Befriending the Jarawa...
Indian tribal policy(1) illustrated in the case of a hunter-gatherer group in the Andaman Islands
by Carola Krebs
translated from the original German into English by George Weber
Table of Contents
3.1. A Short Outline of the Settlement to the End of the British Colony3.2.1. The Jarawa as special case3.3.1. The Jarawa as Special Case &endash; Again184.108.40.206. Contact Parties and Gift Dropping
When this article was researched during the late 1990s, the Anthropological Survey of India still enjoyed a monopoly on anthropological research in the Andamans. This led to the grotesque situation that after 25 years of contact between ASI staff and Jarawa, the ASI had collected almost no linguistic data on the Jarawa language. In the meantime, things have cahnged very much for the better but the 25-year backlog will take some time to work up.
With independence in 1947, the Indian Union under the decisive influence of its first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru embarked on an ambitious project to integrate its tribal populations,(2) part of the country's underprivileged minorities. The problems were, and still are, multifarious with an immense literature on the subject.100
In consequence, this article only investigates one specific case of attempted integration: that of the Andamanese hunter-gatherers. Aided by historical reconstruction, regularly occurring pattern and methods are uncovered that go back to colonial days. It is to be hoped that the analysis of individual measures taken along with the published literature will contribute towards a differentiated and critical view of Indian tribal policies in the Andamans.
1. Some remarks on British tribal policy in India
British tribal policy first took the form of "pacifying" measures in response to uprisings and rebellion by "tribal communities"(3) against Indian land owners and money lenders. Such unrest had begun during the times of the East India Company in the early 19th century. It culminated in the major "Santali Rebellion" (1855-57) in Bengal which forced some concession from government.(4)
During the second half of the 19th century - after India had been declared a British Crown Colony - the renewed interest of the colonial power in commercial exploitation of the rich and vast forests of the tribal areas clashed with aboriginal interests. Indian forests had been used jointly by their inhabitants and adjoining regional rulers. During the 19th century, the forests were transferred to the ownership of the colonial state and their use strictly regulated. The inhabitants &endash; mostly tribals &endash; lost their collective rights in the unfettered use of their forest environment literally overnight. A consequence of the virtual expriopriation was a growing rootlessness of the affected tribals, a new dependence on officials of the Forestry Departments as well as of the land and plantation owners. The latter had moved into tribals lands with the expansion of infrastructural development. Ever since, Indian tribal policy has been closely connected to forestry legislation.(5)
In order for the British colonial administration to exercise closer control over the tribals on the one hand and give them a certain amount of protection on the other hand, so-called excluded or partially excluded areas were set up outside colonial jurisdiction. This was introduced, on advice from two prominent administrator-anthropologists(6) Mills and Hutton, in areas inhabited mostly by Adivasi. The excluded areas were placed under British administrators, some of whom conducted research during their term of office and subsequently published their results.(7) Apart from the monographs, their findings and results also entered the Census of India, which had been set up in the 1980s by the colonial administration in order to record and register the entire population.(8) Lists of registered Tribes, scheduled Tribes (resp. scheduled Castes) were developed. The terms are still used today as an alternative to Adivasi or Tribals.
The term scheduled Tribe, thus is a technical term and in the context of modern India above all a political administrative category.(9)
Separate registration by the British resulted in a differing status and a kind of positive discrimination of such groups and was resisted as early as the 1930s by nationalist members of Congress. They feared the political consequences following the administrative recognition of tribal separateness. particularly that the special rights would stand in the way(10) of a homogenous mainstream society (11).
2. Indian Tribal Policy after Independence
2.1. The Philosophy of Indian Tribal Policy
The first Prime Minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru, was an enlightened Indian whose classic British education had deeply influenced his world view. It was his conviction that tribal integration into modern Indian society should be carried out based on democratic principles. His attitude towards Indian aboriginal people was marked on the one hand by paternalism and on the other by democratic and. socialist ideals respectively.
He summarised his thoughts on the aborigines in a five-point code of conduct:
1. People should develop on the lines of their own genius and should avoid imposing anything on them. We should encourage in any way their own traditional arts and culture.
2. Tribal rights in land and forest should be respected.
3. We should try to train and build up a team of their own people to do the work of administration and development. We should avoid introducing too many outsiders into tribal territory.
4. We should not over-administer these areas or overwhelm them with a multiplicity of schemes. We should rather work through and not in rivalry to, their own social and cultural institutions.
5. We should judge results, not by statistics or the amount of money spent, but by the quality of human character that is involved.(12)
While Nehru's philosophy became the much-quoted ethical guideline for government policy towards the aborigines, it remained for the most part in gross contrast to reality, to the factual agricultural and economic developments in affected regions and to state economic interests in "tribal territories".(13)
2.2 Privileges and protective clauses for the Adivasi in the Indian Constitution
After gaining independence from the British Crown in 1947, India gave itself a democratic constitution and concentrated its efforts on economic modernisation. With the development of the national state, the Scheduled Tribes found themselves ethnic-political minorities within States of the Indian Union whose borders had been drawn along linguistic lines.
The Constitution coming into effect on 26th January 1950 set own the rights and protection of members of Scheduled Tribes in general and in particular articles.
Among the general articles is Article 15 which prohibits the discrimination of persons on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or their place of birth. Article 16 prescribes the equality of all citizens in regard to public employment, article 17 prohibits the institution of "untouchables", article 23 the trade in human beings and forced labour and article 29 guarantees the protection of minority rights.
Special article for the protection of Adivasi are, for example, article 46 which gives them the right to education and protects their economic interests.
By means of quotas, the Adivasi have access to the parliaments of their States and Union Territories (articles 330, 332, 334), to education and to higher and middle government positions.
Compliance with these articles is regulated according to Article 338 which created the office of Special Officer for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. He is appointed by and responsible to the Prime Minister. To complement the office, a Scheduled Areas and Trines Commission was set up in 1960. In the States, so-called Tribes Advisory Councils with advisory functions were set up. (14)
Protective legal measures taken by the British colonial administration for the "Tribes" in form of "excluded areas" set up in 1935 as well as the separate registration of such communities as "Scheduled Tribes" was retained against nationalist resistance to set down in the Constitution.(15)
In order to distance themselves from the alleged British policies of isolating the tribes, the new policies were characterised with the new slogan of Rapid Development. Development and integration were declared to be the highest priorities of tribal policy in the new India.
"In the late forties and early fifties the Indian anthropologists were already taking a distinct view of the tribal problems and contradicted the position taken by the British colonial anthropologists. They were no longer emphasising merely the evil effects of contacts on tribal people, instead they made themselves prepared to give advice for the newly definded end of development and national integration."(16)
2.3 Planned economic development
"They [the British &endash; the author] had a point in stressing protection &endash; the principle of partial and full exclusion was later embodied in the Indian Constitution &endash; constitutional guarantees of protection had to be combined with programmes of rapid development, which did not find any place in the colonial frame."writes K.S. Singh, director-general of the Anthropological Survey of India in 1982. (17)
Adivasi standards of living were supposed to approach those of the mainstream with the help of extensive development programs through planned acculturisation.(18) The economics of the various Adivasi groups had been classified into hunter-gatherers, slash-and-burn and settled agriculturalists. They were sometimes derogated as "hand-in-mouth economies"(19) for their lack of infrastructure and technology.
The most important problems to be solved in the tribal areas were the arbitrary activities of the great landowners and money lenders which resulted in large-scale empoverishment of the Adivasi(20) and the rapid spread of bonded labour.(21)
Planning of development was based on the sequential 5-year plans applied to the entire Indian economy. The necessary funds were supplied annually by the responsible planning commission.(22)
Besides government agencies, non-governmental development organisation had first appeared in the 1970s. Within the framework of Applied Anthropology,(23) ethnologists had from the start been charged with working out development programmes
Exceptional persons were used, such as the British anthropologist ELWIN(24) as Anthropological Advisor to the Government in the 1960s and at the same time FÜERER-HEIMENDORF as Tribal Advisor to the Government of Hyderabad.(25)
Thoughout India after 1953, Tribal Research Institutes were set up. Besides carrying out their research work, they were expected to help in education and preparation of personnel for use in tribal areas and to provide assistance with evaluation of government development plans. (26)
Hunter-gatherers presented a special problem within the Indian government framework for integration. Transfer to state owenrship of forests and the resulting reduced accessability of resources were used to encourage such groups to adopt a more settled way of life, to tie them more firmly to cooperatives and to open alternative means of making a living to them. (27)
Some groups avoided such a fate by withdrawing into the forest(28) or other remote areas. Some adopted a hostile/aggressive attitude towards the outside world and were classified and stigmatised as hostile, aggressive or criminal tribes.(29) In the following we shall describe just such a case.
3. The Jarawa in the Andamans(30)
"This is the only tribe throughout the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands which, despite making various efforts, could neither be domesticated nor could observe the flahses of the modern enlighted world."(31)
The Jarawa(32) are a small(33) group of hunter-gatherers(34) whose contacts to surrounding Indian settlers have been marginal and mostly hostile over the last 150 years. And until the very recentpast. Their obstinate and aggressive hostility together with their refusal to allow any contact caused some highly specific problems to the settler population and government.
The "Jarawa case" thus turned into a challenge to those charged with the pacification of the islands , a challenge that occupied and still occupies government officials and scientists, British as well as Indian.
3.1. A Short Outline of the Settlement to the End of the British Colony
The Andaman aboriginal population(35) belongs to the so-called Asian Negritos. Their presence in the Andamans is variously thought to date back 35,000 or at least 2,200 years.(36)
At the time of their discovery the various Andamanese groups differed more or less distinctly from each other &endash; though not obviously so to outsiders &endash; in phenotype, language and culture.
Before the arrival of the British in the 19th century there has not been a known attempt at settling the islands.(37)
This almost complete isolation is probably unique in its long duration. Their isolation allowed the Andamanese to maintain their cultural identity and ethnic homogeneity. There were no outside cultural influences nor did large-scale population movements occur. (38)
Inside its protected "greenhouse", Andamanese culture changed and developed at a very much reduced rate.(39) A first, half-hearted British attempt took place in 1789. A more decisive attempt followed after the anticolonial Sepoy uprising ("the Great Mutiny"). It was then decided to utilise the islands as a penal colony. The first settlement was built right in the middle of Aka-Bea territory at Port Blair.(40) The Aka-Bea are a tribal subdivision of the Great Andamanese.
The Jarawa were immediate neighbours of the Aka-Bea south of Port Blair. During the period of first contact, the British did not realise that there were two different groups involved and that, moreover, they were enemies.(41)
The first forest were cleared by the British on two off-shore islands, Chatham island and Ross iland, in 1858. Both islands were exclusively within the Aka-Bea territory. The Jarawa were not concerned and this may be the reason why their attitude during this initial period was described as "friendly".(42) Members of an abortive so-called "contact expedition" were attacked by Jarawa, with Jarawa huts being then burnt down in retaliation. Relations with the Jarawa thereafter took a drastic turn for the worse.
The Aka-Bea, on the other hand, soon came under the British umbrella. They were later misused as trackers during numerous punitive expeditions where shotguns were used against the Jarawa. The latter responded to such developments by withdrawing into remoter areas, refusing to accept any contact and by conducting guerilla-style hit-and-run attacks on settlements. These increased in numbers especially during the early years of the 20th century.(43)
Whether deliberately or not, the measures taken had set both groups at each other &endash; and the Jarawa decided for both withdrawal and resistance.
During World War 2, Japanese troop occupied the islands between March 1942 and October 1945. Jarawa territory was bombed but one can only guess at the extent and consequences on the ground. Movement by Jarawa groups towards the north in the direction of Middle Great Andaman was observed. A series of epidemics had shrunk the number of Great Andamanese to 10% of the original 600 persons. in consequence, the Jarawa had available to them an area of around 700 sq.km (270 sq.miles) along the west coast of South and Middle Great Andaman.
Berween 1945 and 1947 the British returned to the islands for the last time &endash; to hand them over to newly-independent India.. After closing down Cellular Jail, th3e former convicts were offered permanent settlement in the islands. Many took up the offer and brought their families from mailand India. Together with the families of Indian officials, they formed the first generation of local borns. This group today think of themselves as Indian Andamanese.
3.2. British Tribal Policy towards the Andamanese
The main objective of the British administration regarding the "hostile tribes" was their pacification. Originally, it was the Superintendent, the chief administrator of the islands, who was responsible for this, besides all his other responsibilities. In 1863 a special position was created to translate this policy into reality.(44) The first officer to fill the post was Anglican Rev. Henry Fisher Corbyn, chaplain of Port Blair.(45) During the following years, Edward Horace Man(46) (1875-79) and Maurice Vidal Portman(47) (1879-90) held the office.
In 1875 the designation changed from Superintendent to Chief Commissioner. "This was a little change only and did not reflect any real increase in status or power" as MYKA's comments.(48)
British policy of pacification of the aborigines was based on four principles: 1.Contact expeditions with distribution of gifts to signal friendly intentions; 2. abductions, keeping small groups of aborigines prisoner for "re-education"; 3. running special small shelters for aborigines as "basis station for re-education"(49); 4. punitive expeditions in response to attacks on settlements.
All four principles were connected even though individual measures had developed by historical accident. These we will not briefly describe.
After 1860, the number of Andamanese raids on setters increased. It was soon obvious that many attacks served the acquisition of of iron which were needed to make arrow points. If there was no resistance on the part of the British or the settlers, nobody was hurt. This gave rise to the so-called contact expeditions which left presents (coconuts, iron tools and figs) at strategic points in the jungle or in Andamanese huts(50) in order to signal friendly intentions.(51)
After outbreaks of uncontrolled violence from both sides in the course of contact expeditions had increased , the central government ordered the local administration to expand the size of contact groups and to refrain from violent counter-attacks in case of Andamanese violence. Instead, efforts should be made to take captives. British experience was quoted in dealing with the pacification of Australian aborigines.
In the course of one such incident in 1861, the British finally managed to caputre 7 Andamanese. After some weeks of enforced residence at Port Blair, one of the captives escaped and three others were let go soon after. On instructions of the then Superintendent Houghton the three youngest men - who had been named "Jumbo", Crusoe" and "Friday"(52) - were sent to Rangoon to be given an English education. All three fell sick with colds and one of them died while the other two were returned and set free at precisely the spot where they had been captured. Although apparently none of them was ever seen again, for some time afterwards there were no attacks on contact groups and escaped convicts were only robbed and no longer murdered.(53) The incident described here set a precedent and kidnappings of this kind became part of the policy and practice of pacification.
Shelters for pacified Andamanese, so-called Andamanese Homes, formed the basis for the planned re-education of Negritos in a Victorian "civilising process". "Friendly" (i.e. pacified) Andamanese lived in these shelters while visiting the British-Indian settlements. The institution of Andamanese Homes has existed until recently(54) and goes back to a visitor's hut set up in 1863 for the families of Andamanese that had been arrested for murder. Supervision over the sdhelter later to be called Andamanese Homes was entrusted to the Rev. Corbyn, then Officer in Charge of the Andamanese.(55)
The first punitive expeditions took place in 1902 in response to the failure of pacification projects and the rising number if attacks on settlements and persons. Since the Jarawa were blamed for most such attacks, the new measures were directed primarily against them. During punitive expeditions, Jarawa communal huts were destroyed, their contents &endash; mostly household utensils, hunting and gathering gear &endash; collected and taken away by members of the expeditionlater to form the basis for the first ethnographic Jarawa collections(56). It is said that some rape and less commonly downright battles took place during punitive expeditions.(57)
The founder of these four strategies for the pacification of the aborigines - applied almost without change until today &endash; was Captain J.C. Houghton, Superintendent of the Andamans 1859 to 1862. During his short term in office he adopted a moderate style of leadership in comparison to that of his predecessor. On his own personal estimate of the situation facing the Andamanese aborigines, he wrote:
"Looking to the fact that the aborigines of these islands are probably the most ignorant of mankind, and that they have had hitherto but too good cause to look upon the rest of the human race as their enemies... I have determined to use my best endeavours to avoid all aggression upon them, and in the event of any opening occurring, to endeavour to conciliate them... On the other hand, I conceive it a duty to the servants of government, and the convicts exposed to their attacks, to punish sharply and promptly any unprovoked attack by them on the setlement..."(58)
PORTMAN, who would perfect the method in his own pacification of the Onge on Little Andaman, wrote on Houghton's tactics:
"Captain Houghton's arrangement was most judicious, and, as later experience with the Öngés of the Little Andaman has taught, he took the only step which is of any use in taming the Andamanese; i.e. he sent them away from their own country for a considerable period to a land where they saw something of civilization, realized (sic) somewhat the extent and greatness of our power and their own insignificance and weakness, and, though well and kidly treated, were kept under a certain amount of discipline."(59)
3.2.1. The Jarawa as special case
The Jarawa were a mystery to the British. From 1872 they raided settlements and indiscriminately killed convicts at work, policemen and overseers. Since 1875 contact missions were regularly sent out with "gifts" left behind in the deserted community huts. All efforts came to nought. An attempt to kidnap a woman and two children ended in abject failure in 1879 when, during the first night, the Jarawa stormed the jail where the captives were kept and freed them. While other, similar attempts at abduction were more successful, the captives became sick and in some cases died.(60) The policy of giving the captives gifts and then letting them go free did not bring the hoped for results. As PORTMAN recapitulates:
"When the settlement first opened in 1858, the Jarawas occupied the interior of the South Andaman... and it would have been comparatively easy... to establish friendly relations with them for they were less hostile and ferocious than the Aka-Bea-da, and were only timid. Now their timidity has grown into bitter enmity and hostility against all comers, and they shoot every stranger they see whatever his colour may be."(61)
Towards the end of the 19th century, Jarawa raiding activity increased considerably.(62)
"This only seemed to increase the hostility of the Jarawa, whose attacks against the settlement were increasing in frequency and ferocity"
Finally, there is a proposal to the colonial government by the then Chief Commissioner Cosgrave of 1938 to deport all Andamanese to an uninhabited island. It was rejected. The official reply stated
"The Jarawas are the original inhabitants of the island and we have some obligation not to interfere with the occupation of their ancient habitat more than they themselves make it necessary."
Cosgrave was also advised to keep the Jarawa at a distance as much as possible.(64)
The reasons for the failed attempts at pacification have become a much discussed subject until today. Expansions of settlements into Jarawa territory has been suspected as one of the main reasons.(65) SARKAR sees further grounds in the fact that the British expeditions of the past had used Great Andamanese &endash; enemies of the Jarawa &endash; as scouts.
"...and thus the news of friendly relations with the Andamanese and British authorities could be carried back by the captured Jarawa to their other tribal members, which in all probability was enough o disregard the kindness of the authorities shown towards them. Therefore the Jarawa encounters continued."(66)
A third ground is suspected in the punitive expeditions of the early days hen the "wrong guilty parties" were punished &endash; the Jarawa &endash; because the British at that time did not know about the existing ethnic and cultural differences and directed their punishment indiscriminately at all "natives".(67)
The bombings during the Japanese occupation towards the end of World War 2 have also been considered a possible explanation.
"This punitive action of the Japanese appears to have terrified the Jarawas because immediately after the reoccupation of the Islands by the British there was no contact with them".(68)
3.3 The Jarawa drawn into the "new policy" of independent India
After India's independence, the Andaman and Nicobar islands came under the sovereignty of the new state. In 1956 the islands received the status of a Union Territory.(69)
Initially, the administration of the new island territory was placed under a Chief Commissioner. Since the beginning of the 1980s, this post was designated with the title of Lieutenant-Governor. He is appointed directly by the Indian Prime Minister. As head of the administration, the regulations passed by him have the status of an Act of Parliament.
The districts of the Union Territory are administered by Deputy Commissioners which are appointed by the Lieutentant-Governor. The administration is organised in 19 departments, among them the Forestry Department under the Chief Conservator of Forests and the Tribal Welfare Department, the head of which is supported by subaltern Assistant Commissioners and their Extension Officers. Beyond this structure there are several so-called Central Government Departments, among them the Anthropological Survey of India.
Tot the office of Chief Commissioner, resp. Lieutenant-Governor, an advisory body nominated by the central government is attached. The original designation Chief Commissioner's Advisory Committee has since been changed to Pradesh Council. It has only advisory status and no executive competence.(70)
Comparing structures of the new Indian administration and their jurisdiction, MYKA reaches the following conclusions in his study
"The governmental structure in the Andamans has created circumstances siliar to those of the British administration. The Chief Commissioner, like the od Superintendents, can interpret the constitution and government regulations according to her/his own views."(71)
Reflecting the confidence of the new administration in the Andamans, AWARADI wrote
"British India Government was to establish and run a Penal settlement while the India Government was to launch and administer the refugee settlements in Andaman Islands. The respective governments grappled with similar problems, due to hostility of aborigines but the approach and practice adopted by them have been different".(72).
The Chief Commissioner was confronted by a number of problems. The law entrusted the protection of the local "tribal populations" to him. His highest priority for the territory, however, was imposed on him by the economic and infrastructural development set by the second Five Year Plan.(73)
In line with Indian policy towards the "aboriginal tribes", his aim was to integrate them as rapidly as possible into mainstream society, thereby bringing them up to a higher technological level.
There are 6 aboriginal tribes, viz. Nicobarese, Great Andamanese, Onges, Jarawas, Sentinelese and Shompen. The first three categories of tribes have already been brought under co-operative fold. The remaining three tribes are yet to join the process of modern civilisation and to take up economic activities."(74)
In the course of registering the population, on 31st March 1959 all six of the above named "tribes" were placed on the List of Scheduled Tribes.(75) This act gave them constitutional protection and the right to self-determination.
3.3.1. The Jarawa as Special Case &endash; Again
The privileges extended to the Jarawa through their registration as a Scheduled Tribe remained without consequence. Modern times brought them &endash; who knew nothing of their changed status and the resulting new rights &endash; further reasons to remain hostile. Among them was the programme for rehabilitation of refugees which had started in 1949 and brought people from East Bengal to the fringes of Jarawa territory.(76) With the influx of refugees came forest clearance and the construction of a north-south highway, the so-called Andaman Trunk Road, to connect the three large silands, North, Middle and South Great Andaman. The road passed throughe astern parts of the Jarawa territory.
"...a large number of labourers in the Jarawa area which also disturbed the area by way of felling of trees, blasting of explosives, construction of labour camps etc... Entrance of a large number of people from outside also increased the incidences of preaching [poaching?] the area...(77)
"The continuation of such incidents, of course with little break, did keep up the feeling of hostility alive. The circumstances provided more and more opportunities for the further crystallization of hostility of the Jarawas to the outsiders. They became deeply oriented towards taking revenge on the non-Jarawas. With this attitude to outsiders, they even started killing ofg animals belonging to non-tribals. The Jarawas do not spare even the dogs, the cows and elephants introduced and belonging to the non-Jarawas."(78)
After disappearing for about three years during the Japanese occupation,(79) after 1949 the Jarawa resumed their raiding activity.
The administration inherited the problem of continuing Jarawa hostility.(80) The Jarawa, - stigmatised as a "...black, curly-haired and hostile race of the territory"(81) was at the centre of government efforts. Their "pacification"(82) and even "taming"(83) was treated as a challenge.
For the purpose, the support of Ethnology was sought. In 1963 the government's Anthropological Survey set up a branch office at Port Blair in the form of a Central Government Department. Until then, research had been co-ordinated by head office at Calcutta. The branch office, which still exists today, incorporates a small ethnological museum. t displays the material culture of a various aboriginal groups in the Andamans in the form of a permanent exhibition. Apart from a variety of ethnological, linguistic and anthropological research reports, since the 1950s articles published at the request of the Anthropological Survey of India had appeared that tried to analyse the reasons behind Jarawa hostility. (84)
To minimize violent confrontations between Jarawa and settlers, a commission of inquiry, the Study Team on Tribal Development Programme of the Planning Commission of the Government of India, was set up. This was not before time in 1966. It returned to a Jarawa reservation project that had already been mooted by the British in 1937. A 764 sq.km. (... sq.mile) forested area along the west coast of South and Middle Great Andaman was officially declared a Jarawa reservation.(85) The invisible demarcation line was enforced by a special police formation, the Bush Police.(86)
The reservation suffered from two weaknesses. For one, there was no communication with the Jarawa and they could not be informed of the existence of the reservation nor of what it all meant to them.(87) And for the other, the extent and the borders of their reservation could not be explained to them. The clashes, therefore, continued.
While the first five-year plan for the development of the Union Territory had set other priorities, the concerns of the Scheduled Tribes did put in an appearance in the next and subsequent five-year plans. (88)
As recommended by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, a special Advisory Committee on Primitive Tribal Groups was formed in 1975 and chaired by the Chief Commissioner. With the start of the sixth five-year plan (1978-1983) an adequate tribal development program for the Andaman and Nicobar islands was in place which included all the Scheduled Tribes. This took the form of a separate Five-Year-Sub-Plan for the sixth planning period which was continued and expanded during the following years.
In further support of the government and its efforts at development, in 1976 an organsiation Andaman and Nicobar Islands Adim Janjati Vikas Samiiti(89) (AAJVS) was set up. The society was registered as an autonomous body under the Societies Registration Act of 1860. The Chief Commissioner, resp. the Lieutenant-Governor, functioned as chairman. The society receives its funds directly from the central Ministry of Welfare. These funds, together with monies supplied directly by the central government, form the financial basis for all activities in connection with the Scheduled Tribes.
The unpaid, honorary members of this organisation are mostly state employees of middling to high rank. The Execcutive Council in 1989 consisted almost exclusively of upper-ranking officials such as the Deputy Chief Commissioner of the two districts Nicobars and Andamans, the Chief engineer, the Chief Conservator of Forests, the Director of Health and Medical Services and the Superintending Anthropologist and Regional Officers of the Anthropological Survey of India.(90)
The aim of the organisation was to support governmental policies and to function in an advisory capacity. In their publication of 1998 "Retrieval from Principe", they describe their work as follows:
"A unique experiment to prevent extinction of the remaining negrito primitive tribes in Andaman and Nixcobar Islands."(91)
In the foreword to the same publication they say:
"Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti is engaged to show that they [the negritos, CK] can be befriended, their health and life protected and their living conditions gradually developed into an economic pattern which can, at appropriate state merge with the economic and living patterns of these islands. In the years to come they will survive, develop confidence and a will to live and become useful citizens of India."(92)
For the sake of completeness mention should be made of the fact that among the 18 members of the Executive Council of the Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti here is one Great Andamanese. The voting strength of the aboriginal inhabitants in this body, therefore, is 5.5%.
3.3.2. Methodical Inventions in the Treatment of the Jarawa
220.127.116.11. Contact Parties and Gift Dropping
As early as 1959 the Indian administration decided to "drop gifts in the area of the Jarawa with a view to win their friendship".(93) &endash; disregarding the fact that the British had tried the same methods for years without any success, the Jarawa stubbornly continuing their attacks.(94)
Thew Sundaram Committee &endash; a government advisory body &endash; explained the aim of a policy based on distribution of presents as follows in their 1969 report:
"In its report the Sundaram Committee recommended to distribute such gifts which may gradually make the Jarawa economically dependent on the administration."(95)
The Study Team on Tribal Development Programmes of the Planning Commission of the Government of India, a governmental investigative commission, had recommended more systematic and intensive efforts at contact as early as 1966: (96)
"The irregular system of keeping presents need to be thoroughly channelized. Under the proper supervision, the gift dropping through responsible agencies, has to be intensified and regularized. With all this specific attempts may be made to develop contact. The attempt requires serious, methodic and organized efforts."(97)
From the late 1960s, the then head of the Port Blair branch of the Anthropological Survey of India, PANDIT, accompanied Bush Police teams during their contact expeditions.(98) The expeditions took place under the leadership of the ten Deputy Superintendent of Police and Officer-in-Charge, Bush Police, Shri Bhaktawar Singh.(99) Not least because of his charisma, he gained a key position of trust with the Jarawa during the following years.(100)
So-called "contact parties" were organised and presents brought by boat every month at full moon (for sufficient light) to strategic points of earlier contacts. Escorted and supported by armed Bush Police escorts, these parties consisted of administration officials (Census officials, a doctor and ethnologists).
In 1974 they had their "breakthrough": for the first time they met an unarmed Jarawa group that accepted the gifts proffered (bananas, cooked rice, coconuts, red cotton cloth).(101) This did not prevent revenge attacks on poachers by Jarawa in the same year, when three men were killed.(102)
Over the years, the contact parties were criticised more and more often. The environmental organisation, SANE (Society for Andaman and Nicobar Ecology) demands a total stop to all such expeditions which they hold had degenerated into voyeuristic "picnics" for officials and their families.(103) SANE also criticises that on the one hand such gifts make the Jarawa dependent on things that, without exception, they cannot make or acquire themselves(104) and on the other hand generate an artificial need among the Jarawa which increases the risk of theft from settlers' villages. Moreover, the Jarawa themselves are exposed to an incalculable risk of infectious diseases.
"In fact experience of the Contact Part with the Jarawa of Middle Andaman indicate that this little population is very much fond of coconuts, banana and plain boiled rice which are given to them. The amount of gift, about 500 coconuts, equal number of banana distributed once in a month for this section who are at least 96 in number as found in one of our visits in the month of Octobver in 1985, is very meager in quantity for their consumption. The plain boiled rice a plate per head is distributed during the visit only. Offering of these gifts in large quantity is also not suggestable because it would not be possible for them to preserve these properly and intake of any rotten item may create health problems to them. Therefore, the frequency of gift giving operation may be increased for the time being and instead of supplying cooked rice the same may be cooked on shore in their presence so that they may learn the method and then uncooked rice may be supplied to them so that they can prepare themselves."(105)
During 1990s, participants as well as the kind of gift distributed went completely out of control:
"... articles like, variety of plastic bangles, glass bangles, necklaces, cosmetics, biscuits, chalk, and textile pieces are strange for the Jarawa. The cosmetics are used by the Jarawas obviously in an absurd manner and perhaps giving them such gifts itself is absurd."(106)
"it was planned that only the same person of contact party would carry out the expeditions every time, but in practice in most cases some or the other special visitors apart from V.I.P.s accompany the expedition team. These special visitors who have conceived their own notion/image of the Jarawas based on whatever information they happened to get, often go to the Jarawa with exotic articles of wide spectrum."
In the year 1992/3 alone there were eight contact expeditions with gift distribution to the Jarawa.(107) In consequence, the contacts between Jarawa and settler villages expanded rapidly beyond the extent envisioned originally. In 1986 already, "friendly" Jarawa had been brought to Kadamtala village by members of contact parties. A published eye-witness account has the following to say on this event:
"... a tremendous enthusiasm could be seen among the local people to see the Jarawa. People from all age groups came from nearby and faraway villages and even from Rangat covering a distance of more than 50 km (80 miles) to see them and a few wanted to spend sometime with the Jarawa and some also offered them gifts(108)... The Jarawa were very happy to see so many persons at a time and were not at all scared. They were insisting us to bring the ladies and children on the boat. Two children were brought, one by one they took the children in their laps, talked to the child, some tried to feel the softness of the body... some were patting just like adults of any other population do. Once they removed the panty of one child to see the sex of the child. They were very happy and indicated that they want to see the ladies also. But they were not obliged for obvious reasons.(109)
Most authoritative journals had pointed out the risk of uncontrolled transmission of disease.(110) Yet no preventive measures were taken. The available medical facilities were used merely to treat wounds and injuries that the Jarawa voluntarily presented to members of the expeditions. Occasionally, such cases were also brought to hospital at Port Blair. During their stay there, the Jarawa patients were observed, studied and influenced:
"This is an area through which their faith may be gained and the friendly relation can further be consolidated."(111)
In the early 1990s, AWARADI suggested &endash; as the most important measure to secure the continuing health of the Jarawa &endash; to stop the contact expeditions. In his opinion, they had fulfilled their prupose, namely the establishment of friendly contacts. He thought that the risk of transmission of disease could not be controlled. He criticised especially the failure to have so-called V.I.P. isitors undergo a health check. Such viisitors went along with contact parties in increasing numbers. For this reason, he limited his suggestions in respect of measures to secure Jarawa survival by preventing disease to a massive restriction of contact with them.(112)
Besides contact parties, another method tried earlier by the British also favoured in pacification efforts: the kidnapping of individuals to influence and re-educate them.
"In fact, the method adopted by Portman during 1879 to 1894 was followed."
as SARKAR frankly admits.(113)
Plans to continue with this policy go back to the early 1960s:(114)
"If it is possible to send a sort of expedition to the Jarawa land and catch a group of them &endash; one or two captives might not be sufficient &endash; so that they may be kept for some time, - a few months at least &endash; their language learnt and then again sent back to the Jarawa area in order to convince their associates of the good will of the Administration, then only one could expect some better results."(115)
In 1968 during a failed raid by a group of Jarawa in Kadamtala (a village on Middle Great Andaman, ca. 7 hours by bus from Port Blair), three male youths were captured:(116)
"The boys were brought to the police to Port Blair and detained there for a month under comfortable and safe conditions and given kind treatment. I and two of my colleagues observed their behaviour all through this period, learnt some words of their language etc. They were allowed to cook their own meals (fish, chicken, rice etc) and regularly taken out for jeep rides and strolls through the park or to the seashore etc. In mid-July we took them back to Kadamtala and released them, with many gifts in the nearest forest."(117)
In an article of 1973 concerned with the strategy of dealing with the Jarawa, MANN (then officer in charge of the Anthropological Survey of India, Andaman and Nicobar Station, Port Blair) had recommended abandoning the method of abduction for the moment:
"Even when the Jarawa women and children are seen moving in the forests or going by rafters, they are not to be captured and kept under any sort of detention. At the same time any liberty with their females is not to be taken."(118)
He does not give ethical reasons but instead he suspects that
"The practice of capturing women and children of the Jarawa, reported in the past, only helped to make the Jarawas as enemies of outsiders."(119)
It later becomes clear that his recommendation applies only to women and children and that he continues to regard the abduction of adolescent boys and adult men as a parctical means to achieve his ends:
"the Jarawas, while crossing over to Middle Andaman with the help of their rafters, may be caught in an organized way.(120) They may then be properly trained and convinced of the friendly attitude of outsiders to them. Later they would be taken to their own forest and made free. Through them contact with others may be made."
He Refers explicitly to the experience accumulated by PORTMAN under British rule when "pacifying" the Onge of Little Andaman.(121)
Few reports have been published about contact expeditions carried out by the Indian administration and incidents associated with them. At the archive of the Anthropological Survey of India at Port Blair there are piles of unpublished articles that foreign researchers and journalists are barred from seeing.(122)
HANDLOIK,a journalist with "GEO" was an eye-witness of an incident in 1966 when a Jarawa boy who had broken his leg in the jungle, was brought to Port Blair hospital. The news of his arrival spread like wildfire around town. In a "GEO" article he reported:
"From the hospital's inner courtyard there is a queue of people right into the station room. The gapers were led in groups of four past the alien being, even the governor of the islands puts in an appearance. When it is Handloik's turn, he sees a skinny youth with eyes widened by fearm who tries in vain to pull the blanket over his face... After his recovery, so the government representative declares, he will be brought back to the Reservation. Loaded with presents."(123)
18.104.22.168. Taking the Help of the Onge
A much discussed method to contact the Jarawa was to get Onge (who live on Little Andaman south of the main islands) to help. First thoghts in this direction go back to PORTMAN.(124)
As early as 1962 it was suggested on the basis of the suspected linguistic relationship between Onge and Jarawa to address the Jarawa in Onge over loudspeakers placed in suitable locations in the jungle and so communicate with them.(125)
In the 1970s these thoughts were taken up again. Under the heading "Psychological Devices to Create Friendship with them" [referring to the Jarawa - author] we find the following proposal:
"After full taming of the Onge, a few clever people should be sent to the Jarawas' land where they should discuss regarding their problems and background of the growing hostility. After staying a few days among them, they should come back to their native place to tell all the secrets to the social worker of the Onge."(126)
Similar proposals were made by the then officer in charge of the Anthropological Survey of India, MANN, who was responsible for the co-ordination of Indian ethnological research. He wrote:
"Initially a group of friendly Onges (about a dozen people) including both, the male and the female, are to be convinced of the proposed venture. The Onges would bring all their traditional dresses, tools and implements with them. They would then be accompanied by other members, including at least two anthropologists, a few police escorts in civil dress, a medical officer with attendants, a forest officer and a representative of Andaman Administration. The anthropologist would act as coordinator and behaviour guide for them. The teram is then to leave for Jarawa territory by sea route. The land route is to be avoided, because lot of unpleasant incidents have been occurring on this side only. The party memebers would set up their camp at one place... Under a proper cover the Onges would start their normal activities, as they do in Little Andaman, simultaneously leaving gifts at various spots and around the area. The anthropologists in the meantime, would observe the happening and direct the pursuits on the spot. Initially the party members should camp for at least twoor three weeks. If need be, the period may be extended till the Onge come into contact with the Jarawas. The impression and experiences of the Onge are to be discussed every evening."(127)
MANN closes his article with the remark:
"The task of minimising hostility as well as of making contact with the Jarawa are definitely challenging. Only with serious thinking, scientific planning and sincere personell, can this be done."(128)
Available sources imply that, happily, no such experiments were ever conducted.
22.214.171.124. Masterplan for the Jarawa
In the 1990s, efforts regarding the Jarawa were revitalised with new ideas. The then head of the government department for Tribal Welfare and Tourism &endash; the first with an ethnological training &endash; arrived in 1990 with a 300-page "Master Plan for Welfare of Primitive Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands". This was a plan laid out for the next 30 years and thus a strategy paper valid until the year 2021.
The long-term objective for the Jarawa is formulated there as follows:(129)
"The Jarawa would lead a settled life with surplus economy based predominently on fishery."(130)
To further his aim, AWARADI plans measures to help the Jarawa expand their subsistance base. He gives his own appraisal of the situation as
"the level of subsistence among the Jarawa has conme down considerably due to the activities of the non-autochtons."(131)
He suggests small orchards (coconuts, papaya, orgnes, etc) in the jungle. He also wants to airdrop seeds and seedlings in small parcels from helicopters so as not to disturb the Jarawa by bringing these goods into their forests on foot.(132)
"The aerial broadcasting shall be done by deploying helicopter like MI-8, the transport helicopter of the Indian Air Force... The early morning say 5 a.m. shall be suitable time for the broadcast of seed-packages by the helicopter as the Jarawas would still be in their camps and not in the forest, engaged in subsistence activities. Thus the possibility of falling of seed packages on the Jarawas is averted."(133)
To demonstrate to the Jarawa the purpose of the exercise, he writes further that
"... some of them shall be taken aboard the helicopter to drop the seed-packages themselves after a demonstration. The Jarawa are intelligent and very sharp in perception and therefore they shall learn quickly all about the plantation." (134)
Under the designation "project pig", plans were discussed for breeding and setting free the endangered endemic wild pig (sus andamanensis).(135)
To make the Jarawa bow-and-arrow methods of fishing more efficient, the Master Plan suggests the introduction of fishing with nets and rowing boats.
"...the fishing technology of the Jarawa shall be improved. The extensions officers(136) with the help of fishermen shall take Jarawas onboard the motor-launch, lay the gill-net to demonstrate and teach the Jarawas to fish by using boat and gill net... Each band shall be provided with a boat and net which may cost Rs.20,000.- per unit."(137)
A central point of the Masterplan is the cr4ation of a buffer zone between the living areas of the settlers and the Jarawa territory. AWARADI explains this among other reasons with his suspicion that
"... the Jarawas may not withstand destabilizing forces particularly exploitative forces."(138)
In fact, the crossing of the reservation boundaries by both parties is today the biggest source of conflict between the two:
"Though an area of about 642 sq.km (248 sq.miles)(139) has been declared as "Jarawa Reserve" by the Andaman and Nicobar Administration and there is a Bush Police force to check the Jarawa incidents and poaching in Jarawa reserve, the existing system leaves much to be desired. Because, first, the Jarawa Reserve is notional and its boundaries are known to none as these are not demarcated on the ground, second, how on earth, the Jarawa could read the intention and system prevailing? and, third, there is no in-built institutional evaluation and assessment of the system."
The still-to-be-created buffer zone should, therefore, be set up at a safe distance of 500 m (.... yards) from the Trunk Road and other areas frequented by settlers and should take the form of a clearing, free of vegetation, with a width of 8 m (8.7 yards). Along the line of demarcation, stone pillars are to be erected. To make the line more obvious and memorable, AWARADI suggests the erection of "visuals". A rifle-carrying, Khaki-clad figure is to represent the settlers, resp. the Bush Police, a naked bow-carrying figure the Jarawa.
"....Khaki (is) the red flag for the Jarawa. And the visual of mother-naked archer represents the Jarawas which is easily intelligible to them. Therefore the pictographs of Khaki clad gunman shall be used to indicate the non-autochthons and their territory and similarly those of mother-naked archers to indicate the Jarawas themselves and their territory by raising them along the appropriate edge of 8 metres (8.7 yards) wide Buffer Zone. That is the pictographs of mother-naked archer on the western edge and Khaki clad gunman on eastern edge."(141)
3.3.3 Concluding Remarks
The quoted sources make clear the extent to which Indian tribal policy &endash; contrary to its guiding principles &endash; developed into an experimental play ground(142) for Indian development strategists, eager to "tame" a tiny people that had been stigmatised as under-developed and aggressive. The methods and strategies of the former British masters were retained almost without changes and developed further. (143)
In publications on tribal policy, the use of the symptomatic subjunctive mood is eye-catching.(144) The way the self-set targets are formulated reflects the uncertainty of ever being able to reach them.
Perhaps OVERDIECK(145) was right when the saw the reason for the calamity of Indian governmental tribal policies in the structures of a traditional hierarchical society with its characteristic orientation to groups and communities. This hinders rather than furthers integration. Do all attempts at protection and self-determination for the Jarawa as representatives of the Adivasi turn into farce?
"The wretched life of the Jarawas under the cruel claws of natural hazards, exemplifies the remote tribal culture and living. Bare dependence on raw pork,(146) fishes and tubers made their life dull, inactive and desperate...
The administration is much concerned to see every month two or three persons are cruelly shot down with their acrimonious and poisonous arrows which they make of iron scraps thrown by the Japanese during their occupation. They use spit at the point of the arrow to create poisonous effect on the body. Their spit is itself a sort of poison as they never use salt in their food." (147)
The direction of research in the Andamans is not only questionable for the dubious quality of so many published efforts - the samples quoted earlier are only the tip of the iceberg &endash; but also because of the research monopoly that the Indians enjoy in the islands. Since the early 1960s, no foreign scientist of any kind has received permission to do research in the Andaman and Nicobars.(148)
During my last visit to the Andamans in October 1998, I had at least the chance to accompany a few members of the Anthropological Survey of India on one of their research tours(149) to Kadamtala on Northern Great Andaman.(150) There I met a boy named Enmey who was visiting the police station of the village at the time. It turned out that he was the boy with the broken leg that "GEO" had written about in 1996. Enmey was proudly introduced to me as "cultural agent", someone who commuted between both "worlds" and who had been chosen as a mediator with whose help the pacification of the Jarawa could be accomplished.(151)
A year later, in 1999, the Indian press reported an outbreak of a measles epidemic among Jarawa. In a letter that has reached me at the beginning of 2000, the present head of the Port Blair office of the ASI assured me that because of emergency measures, immediately applied, no death among Jarawa had ocurred.
While their physical survival is ensured at the moment, their extinction under present circumstances of the rare and ancient culture of the Andamanese seems to be merely a question of time.
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WOLFERS, ANDREAS. 1996. "Rückkehr auf heikles Terrain" [returning to delicate terrain]. Geo 10:58-63, October [in German].
(1) The term "tribal policy" is widely used in India.
(2) The "tribal people" of India are regarded as the "aboriginal" (original or oldest) inhabitants of the sub-continent. They consist of a multitude of heterogeneous groups. Their latest figure stands at 635 registered "tribal communities" (SINGH, 1992, p. 208) and represent around 8% of India's total population. Based on the Census of 1991, this represents 67.76 million people. The main tribal settlements are located in the north-eastern sub-continent as well as in the forested and mountainous areas of central India. In addition, most modern Indian states have various numbers of "tribals" within their borders. Today's settlement pattern for the most part represents refuge areas from the dynamic expansion over centuries of Indian majority populations. Depending o the degree of isolation possible in their refuge areas, some groups managed to maintain their own cultural traditions over long periods.
For this tribal population of India, the contemporary ethnological, popular and official literature uses three designations: Tribes, Scheduled Tribes and Adivasi. Tribe and tribal comes from British social anthropology and was introduced in the course of colonial research to characterise relevant ethnic groups that differed significantly at the time of their discovery in their phenotype, their economical, social and cultural characteristics from the Hindu majority, organised in hierarchically structured in castes.
The terms used to distinguish them were taken from the western scientific tradition. Terms like Tribe and Caste found their equivalent in India in the Sanskrit dichotomy jana/jati where jana stands for ethnic group in contrast to jati for caste (SINGH, 1980, p. 2ff). We will .return to the term Scheduled Caste later in connection with British tribal policies. The term adivasi comes from Sanskrit and can be rendered in English as aborigine, meaning first or original inhabitant (see SACHCHIDANANDA and PRASAD, 1996, p. xviii; also 1996, p. xix; BÖCK and RAO, 1995, p. 122; Hörig, 1990, p. 3; ICKE-SCHWALBE, 1976, p. 14; as well as OBERDIECK, 1989, p. 8f).
(3) ARYA counts 79 larger and smaller rebellions by various tribal groups between 1778 and Indian independence (ARYA 1998, P. 216-220).
(4) The Santal received their own district, Santal Pargana, where the writ of colonial law did not run and special rules and regulations applied (ARYA, 1998, p. 142f).
(5) THEKAEKARA, 1993, p. 2f; ARYA, 1998, p. 172ff.
(6) SING K.S., 1983, p. 405. Hutton worked for the Census office.
(7) On this debate, see SINGH K.S. 1983.
(8) ICKE-SCHWALBE, 1987, p. 108.
