What horrible human outrages does this monstrous world of ours bring today? Video of a "human zoo" in India's Andaman Islands, featuring women from the Jarawa tribe, ordered to dance for tourists in exchange for food.
The video, first published by Guardian sister paper The Observer, apparently depicts a bribed policeman ordering the women to dance for tourists "on safari."
"Dance," the policeman instructed. The girls in front of him, naked from the waist up, obeyed. A tourist's camera panned round to another young woman, also naked and awkwardly holding a bag of grain in front of her. "Dance for me," the policeman commanded.
To shield tribes like the Jarawa from disease and culture shock, Indian laws ban outsiders from seeking out or photographing the people. Nonetheless,
On the day the Observer visited, when the gates opened the cameras immediately started clicking. Tourists threw bananas and biscuits to the tribespeople at the roadside, as they would to animals in a safari park.
[T]he price of a day out with the Jarawa: up to 15,000 rupees (£185) to buy off the police, another 10,000-15,000 rupees on top of that for a car, a driver, gifts for the Jarawa, and biscuits and snacks. Contact is guaranteed, he promised.
Believed to be the descendants of the first humans to migrate successfully from Africa to Asia, there are roughly 400 Jarawa alive today, the AFP reports. They began "to venture out of the jungle in any numbers" in 1998, prompting the government to create "a buffer zone" for the tribe in 2007. "Forced coexistence would be total genocide for them," according to Anstice Justin, head of the region's Anthropological Survey of India.
Though officials mostly agree that outrage is the appropriate response to this video (even those opposed to the protection laws don't want this scandal attached to them) there is some dissent over the appropriate amount of outrage. We return to the AFP:
"Before the 2004 tsunami, people might have forced them to dance and there may have been some much smaller violations since then," Justin said by telephone from the capital Port Blair.
"The video appears to be six to seven years old when Jarawas remained unclothed but now they wear dresses in public," Director-General of Police Samsher Deol said.