Opinion DC Comment 23 Nov 2018 Tragedy in Andamans

Tragedy in Andamans

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Nov 23, 2018, 6:55 am IST
Updated Nov 23, 2018, 6:55 am IST
John Allen ChauJohn Allen Chau reached the remote area after buying the help of local fishermen, breaching the blanket security that should be around the Andamans. (Photo: Instagram/@Johnachau)
 John Allen ChauJohn Allen Chau reached the remote area after buying the help of local fishermen, breaching the blanket security that should be around the Andamans. (Photo: Instagram/@Johnachau)

The death of a missionary committed to proselytising Sentinelese tribals ended in tragedy with the American being shot with arrows and killed in North Sentinel Island on November 17. No human should meet such an end, even if it’s hard to empathise with anyone whose mission is to “market” his God to those who wish to be left to their own devices as an ancient tribe of hunter-gatherers.

The Sentinelese, whose numbers have dwindled to near extinction, believe in a primitive life and speak their own language, totally shun modernity and avoid contact with other humans. There was little need for this young man to paddle his own kayak to North Sentinel Island to reach out to these tribals. John Allen Chau reached the remote area after buying the help of local fishermen, breaching the blanket security that should be around the Andamans.

Given a scenario where the Indian government itself doesn’t venture to this particular island, to have a missionary slipping past the Coast Guard is disappointing. Will modern humans stay away from them, so that they don’t pass on the diseases and microbes in them to this antediluvian setting of around one score people?

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