(9) The criteria used in defining and ultimately registering a group as Tribe, resp. Caste, were normally arbitrarily fixed, changed and used, or else the groups fitted the criteria only partly or to a very limited extent. At the times of the Census reports, the following criteria were applied to Tribes: geographical isolation, animist religious beliefs, own language, simple technology, little division of labour, low-level political organisation, egalitarian society, indigenous status. For Castes, the criteria were endogamy, separation, hierarchy, specialisation of work and the Hindu concept of purity. The problem of distinguishing between the categories Tribe and Caste is rooted in a specifically Indian phenomenon which is summarised by the term "Hinduisation". This describes a dynamic historical process of adaptation and integration of peripheral groups into the Indian caste system. Because of this process, there is a flowing transition between castes placed at the lower margins of the hierarchical Hindu society and the so-called tribes, resulting in ill-defined criteria of distinction. A debate on these matters would go beyond the framework of this article. We refer to a work by URHAHN (1985) that deals with the topic.
While British colonial officials regarded a distinction between Tribe and Caste as justified and necessary, today Indian sociologists and historians accept it only with reservations. Although the tribals are culturally distinct from the point of traditional Hindiu caste society, they are also potential members of that society, mostly at the lower margins of the hierarchy.. From the Indian point of view they form an integral part of society but not (yet) of the caste system. (OBERDIECK, 1989, p. 90).
(10) The special rights and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution makes assigning a category such as Scheduled Tribe or Scheduled Caste to a group into a primarily political question (SINGH K.S., 1982, pp. 406-411).
(11) The term mainstream society goes back to nationalist ideas of a national state and is used today to describe modern Indian society.
(12) LAHIRI-DUTT, 1971, p. 196; PURNA and BAILY, 1984, p. 51.
(13) FÜRER-HEIMDORF (1967) estimated that these principles have been applied in hardly any region of India, apart from a few exceptions in the Northeast (PURAN AND BAILY, 1984, p. 51). Especially grave consequences of a forced industrialisation have been observed in central India. where a steel industry was developed. Mass uprootings of people and impoverishment of Adivasi was the result (SACHCHINDANADA, 1972, p. 18).
(14) VIDYARTHY, 1973, p. 46; DAS, 1963, p. 119. As early as the 1970s it became clear that only very few of the reserved educational facilities could be filled with members of Scheduled Tribes. Lack of adequate primary school education was blamed. This blocked Adivasi access to College and University education. (see RAICHOUDHURI, 1977, pp. 57-66).
(15) SING K.S., 1982, P.412; MOHANTY and BAILY, 1984, p. 50f.; RAICHAUDHURY, 1977, pp. 57ff.
(16) VIDHYARTY, 1973, p. 49.
(17) SINGH K.S,, 1982, p. 412.
(18) Besides economic development, this also
included expansion of educational and health services.
In the educational sector, a network of Ashram schools was intended, boarding schools for children aged 6-9 years. Tribal children should also be encouraged to attend "normal" state schools. In the economic sector plans called for the abolition of the so-called shifting cultivation. Free land was distributed to groups irrespective of their economical and social structure, an ox per family, seeds and a house were also supplied free. A study of such development schemes in Karnataka revealed the results to be dismal as well as typical for the rest of India. The study showed that many families had lost or rented out their land soon after receiving it. The oxen had also soon passed into ownership of neighbouring Hindu farmers and their houses were derelict or uninhabited. The author (SINGH) held a lack of care and attention responsible for this state of affairs, caused by desinterest , corruption and lack of education on the part of the planners involved right up to the level of the minister of welfare. At the time the study was made, the tribal families involved were mostly working as day-labourers (UMAPATHY, 1974, pp. 283ff.).
(19) DAS, 1963, p. 109.
(20) Other reasons were large state projects such as the development of a steel industry and the construction of dams (HÖRIG, 1990).
(21) Bonded labour is particularly widespread among Adivasi. Although outlawed since 1975, it still exists in rural India. At present about 2.3 million people are said to be victims of the practice (ARYA, 1998, pp. 178ff.).
(22) ibid., p. 123; VIDYARTHY, 1974, p. 53.
(23)SACHCHIDANANDA mentions agricultural anthropology as the most important field of research within applied anthropology. He refers to it as the basis for a consciously planned modernisation of traditional ways of life (SACHCHIDANANADA, 1972, P. 11-15).
(24) Elwin (1902-1964) was, in his time, among the most prominent but also most controversial researchers and publicists. He compensated a lack of ethnological training with many years of field work. He published many books and article and used his friedship with Nehru to to support actively and vehemently the interests of the Adivasi (see SINGH K.S., 1983, P. 407).
(25) SACHCHINANANDA, 1972, p. 26.
(26) VIDYARTHY, 1954, p. 48ff. In fact, the Tribal Research Institutes were not even once invluded in the preparation of welfare programmes with their work limited to the evaluation of such programmes. A few training programmes for peasants were also carried out. As early as the 1970s, a decline in the quality of the Institutes' work was noted (SACHCHIDANANDA, 1972, p. 15).
(27) The establishment of Forest Villages was planned "...to ensure regular supply of labour for cutting trees as. well as construction of roads and buildings in forest areas..." (VIDYARTHY, 1974, p. 56f.). In fact, the collection of firewood, sometimes also of forest produce like honey, for neighbouring Hindu farmers was often the only available source of income for former hunter-gatherers. They did not have any knowledge of agriculture and so had difficulties in finding employment with neighbouring Hindu farmers.
(28) For example the Birhor of Orissa (SINHA, 1980, P.10).
(29) Examples are some Bhil communities, the Kharia and the Ladha in West Bengal (SINHA, 1980, P.10).
(30) The Andamans are an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal which &endash; together with the Nicobars to the south &endash; form ta geological link between Burma and Sumatra. The number of islands, including the Nicobars, is said to be about 300. The Andamans have an land area of around 5,500 sq.km. (2,120 sq.miles) and still has a cover of evergreen rainforest of about 70%. The coast is hiighly irregular with many bays and inlets that reach deep into the interior. All islands are surrounded by extensive coral reefs (see WHITAKER, 1985).
(31) SINGH, 1973, p. 110.
(32) The name is now well-established but has in fact been given to the tribe by a neighbouring group of Andamanese, the Aka Bea. It means "strangers" or "other" (RADCLIFFE-BROWN, 1948. P. 12). They are said to call themselves ya-ong-nga. This information comes from an unpublished note by McCarthy, Military and Civil Police, Port Blair (GANGULY and PAL, 1962, p. 85).
(33) There are no precise figures available. Figures of 200 to 300 persons are based on estimates from contacts and on the discovery of three communal huts in the 1980s which could shelter about 100 persons each (SARKAR J., 1990, p. 10; DANDA. 1993, P. 92).
(34) The Jarawa live mostly off the produce of the rain forest: wild honey, edible tubers and berries. Meat comes mostly from wild pig (sus andamanensis) and small animals as well as fish and shellfish. Their material culture is simple and practical. For hunting and fishing they use bow and arrow exclusively, for gathering of shellfish in shallow waters hand-held nets are used. Women use pointed digging sticks to dig for roots and tubers while baskets and wooden buckets serve for transport and storage of collected items. Clothing is suitable for the hot and humid climate: it is very scant and consists merely of tied fibre strings which are tied to hip and neck. Men wear, apparently as protection against injury, chest plates made of bark. Social life centres on the communal hut where important events such as marriages and funerals take place. The hut defines a sense of belonging to a local group and is inhabited seasonally, during the rainy season only. During their dry-season wanderings thge Jarawa erect simple windbreaks that can provide room for 2 to 3 or 7 to 8 persons (see SARKAR, 1990).
(35) Ethnological literature distinguishes Great Andamanese (now on Strait island), Jarawa (South and Middle Great Andaman), Sentinelese (on North Sentinel island) and Onge (Little Andaman). On a purely linguzistic classification, a northern branch (to which the Great Andamanese belong) and a southern branch (to which the Jarawa, Sentineli and Onge belong) are recognised (see MANOHARAN, 1986).
(36) The age of around 2,000 years is based on a number of archaeological excavations of kitchen midden. They have confirmed this date several times and can be regarded as reliable. The high age of 35,000 years is an estimate based on genetic research. The ancestors of the Andamanese are supposed to belong to a first wave of migration out of Africa around 100,000 years ago (VENKATESWAR, 1999, p. 59f.; CAVALLI-SFORZA, 1996).
(37) Portman refers to a Burmese presence and Malays who visited the islands searching for trepang and birds' nests but did not settle there (PORTMAN 1899, VOL. 2, P. 346).
(38) Only the Jarawa - coming from the south &endash; settled in areas occupied by Great Andamanese. Archaeological finds in kitchen midden indicate that their incursion took place relatively recently. Radcliffe-Brown's note that Jarawa is to be translated as "strangers" in the Aka-Bea language points in the same direction. (RADCLIFFE-BROWN, 1948, p. 12; CIPRIANI. 1966, P. 4; MYKA, 1993, p. 27; SARKAR J. 1987, p. 1f.).
(39) There is a hypothesis that pottery was introduced friom outside (CIPRIANI, 1966, p. 148f.).
(40) Port Blair is today the capital of the Unioon Territory and was named after a navy lieutenant, Archibald Blair, who had surveyed the islands in 1788 (WEBER, 1998, Appendix A, p. 6).
(41) It was only later that the true situation became clear - but by then it was too late to pacify the Jarawa with the methods that had been used so successfully on the Great Andamanese.
