hamilton takes second F1 title in style.  Full Article 

Available For Remake

Available For Remake

Bollywood finally wants to pay the price for remakes  Full Article 

Davis Cup

Davis Cup

Vintage Federer seals first Davis Cup for Switzerland.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Happy Ending" is old wine in an older bottle  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage