People of the Earth


"The first step to understand others is by exploring your self!"

Jarawas are one of the Adivasi indigenous peoples of the Andaman Islands in India. Their name means "people of the earth" or "hostile people" in Aka-Bea. Aka-Bea, is an extinct Great Andamanese language of the Southern group. Until quite recent times Jarawas were infrequently visited, and such contacts were predominantly sporadic and temporary.That made them a popular and an important part of any itinerary to Andamans. So much so that one can book a Human Safari to watch the tribe go about their day-to-day activities.

Our yearning to understand different cultures has led us intruding into many of such remote tribes. And not just remote tribes, but homes and lives of common people. Alas, we do want to understand the common people as well! As we move on the streets and capture the lives of the people on the street, we are treating them just like the tourists of the Andaman treat the Jarawa tribes people. So, we have Human Safaris all around us, on every street and every corner! Has anyone thought about it that we peek into the lives of the poor with full freedom, as if it was our birthright to 'study' and 'understand' them, however we never do so in a high end restaurant or through the windows of a nice house?

But what are we doing wrong? After all, our intention is just to understand them better so that one day we may be able to 'uplift' them from the poverty and 'inhumane' conditions. Sometimes, our intentions are not even that - our intentions are just to see how downtrodden, interesting, entertaining one can be! So, I ask, "Where has all the empathy gone? Do we see only entertainment when we see the Jarawas?! Why don't we try to understand ourselves too, if we want to understand others?"
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Pen on Paper.

4 comments:

  1. I have seen the Jarawas..they look so innocent.
    I haven't thought that way at all..do people really seek entertainment when they see people unlike themselves? Human is inquisitive by nature, and his expression of his inquisitiveness is in many ways..one of them being.. wanting to know more about them...When we understand another tribe, in a way we understand how similar we are as humans. Though they live in their seclusion and we live in ours..somewhere we are just like them, and they are just like us.
    It's hard to say there is no empathy and intentions are merely self biased for the majority.
    Ofcourse, self-knowledge is the key to eternal bliss :) Lovely sketch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally understand and appreciate your point of view. I wish there were more people like you on this earth. Unfortunately, as I feel, the earth is full of people who think very differently. I might be completely wrong. And I would wish that I am completely wrong. But as I meet more people, hear more people and understand what they feel, I fear that I might be more right than wrong.

      All said and done, I have hopes. And the way I read your response, I feel you are right in some manner and you are a part of my hope too. Thanks for such a lovely message. :)

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    2. No, what I meant was, I don't think people look at other people only seeking entertainment :) I am empathizing with we, the people, and not just the Jarawas :)

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    3. Oh! At that point, I am not in full agreement with you. I think social media has taken the 'entertainment' aspect to new levels. I am not sure how to test it out or how to show this aspect.

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