(42) PORTMAN, quoted by CIPRIANI, 1967, p. 6.
(43) SARKAR J., 1987, p. 36.
(44) MYKA, 1993, p. 58.
(45) He is described as an ambitious, stubborn and at times narrow-minded character who showed little understanding and sympathy for the Andamanese in his charge, using repression and strict discipline to reach his "education goals" (MYKA, 1993, p. 60f.; PORTMAN 1899, p. 431; WEBER, 1998, p. 21).
(46) MAN (1846-1929) published the first systematic and scrupulously researched monograph on the Aka-Bea, a local group of the Great Andamanese he had been in contact with. During his term of office, he laid the foundation for an extensive collection of ethnographic materials for European museums, part of which is now at the Ethnological Museum of Leipzig (Leipziger Völkerkundemuseum)).
(47) PORTMAN (1861-1935) WAS Man's immediate successor in 1879. He held the post for 11 years during which time he also pacified the Onge on Little Andaman besides conducting and publishing extensive ethnological and linguistic studies (MYKA, 1993, p.. 83ff.; WEBER, 1996, PP.32-35).
(48) MYKA, 1993, p. 78.
(49) Such shelters were used almost exclusively by Great Andamanese and later turned out to be breeding grounds for devastating epidemics like measles, influenza and syphilis. The Jarawa escaped a similar fate only because they they refused to accept contact. Their number remained constant (as far as this can be determined) while the number of Great Andamanese shrunk rapidly (see SARKAR j., 1990; CHAKRABORTY, 1990).
(50) The Andamanese, as a rule, fled their houses before the British could reach them. This is why they were usually found empty.
(51) Meetings between British contact groups and Andamanese did not always end peacefully, even if the latter had accepted the gifts proffered. Occasionally, there were incidents in which people were hurt or even killed. PORTMAN relates a case of 1863 when a member of a British contact group of four had been suddenly and unexpectedly wrestled down and shot by an Andamanese, whereupon the other three, in panic, shot indiscriminately into a crowd of about thirty Andamanese men, women and children (PORTMAN, 1899, vol. 1, p. 359ff.).
(52) The men's real names are given by PORTMAN as follows: "Crusoe" was Bía Kurcho, "Jumbo" Bira Buj and "Friday" Turai Dé. They belonged to the Aka-Bea (PORTMAN, 1899, vol. 1, p. 306).
(53) As the news of this change spread, the number of escapees rose rapidly (PORTMAN, 1899, vol. 1, p. 345). For the course of the entire experiment see PORTMAN, 1899, vol. 1, pp. 314-345.
(54) The present name for the institution is Adibasera.
(55) MYKA, 1993, p. 56ff.
(56) MANN, 1973, p. 207f. The small Jarawa collection at Leipzig (1927 by v.Eickstedt, collected during his 2-year India expedition) is said to come from a 1926 punitive expedition. The objects were "stored in the former museum and sales-stand of the defunct Andamane Home...." (EICKSTEDT, 1929, p.89).
(57) Census of India, 1931, vol. 2, p. 16; MANN, 1973, P. 209; SARKAR J., 1987, p. 3.
(58) MYKA, 1993, p. 51.
(59) PORTMAN, 1899, vol. 1, p. 306.
(60) PORTMAN, 1899, vol. 2, p. 701ff.
(61) PORTMAN, 1899, vol. 2, p. 765.
(62) PORTMAN, 1899, vol. 2, p. 701ff.; MATHUR, 1985, p. 176ff.
(63) MYKA, 1993, p. 91.
(64) MATHUR, 1985, p. 185.
(65) MATHUR, 1985, p. 182.
(66) SAKRAR, 1987, p. 3.
(67) MYKA, 1993, p. 90.
(69) Unlike a State, a Union Territory is placed directly under the federal government (ROTHERMUND, 1995, p. 399). Under Article 233 (since removed) of the Constitution, the Andaman and Nicobar islands were defined as a Union Territory to be administered directly by the President who appointed a Chief Commissioner for this purpose (DAS and RATH, 1991, p. 102).
(71) MYKA, 1993, p. 110.
(72) AWARADI, 1990, p. 159.
(73) The economic development of the islands was set down in several so-called Five-Year Plans, the first of which came into effect 1950. During the first decade, because of a rehabilitation programme for refugees, emphasis was on infrastructure such as road building and construction of settlements. During the 1960s, tourism and artisan work were also to be developed (MYKA, 1993, p. 112f.; MATHUR, 1985, p. 265ff.).
(74) Andaman and Nicobar Administration &endash; Cooperative Movement, 1990, p. 3. The planned period of acculturisation was estimated at about 40 years. In the 1930s the question of how long an acculturisation of the Andamanese might take had occupied the British government official and ethnologist HUTTON. He wrote: "In the case of the Andamanese the period required for adaption is likely to be abnormally prolonged on account of the exceedingly long period during which these islanders have been isolated in a particular environment of their own to which they have become specially adapted." (HUTTON, 1931, XLVII).
(75) Census of India, 1981, p. 93.
(76) The area had been declared a tribal territory under the Government of India Forest Act as well as the Tribal Regulation A&N, but it had not been given the status of a Tribal Reservation (PANDIT & CHATTOPADHYAY, 1989, p. 172).
(77) SARKAR J., 1987, p. 4f.
(78) ibi.; MANN, 1973, p. 210.
(79) After the Japanese bombing, there was no contact to the Jarawa for two years (MATHUR, 1984, p. 186).
(80) All other groups had already been pacified or in the case of the Great Andamanese, had become almost extinct. The Census of 1961 recorded only 19 persons (CHAKRABORTY, 1990, p. 7).
(81) SINGH. 1973, p. 109.
(82) SARKAR J., 1987, p. 1.
(83) SARKAR S.S., 1962, p. 676.
(84) Between 1948 and 1973, 66 events (attempted, resp. successful Jarawa attacks) as well as other violent incidents were registered in the course of which humans, pets and working animals such as cattle, dogs and elephants were injured or killed. This gives an average of 2.6 such events per year (MANN, 1973, p. 211-215; SARKAR J., 1990, p. 66ff.).
(85) Such a reservation had in fact existed since 1932 and a first proposal for its establishment had been made in 1914. In a governmental inspection report making recommendations for the treatment of "friendly tribes", point 4 said "they may be isolated in reserved areas" (MATHUR, 1984, p. 172). Jarawa attacks in the 1920s reached &endash; in British opinion &endash; an "unacceptable level" (MYKA, 1993, p. 96). A British platoon consisting of 30 armed policemen managed to kill only 6 Jarawa in a four-month action. 37 Jarawa men had been seen to go down but only 6 bodies had been recovered (CENSUS OF INDIA, 1931, p. 15). Thi sled to the sobering realisation that "like the Bushmen if South Africa, the Jarawa is implacable and will continue to fight to extermination" (CENSUS OF INDIA, 1931, p. 15). Consequently, in 1932 the government set up a tribal conservation area for the Jarawa.
(86) This body had already come into existence in 1905 under the same name. It had to proect settlers on theislands (SARKAR J., 1987, p. 11).
(87) When setting up the Reservation in 1966, the government introduced a special regulation for the protection of the Scheduled Tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands:
1. The Chief Commissioner is empowered to declare any area which is predominently inhabited by the aboriginal tribes to be a reserved area. 2. In a reserved area, no person other than a member of the aboriginal tribe can asquire any interest in any land or in any product of, crop raised on such land, without the sanction of the Chief Commissioner. Similarly, restrictions have been placed on the carrying on of trade and business by non-aboriginals in reserved areas. 3. In the reserved area, no waste or un-occupied land at the disposal of the government can be alloted for agricultural purposes to any person other than a member of the aboriginal tribe. The Chief Commissioner may, however, allot any such land to a non-aboriginal, if he is satisfied that such land is not required by a member of the aboriginal tribe or allotment of land to a non-aboriginal is necessary for the purpose of consolidation of land or is otherwise in the public interest. 4. Transfer of land held by an aboriginal tribe by way of sale, exchange, mortgage, lease, or otherwise to any person other than a member of the aboriginal tribe is prohibited without the previous sanction of the Chief Commissioner. 5. Land held or occupied by a member of the aboriginal tribe is not liable to attachment or sale in execution of any decree or order of a civil or revenue court. Any transfer or sale of lad made in contradiction of this provision shall be void. 6. The Chief Commissioner is empowered to prohibit, by notification, entry of persons other than members of the aboriginal tribes. (MYKA, 1993, p. 110f.).
This regulation shows clearly the all-embracing power of the Chief Commissioner. It is he who decides when, where and whether a reservation is set up. He alone decides on the area to be set aside, based on the way and intensity that - in his judgment - the aborigines use their areas. The very idea stated in point 3 that there could be "waste, resp. unoccupied land" in an area used by hunter-gatherers shows a total ignorance of traditional land use by aboriginals.
The Commissioner is fully empowered and does not have to justify his decisions. It includes the possibility of reversing or altering his decisions. He could, for example, give permission to transfer "tribal lands" into the hands of "non-tribals" and this has happened in the case of the Andaman Trunk Road.
It is also noteable that nowhere in these paragraphs have the aboriginal tribes been given the right to voice their own opinions.
(88) Included among the planned and executed measures were a health plan for the Onge, a coconut plantation in the Onge reservation on Little Andaman, the rehabilitation of the remaining Great Andamanese on Strait Island and contact expeditions to the Jarawa in the Andamans and the Shompen of Great Nicobar (SARKAR J., 1993, p. 27).
