Sonia favours leaving Jarawas untouched

Posted on 23 June 2011

Sonia favours leaving Jarawas untouched

Sonia favours leaving Jarawas untouchedETV2 News @ 23rd June 2011

The debate on changes on Jarawa Policy – their development versus preserving their traditional lifestyle – got special attention at the National Advisory Council meeting on Wednesday following chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s intervention. The Congress president weighed heavily on the side of maintaining the protected regime for the indigenous Andaman and Nicobar Islands tribe.

The government has been toying with the idea of bringing ‘development’ to the community which has long been kept protected from amalgamation into the islands’ mainstream. The proposal is being reviewed by an expert committee headed by the tribal affairs secretary.

The island administration had mooted that the aboriginal group should be assimilated into the mainstream of society and should be provided development rights like education and health.

But the council favoured maintaining status quo. Many members on board the UPA think tank pointed out that the debate had been settled long ago and there was no model available to show how assimilation had helped any ‘pre-modern’ society around the world.

The Andaman Trunk Road has become the iconic front of the debate with the island administration refusing to shut it down despite court orders dating back nearly a decade. The island administration had filed a petition against the closing of the road with Supreme Court which has not been heard as yet but the government has, using the pending case as a ploy, not shut down the road that cuts through the heart of Jarawa lands.

The road issue cropped up prominently at the meeting where the L-G for the islands Lt Gen Bhopinder Singh made a presentation followed by another by the secretary tribal affairs. The meeting was attended by Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed who also strongly opposed any plans of exposing Jarawas to modern lifestyles. Environment minister Jairam Ramesh recommended that Jarawas should not be looked at in isolation and the development of all communities on the islands should be considered collectively.

Sonia favours leaving Jarawas untouched

Sonia favours leaving Jarawas untouched

Sonia favours leaving Jarawas untouched

Sonia favours leaving Jarawas untouched
Sonia favours leaving Jarawas untouched
Sonia favours leaving Jarawas untouched
Sonia favours leaving Jarawas untouched
Sonia favours leaving Jarawas untouched

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