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India's 'deplorable' 'human zoo'
An unsettling new video catches a local policeman demanding that members of the endangered Jarawa tribe dance for tourists
Members of an endangered African tribe living on a reserve in India dance for tourists after being egged on by an apparently bribed policeman leading an illegal safari.
Members of an endangered African tribe living on a reserve in India dance for tourists after being egged on by an apparently bribed policeman leading an illegal safari.
Screen shot, The Guardian
T

he 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:

 

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