(89) Andaman and Nicobar Development Committee on Scheduled Tribes.
(90) AAJVS, 1978, p. 21ff.; DAS and RATH, 1991, p. 112.
(92) AAJVS, 1978, p. 17.
(93) MATHUR, 1985, p. 186.
(94) 1960-1965 there were 10 attacks with 6 Indian deaths and 4 injured (MATHUR, 1985, P. 187). During 1983-1988 28 incidents with 14 deaths (including a child) were recorded (SARKAR J., 1990, P. 66-71). The corresponding losses among the Jarawa have never been established or recorded.
(95) SARKAR J., 1987, p. 9.
(96) MATHUR, 1985, p. 187.
(97) MANN, 1973, p. 217.
(98) The officials of Bush Police were the first to come into contact with the Jarawa, in line of their duty (PANDIT and CHATTOPADYAY, 1989, p. 173).
(99) PANDIT and CHATTOPADYAY, 1989, p. 173).
(100) In 1976, already pensioned, Singh was appointed executive secretary of the Adim Janjati Vikas Samniti.
(101) Puffed rice was handed out from the 1990s because of the worry that Jara might eat spoilt rice. (PARIDA, 1991, p. 67).
(102) SARKAR J., 1987, p 7.
(103) Interview with Mr. Acharya of SANE, 20th October 1998.
(104) Such items had earlier been acquired by beachcombing but are now "collected" from the famers' gardens and fields. In 1985 at Kadamtala in Middle Great Andaman there were several incidents when Jarawa looted iron tools and bananas. SARKAR notes these facts but merely comes to the conclusion that "the supply of the above mentioned items should be sufficient." (SARKAR J., 1987, p. 10).
(105) SARKAR J., 19867, p. 10.
(106) ARAWADI, 1990. p. 181.
(107) ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ADMINISTRATION REPORT, 1992-3
(108) SARKAR J., 1987, p. 9.
(109) ibid., P.6.
(110) "...care should also be taken before
allowing public to interact freely with the Jarawa to see that this
does not cause any health hazard to the Jarawa." (SARKAR J., 1987, p.
"The preventive measures against the invasion of exogenous pathogens including virus are to be launched before it is too late." (AWARADI, 1990, p. 149).
(111) SANKAR refers here to a case of 1986 when a young woman brought her injured daughter onboard the expedition vessel for treatment. The same woman had some time earlier been treated at Port Blair hospital for an inflammation of the eyes (SANKAR J., 1987, p. 8).
(112) AWARADI, 1990, p. 188f.
(113) SARKAR J., p. 5; AWARADI, 1990, P. 160.
(114) "The local government appears to be very much in favour of capturing the Jarawa alive and letting them off with presents after kind treatment." (SARKAR S., 1962, p. 677)
(115) As place of imprisonment for the Jarawa the author suggests Little Andaman to where they should be transported and given a certain "range" under observation of officials and pacified Onge (NIGAM, 1960, p. 91)
(116) The Jarawa captured in 1968-69 spent their time at Port Blair in the local prison which was in a wing of the former British central Cellular Jail. During the following years, captives were mostly kept as "guests" in a government bungalow. (AAJVS, 1998, p. 60). One of the former so.called Andaman Homes &endash; hostels for aborigines &endash; was re-opened at Port Blair in 1976 under the name of Adibasena. It is usually frequented by Onge and Great Andamanese only. (SARKAR J., 1993, p- 28).
(117) PANDIT and CHATTOPAYAY, 1989, p. 173. PANDIT at this time was head of the Port Blair outpost of the Anthropological Survey of India. His term of office from the late 1960s to the early 1990s is regarded as the phase of consolidation of relationship between Jarawa and their new neighbours. On the case mentioned above see also PANDIT 1974) and SARKAR J. (1978, p. 218).
(118) MANN, 1973, p. 216.
(120) Whatever MANN may mean by that.
(121) MANN, 1973, P. 219.
(122) For example: HANDLOIK, 1966, and this author two years later.
(123) WOLFERS, 1996, p. 63.
(124) Since then, linguistic and cultural similarities between the two groups have been established. For the same reason some researchers regard the present-day Jarawa as an off-shoot of the Onge (CIPRIANI, 1966, p. 75ff.).
(125) "...loudspeakers installed in suitable places." (SARKAR S., 1962, P. 677).
(126) SINGH, 1973, p. 112ff.
(127) MANN, 1973, p. 219.
(129) The plan is organised for the time 2000 to x. The total strategy plan is divided into three sections: 1990 to 2000, 2000 to 2020 and 2020 to x. (AWARADI, 1990, p. 167).
(130) AWARADI, 1990, p. 183.
(131) ibid., p. 172.
(132) The idea of "air dropping" can be found as early as 1962:"... an aerial survey of the Jarawa villages or camps would be necessary. Some food, clothing or other such articles might be air-dropped during this aerial survey. Along with the articles to be air dropped some pictures showing symbols of friendship, such as the Andamanese and the Onge way of sitting upon another's laps, might be included. Some pictures showing the Indian manner of greeting one another, for instance that of saluting each other with folded hands, might also be considered". (SARKAR S., 1962, p. 677).
(133) AWARADI, 1990, p. 173. The packets did not fall on the Jarawas' heads but instead got caught in the crowns of jungle giants, as the chairman of the local environmental protection organisation, SANE, Samir Acharya told me in autumn 1998.
(134) As early as 1990 a group of Jarawa that had been contacted near Jarkatans on Middle Great Andaman was shown how to sow and plant seedlings. During a contact expedition, besides the usual small gifts, banana seedlings, Areka nuts, coconuts and other seeds and seedlings had been taken along (AWARADI, 1990, p. 174).
(135) AWARADI, 1990, p 174. The chairman of SANE has informed me verbally that instead of the endemic pigs, Yorkshire pigs were set loose in the jungle. Nothing is known of their fate. A contact expedition to the Sentinelese on North Sentinel Island in 1973 reported that the aborigines there were given a Yorkshire pig as a gift &endash; and immediately killed and buried the animal at the place where it was left for them. (PANDIT and CHATTOPADYAY, 1989, p. 174).
(136) Personnel and infrastructure of the operation was to include a network of Officers, each with his Assistant at his side, starting with the Extension Officer with his assistant, the Trekking Assistant operating out of a base camp. Further, according to the plan, there is to be a so-called hostelry camp that is to be available to the Jarawa for medical help on minor injuries. The Reservation is to be split into two zones: South and Middle Andaman, each zone with its own Extension Officer (AWARADI, 1990, p. 168).
(137) AWARADI, 1990, p. 175.
(139) Statements regarding the size of the reservation vary between 765 sq.km. (295 sq.miles) (SARKAR, J., 1990, p. 5); 642 sq.km (248 sq.miles) (AWARADI, p. 162; AAJVS 1978, p. 32); 200 sq.miles (512 sq.km) (PANDIT, 1985, P. 115). Since the borderline is not marked, the precise position of the border is not known.
(140) AWARADI, 1990, p. 175.
(141) The suggested size of these notices is given as 40x60 cm (15.6 x 23.4 inches) and 55x80 cm (21.5 x 31.2 inches), respectively. The figure of the hunter should be black on white ground, the gun-men to appear in khaki (AWARADI, 1990, p.177).
(142) One visualizes an ethnologist, sitting in the branches of a tree, instructing an Onge how to bellow phrases into the jungle through a loudspeaker...
(143) Merely the punitive expedition was dispensed with, a decision that was not popular everywhere in the (Indian) population: "Since the last few years the Andaman Government has not encouraged any punitive expedition among the Jarawa... The forest workers, on the other hand, still have to face the Jarawa. They think that since no punitive action is taken against them they are gradually getting bolder" SARKAR wrote 1962. At the time he had been entrusted with the task of setting up the Port Blair branch office of the Anthropological Survey of India (SARKAR S., 1962, P. 676). PANDIT and CHATTOPHYAY trace the decision back: "however, under new policy of the Indian government enunciated by Prime Minister Nehru the legacy of large scale and organised state violency and policy of punitive expedition towards the Jarawa was entirely abandoned." (PANDYA and CHATTOPADYAY, 1989, p. 172).
(144) It is to be found as early as Nehru's "Five Principles".
(145) OBERDIECK, 1998, p. 217.
(146) Like all Andamanese, the Jarawa cook their meat in an earth oven (SARKAR, 1990, p. 23ff.)
(147) SINGH, 1973, p.112. The appalling quality of this contribution is all the more serious as the author claims "all the information in this paper is based on personal observation in the field during the author's research tour over there. Suggestions have been derived after discussion with the authorities concerned." (SINGH, 1973, p. 113).
(148) HANDLOIK claims that LEVI-STRAUSS was denied even a passive participation (HANDLOIK, 1996, p. 4).
(149) The assignment was to check existing police reports of clashes between settlers and Jarawa by conducting interviews with settler representatives, settler families living near the periphery and locally stationed police. More accurate background information and a better impression of ongoing developments were sought.
(150) The village has developed into a strategically important contact point for meetings between Jarawa and settlers. It lies on the bus route on the Andaman Trunk Road. Tourists have recently been permitted to travel on it but they may not leave the road. Government officials had expressly forbidden my entry into the so-called tribal areas.
(151) Verbal communication with Enmey was not really impossible as the accompanying field researcher did not have adequate linguistic skills.