The video: Human rights groups and Indian politicians are outraged over controversial new footage of what's being branded a "human zoo" in India's Andaman Islands. (Watch the video below.) The clip, published by the U.K.'s Observer, appears to depict a bribed policeman serving as a tour guide in a jungle reserve that was established to protect the endangered African Jarawa tribe, which today numbers under 400 people. "Dance," the policeman shouts at the tribe's topless women, demanding that they entertain the tourists who are "on safari." (Indian law bans tourists from visiting or photographing the Jarawa — an attempt to protect them from disease and exploitation.) The Observer reports that on the day its reporter visited, tourists began snapping photos as soon as the gates to the reserve opened, and "threw bananas and biscuits to the tribespeople at the roadside, as they would to animals at a safari park." The officer in the video will reportedly be punished by having "his future promotion delayed by six months."
The reaction: This is just one more "horrible" outrage in our "monstrous world," sighs Maureen O'Connor at Gawker. Yes, this is simply "deplorable," India's Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo tells AFP, a global newes agency. "You cannot treat human beings like beasts for the sake of money." But sadly, says Tom Wright at The Wall Street Journal, this video is "not a surprise." Collusion between unsanctioned tour operators and India's law enforcement has been a problem for years. See the unsettling video for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How to live a long life, according to science
- Sorry, we will not all be having sex with robots in the future
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
Subscribe to the Week