Jarawa Tribe of Andaman & Pan – Indian Mentality


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JANUARY 17 , 2012           02.40 A.M.

Apart from Hindus , Muslims , Christians , Jews and Parsis India has a sizable chunk of animist tribal population also . Andaman & Nicobar Islands have a large tribal population , some of them are even pre – historic . Some of these aboriginal tribes have been declared endangered . It means they are on the verge of extinction .

English: Map of the Nicobar and Andaman Islands.

Map of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Jarawa tribe is one of the most endangered tribes of Andaman & Nicobar Islands . There are just 240 Jarawas left . That is the reason Administration of Andaman & Nicobar Islands has declared them endangered tribes and have initiated several welfare schemes for the preservation of their identity and culture .

Map of Andaman and Nicobar Islands showing loc...

Map of India Showing Location of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Last week  some tourists filmed a video , which showed that Jarawa women are dancing for food . When the news became public there was tremendous public outcry . Several mainstream channels carried the clippings and they were indignant that Jarawas were degraded by this dance – for – food act  and that  filming of the act was inhuman and insensitive . Demands for inquiry were raised and the administration of Andaman & Nicobar Islands promptly ordered  the inquiry .

Blurred Vision of Jarawa Dance Video Shown on Times Now

Blurred Vision of Jarawa Dance for Food

Andaman & Nicobar Islands are enchantingly beautiful . Azure sea , breath – taking greenery and primitive surroundings are beyond words .

Andaman Islands

Sunset and Sunrise also attract tourists . This pristine and virgin beauty has to be preserved from senseless urbanization . These eco – sensitive and fragile beauty can’t be open for unbridled modernization . Pre – historic jungles shouldn’t be allowed to become a concrete jungle .

Sunset in Andaman

A Seashore of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

We have a policy for tribals . It calls for their protection and for the preservation of their tradition and culture . This issue of preserving tribal culture is so vexed that initially I was swayed by the views of various anchors of news channels . In the Times of India of January 15 , 2012 , I read a column ” Swaminomics ”  , written by columnist Mr. Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyar . Thanks to Mr. Aiyar’s column , my views on this issue is clear now .

We do need to preserve our tribal culture . We should and must try to protect our endangered tribal population . But keeping them in quarantined atmosphere is not preservation . I am posting few photos of the Jarawa tribals . Watch these Jarawa men and women and then decide :

A Jarawa

A Jarawa

Jarawas

According to me our tribal population should be allowed to mix with the mainstream . They should be encouraged to study , to live a decent life . They are entitled to proper medication and they have every right to have all the modern amenities . Just look at the photograph of Port Blair , the capital of Andaman & Nicobar Islands :

A Market of Port Blair

Main Road of Port Blair

Port Blair is not a metropolitan city .It is not like New Delhi , Mumbai or Bengaluru . But definitely it is a bustling town with all the modern amenities . Now compare this with the condition of the tribal population of Andaman & Nicobar Islands :

A Jarawa Family

A Jarawa Couple

Is it not inhuman to keep our tribals in the primitive condition of pre – historic days ? It is argued that exposing them to civil society will be injurious for their existence . Total land area of Andaman & Nicobar Islands is 6,496 km. Total population , as per recent census statistics of 2011 is 3,79,944 .There are only 5 tribes in Andaman Islands . They are ; Great Andamanese , Jarawa , Jangil , Onge and Sentinelese . Their total number is 7,000 . There are only 2 tribes in Nicobar Islands . They are ; Nicobarese and Shompens .Some of Nicobarese are educated and have been exposed to modern civilization ;

Tribal Population of Nicobar Islands

Out of all the 572 islands , only  38 are inhabited . Out of these 38 islands less than a dozen have some kind of tribal population . Can’t we keep watch on them and protect them from exploitation ? Tribals of North – East India are well – educated . They have been exposed to modern culture . They live in cities with all the modern trappings . They didn’t disappear and become extinct . In fact they are more rooted and still preserve their identity and thriving ethnic culture . Tribal People of Arunachal Pradesh , Nagaland , Manipur , Meghalaya , Mizoram and Tripura are modern , well – educated and city – centric . They don’t live in their pre – historic primitive conditions . Yet their tribal culture is intact , in fact it is more strong .

So the bogey of losing tribal culture is misplaced . If we insist that tribals of Andaman & Nicobar Islands should be kept in virgin and primitive preservation , we are treating then as animals of a zoo . I totally agree with Mr. Swaminathan Ankalesaria Aiyar that this zoo mentality should not be allowed to continue . Our constitution gives us right to work , right to vote and right to education . By keeping these trbals in a ghetto and trying to keep them away from modern civilization is depriving them of their fundamental rights . Sure , making them dance for food and filming the act is inhuman . But can any one answer why these Jarawas could be tantalized for food ? A well – fed population can’t be lured for food . So it is clear these Jarawas are deprived . They are famished . And thus were lured by tourists .

A Jarawa Child

A Jarawa Girl Child

A Jarawa Man

The Jarawas

Tribals in A Natural Habitat

Above posted photos tells everything . These tribals lack basic amenities . They are poor and famished . They must be craving for two decent meals a day and they are not getting that . So they gave in when tempted by the tourists . Can any one lure a Naga , a Khasi , a Garo , a Jayantia or a Mizo from the North – East India for food  ?Everyone knows the answer . It’s a firm no .

So same treatment will be beneficial for the tribals of Andaman & Nicobar Island also . We need a modern , well – educated , well – fed tribal population , who are well – integrated with the mainstream . We do need to preserve distinct tribal identity and not a quarantined , secluded and ghettoized existence. Definitely tribals of Andaman & Nicobar Islands could be another Naga , Mizo , Khasi or Jayantia .

Tribals of Andamans

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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A Clarion Call for Helping The Handloom Weavers


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 16 , 2011           00.50 A.M.
English: Punched card loom mechanism in silk w...

Loom

A Clarion Call for the rights of the very deprived and poor Weavers of our Country
An appeal to fellow citizens to rise and fight for them by spreading this article and creating awareness of their conditions amongst Indians.
loom-at-home

Loom at Home

  • hand-loom weavers and their family members may die from tuberculosis in Uttar Pradesh due to poor living conditions
  • “Tuberculosis and malnutrition is common,”
  • The skilled hands of weavers are being engaged in other jobs such as driving rickshaw, selling vegetables, laying roads and even begging.
Weavers and Looms - Observations

Weavers & Looms

  • Thousands of weavers have committed suicide and yet, do not figure in public consciousness or government agendas, or merit media coverage.
  • There are over two lakh weavers in and around Varanasi. But less than 55,000 get a job in a year leaving the remaining 1.5 lakh weavers jobless.
  • English: Weaver in a silk weaving workshop; Va...

    Silk Weavers of Varanasi

  • 50 percent of children in weaver families are malnutritioned, concluded pilot survey conducted NGOs in some of the weaver communities. “In blatant violation of Supreme Court orders, a number of children can be seen to survive on a mere bowl or two of plain rice and some bread. Some times they get nothing at all.
  • Access to Credit Issues
    Presently, large majority of the weavers do not have the bank accounts and accessing credit from formal institutions remains a distant dream. Barely ten per cent of weavers, mainly those associated with hand-loom Cooperatives, receive bank credit and other monetary support from government those outside the cooperative umbrella, get nothing. The Planning Commission acknowledges that 80 per cent of hand-loom weavers depend on private money lenders who charge exorbitant interest rates. Due to the lack of credit from banking institutions, weavers are forced into exploitative relationships with money-lenders, who give them credit on exorbitant terms and traders, who advance production credit, and use the leverage gained to suppress wages.
    Open Letter from Shri Muralidhar Rao ON EVE OF HIS 3 DAY FAST IN HYDERABAD IN SUPPORT OF THE DEPRIVED WEAVER SOCIETY-to fellow Indians for support to this deprived segment of Indian Society (Excerpts)

The condition of the common weavers in the country continue to remain desperate and distraught.

The Planning Commission acknowledges that 80 per cent of hand-loom weavers depend on private money lenders who charge exorbitant interest rates.
English: Montek S. Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman,...

Montek Ahluwalia - Deputy Chairman Planning Commission

The condition of weavers, during the rule of Congress led UPA, has deteriorated sharply all across the country, but nowhere more so than in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Suicides by weavers have reached epidemic proportions.

Map of Andhra Pradesh showing location of Vall...

Map of Andhra Pradesh

According to state government figures, 700 weavers committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh in recent times (the actual figure is around 2,000).
Major road links of Andhra Pradesh

Map of Andhra Pradesh


Wages have not increased in the last 15 years. Some sections of hand-loom weavers are living in hand-to-mouth conditions, with no house or assets.
[ This is not my blog . This is an appeal by Shri Murali Dhar Rao in support of our poor hand-loom weavers , who are neglected and are committing suicide . It was mailed to me by some friends of BJP . I am posting it here so that some more people can read it and know the condition of our poor hand-loom weavers . ]

 

Pitripaksha & Parents / Children Relationship : Then & Now


2As per HINDU tradition, every year in the month of AASHWIN, we remember our forefathers and offer water for their contentment and as a token of our gratitude. As I sat in the morning for my daily prayers during this PITRIPAKSHA ( Fortnight of Forefathers ) I go through the following shlokas and recite them. I have gone through these shlokas hundreds of times and know the meanings also but today these shlokas give totally new meanings and a different connotations to me. These shlokas are :

Aabrahmastambaparyantam,
Devarshi pitri manavaah
Tripyantu pitarah sarve, matrimaataamahodayah.

Ateetkulkotinam, Saptadweepnivasinam,
Aabrahmabhuvananlokan
Didamastu tilodakam.

Ye bandhava, abandhava va ye,
Ye anyajanmanibandhava
Te serve tripti mayantu,
Maya datten vaarina.

[ From the mighty Bhagawan Brahma to the tiny insects, from the immortal Gods to the mortal human beings; from my paternal to my maternal forefathers, everyone should get this water and be contented.

All my forefathers, who were born in the family, millions of years ago, and who are living anywhere in seven continents across seven seas and those who still live anywhere in the universe; they all should get this water mixed with TIL and be contented.

Those who are not our brothers, those who are born as our brothers and those who were my brothers in my past and previous lives; they all should get this water given by me and be contented. ]

I used to get goose bumps, whenever I read these shlokas. I always wondered, how could a civilization, which is as old as humanity itself, be so humane and universal in approach. What were the thoughts of the great Rishis, when they wrote above mentioned shlokas? What was there in their minds, when they conceived these rituals? They were praying for friends and foes alike. A civilization which is considerate to even enemies, will surely have greatest of regards for their parents. Stories of SHRAVAN KUMAR and MARYADA PURUSHOTTAM RAM are there in the minds of every Hindu.

But few stories, which appeared in the news papers recently, are very disturbing. These stories tell us about the thinking and behaviour of youngsters. These stories tell us about the psyche of the new generation. These stories portray the fast changing colors of Brave??  and New??  India.

Two months back, there was a story of two young boys of Patna, Bihar, in the Times Of India. These jobless youngsters were trying for job and were getting restless because they were unable to get it. Finally they decided to kill their fathers, so that they can get the jobs of their fathers on the basis of compassion. They even paid advance money to the local mafia to accomplish their goals. Can you imagine this is happening in India, land of SHRAVAN KUMAR. As per mythology and folklore SHRAVAN KUMAR carried their blind parents on his shoulders and helped them to visit all the pilgrimage centers of India, though they were unable to see anything. Now compare this story of yore with the present day story of Patna, Bihar.

This is not all. There are disturbing stories from every part of the country. I will narrate some of them here. In Kolkata, Mr. Samar Moulik and his wife Mrs. Bharati Moulik want to end their lives. Mr. Moulik retired from BHEL and instead of monthly pension, opted for one-time lump-sum payments. He invested half the amount in mutual funds. Later on he got to know that he was cheated. Unable to pay the rent, he moved to his ancestral home in Baguihati. After 15 days they were driven out of the house by their elder son Soumen, who stays there. Mr. Moulik’s second son, Shankar, a microbiologist, lives in South Africa. He is simply not interested and is unwilling to look after his parents. Their daughter, who is married and settled in Lucknow, U. P. is also not willing to accept them. I must submit here that she is not morally or legally bound to do this. The couple are now living with Mr. Moulik’s ex-colleague, and they have sent a letter to the officer in charge of Baguihati Police Station, seeking permission to end their lives.

In Mumbai, Savitri Sawant, an 85-year-old woman, has been thrown out of her house by her son and daughter-in-law. They both are police constables and both are earning but they are not willing to look after their elderly and helpless mother. The bone of contention is a flat worth Rs.18 Lakh, which is in Savitri’s name. Son wants his mother to transfer the flat in his name. When mother refused to acquiesce to his wishes, he forcibly drew her out of the house. It is another story that police is not even taking cognizance of her complaint.

In Dadar, Mumbai a 72 year old elderly lady Chandraprabha Manjarekar is so bitter with her only son that she does not want him to be informed after her death. The son wanted her to take Rs.10 Lakh and vacate the flat and go away. When she refused, he left the flat along with his wife, leaving her alone in the flat. She is now fighting for the survival without any income.

Ashwin Desai, 61, a resident of Kandivali, is a paraplegic and confined to his bed for the past 35 years. He has 92-year-old mother to take care off. He is abandoned by his near ones.

Jairaj Dattani, a 75-year-old lonely person jumped to his death and left a suicide note that he is tired of his illness and loneliness. It is pertinent that the note found in his pocket was addressed to the police inspector of the area and not his family members.

