The Union government has asked the Andaman and Nicobar authorities to file a report on the incident of Jarawa women dancing for food.
A video of Jarawa women— a tribal group inhabiting the islands—allegedly dancing for food was released by The Observer, a London-based newspaper, along with a report. The video enraged both rights activists and the authorities.Even though the authorities say the video, which is doing rounds on networking sites like Facebook, is four-five years old, the home ministry sought a detailed report to verify the authenticity of the video and the incident involving contact of the tribe with outsiders.
The Andaman police were quick to state that the person alleged to have asked tribals to dance for the tourists is not a policeman as has been “widely and erroneously reported.”
“We are ascertaining the year when the video was shot.” The statement also said the police had asked The Observer, which claimed that a policeman had taken bribe to make the tribals, especially women, dance naked, to apologise to police.
Home minister P Chidambaram, who is touring the islands on Januray 21, will take up the issue. The tour that has been planned ahead of the incident is to take stock of development programmes, including welfare of tribals.
“We asked for a report from the UT and I will also visit the islands. The government will continue its efforts to preserve the identity of tribals,” union tribal affairs minister Kishore Chandra Deo said.
The tourism ministry said it was planning a policy to prevent such incidents. “I have sought a report and will take action against the tour operators concerned,” tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahay said.