It is impossible to think that in today’s world, a parent would kill their own child if it is born with a different skin colour or if they marry someone from another society but you will be shocked to hear that in India, there exists such tribe which still believes in their old rituals even in today’s scientific world. This is the “ Jarwa Tribe” of Andaman and Nicobar islands.
These rituals of the Jarawa tribe, native to the South Andaman Nicobar Island has become a source of great trouble for the local police lately. These murders are done by members of their own society. The police is finding itself helpless in the face of increasing cases of such murders.
According to one report, there are 400 such tribes of African origin living in Andaman who settled in the islands 50 years back. Members of these tribes typically are of darker complexion and short stature. Till 1998, they used to live a separate life from the outside world in a state of perpetual conflict with other tribes. Slowly and steadily they started changing. They started coming in contact with the outside world but yet have retained some of their traditions like killing a child that is born with a different skin colour and a widow if she becomes a mother and gives birth to a child which looks different from the rest of the tribe.
Their traditions have become a great headache for the police and other people of Andaman. Local authorities who are in a dilemma as to whether enforce the nation’s constitution or to respect their age old traditions have been given clear instructions to not intervene in tribal practices.
Since the past few years, cases have come forward of other people misbehaving with these tribes. According to one video , one women of the tribe was asked to dance nude in exchange for receiving food. For the first time in 2014, a woman from the “ Jarwa tribe” spoke about their community’s hardships by confessing that people of other ethnicities have sexually harassed women of their tribe.
According to Servical International, if attention is not given to protect these tribes, they will eventually vanish. At the same time, members of these tribes are unaware of the programmers and reservations provided by the government.
apart from the Jarawa tribe, other tribes such as the Sentinalese, Aaungi and Great Andamanese also live in the Andaman and Nicobar island chain. These tribes too avoid contact with the outside world.