These stories are heart-wrenching. In the land of SHRAVAN KUMAR and MARYADA PURUSHOTTAM RAM, the younger generation is behaving in strange manner. Is looking after your parents so difficult? Insecure, infirm, sick and defenseless elderly parents want nothing but care and company of their kids. They just need some medicines and two frugal meals a day. Is it so difficult to provide them this? A mother happily and willingly carries her children in her womb for 9 months. And after the birth also, she takes care of every needs of them till they become self-sufficient. A father sacrifices his whole life for  his kids. And the children, when they start their own life, simply forget all these things. They start ignoring their parents. A religion, which is so compassionate towards their deceased forefathers, cannot teach callousness to its followers. Offering prayers during PITRIPAKSHA is not difficult. I am posting two recent photos of mine to illustrate my points.DSC00556DSC00573These photos were clicked today. Photo no . one is the photo of mine on the last day ( 15th ) day of PITRIPAKSHA, and the second one is clicked after the  shraddha is over. Is growing beard and shaving it off so difficult? Is giving two frugal meals to their helpless, feeble, infirm and incapacitated parents very difficult? Today people keep dogs as pets. They take care of their dogs. They buy costly and imported canine foods. They take their dogs to canine beauty parlours. They purchase costly dresses for their dogs. But when it comes to their parents, their love vanishes. They become insensitive, they don’t have money. Are parents inferior to even dogs?

I don’t want to give sermons to the world. I am not  saying  that all the youngsters are bad but it is true that relationships are changing in India. I started this blog at the beginning of PITRIPAKSHA, and I am posting it at the last day of PITRIPAKSHA. Throughout this period I was thinking about this issue. My parents are dead. I don’t claim that I was an ideal son but I can state with all humility that I was definitely not a bad son. I was an okay son.

Vidur

http://www.vidur.co.in

Death of Humanity on the streets of Patna


2It is extremely busy Sunday today. It was supposed to be. We are shifting our institute to a bigger and better place. Today we are starting repairing work in that premises. Apart from that, today we are starting our “ Only On Sunday Batch ” for working professionals in Lokhandwala Complex, Andheri, Mumbai. Preoccupied, as I was since yesterday, I was not thinking about any other thing. Apart from that, I was not well also. After I wrote my last blog on 19th of July, a deluge of emotions engulfed me. I succumbed to it and fell ill.

But a very disturbing incident, which happened on the evening of 23rd July, shook me completely. A woman from Dumka / Jesidih, Jharkhand, a province of India, was stripped and beaten up by some hooligans in full public view on the busy Exhibition Road in Patna, Bihar. She was screaming for help, looking for succour but nobody came forward. A voyeuristic crowd kept on watching the hapless girl and were enjoying the free show. Female modesty was outraged on the streets of Patna and no one came forward and helped or even protested. It happened in Patna, once known as Pataliputra, capital of prehistoric and ancient India. It happened in Patna, which was once the capital of Ashok the Great and before him, of his grandfather Chandragupta Maurya. It happened in the city, which was once administered by legendary Chanakya the Great, the then Prime Minister of India. It happened in the city, where Selucus Nikator, the chieftain of Alexander, came as a victor and returned as a vanquished, after giving his daughter to Chandragupta Maurya in matrimony and along with her, whole of Afghanistan as dowry. It happened in the city, where mythical Ganga still flows silently, magnificently and calmly. In Indian mythology all the rivers are considered mothers and Ma Ganga is no exception. We believe that she can purge us of all our sins. But I know this sin cannot be purged, cannot be washed away even by Ma Ganga.

We Indians are hypocrites. And this is not a new phenomenon. It runs deep in our psyche. We worship lots of goddesses. We have 51 Shakti Peeths. We proclaim:

Yatra naryastu poojyante
Ramante tatra devatah
( Gods themselves, live in the places, where women are worshiped. )

And this is what we do to women. I was watching the incident on television channels. The anchor was interviewing a social worker of Patna, who was herself a lady. She said that girl in question might be  a prostitute……….
My question is, even if the girl in question is a prostitute, was it proper? Was it appropriate? She didn’t deserve this and this shouldn’t have happened to her. What is more appalling and shameful, the police force reached late, though they were posted nearby but watched the drama silently for half an hour.

Congress, the old, dilapidated and virtually nonexistent party in Bihar, has started a political drama along with Lalu’s Rashtriya Janata Dal. Cries of      “ Sushashan nahi Dushashan Hai; Cheer haran ka sashan Hai” , rattled the streets of Patna. They forgot that one Maya Tyagi was raped in Meerut during Indira Gandhi’s regime and instead of ordering the police to capture the culprits, she advised the victim to forget everything like a bad dream. What an advice from one woman to another??? No doubt, Indira Gandhi was called the only man in her cabinet!!! So at least Congress should stop politicizing the issue. Nitish Kumar, the present Chief Minister, at least suspended guilty cops and transferred many. Main culprit Rakesh Kumar has been arrested and massive hunt is on to nab other culprits.

My anger is not against the government. It is against the police. It is against the society. It is against the people of Patna, which was once kingdom of our country and was once known as Pataliputra.

Vidur

http://www.vidur.co.in

Mumbai , India

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