Media intrusions into aborginal reserves

IN Media Practice | 15/01/2005
Media intrusions into aborginal reserves


We have definite information that the media did not take special permits required to enter these reserves.


Copy of a letter sent by Samir Acharya of the Society for Andaman and Nicobar Ecology (SANE)to the Lt.Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

His Excellency Professor Ram Kapse
Honourable Lieutenant Governor,
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Raj Niwas, Port Blair

10th January 2004

Sub: Media intrusions into aborginal reserves


We are pained to note that a number of journalists, photographers and television crews have illegally intruded into the Tribal Reserves during
the last one week in gross violation of the Andaman and Nicobar Protection of Aborginal Tribes Regulation, 1957.

We have definite information that they did not take special permits required to enter these reserves. Having entered, they committed abominable acts of filming the tribes with VIP Frenchie underwear
, Nike headbands and what have you. Some also paid money to the Jarawas.

We are pained to note that some national channels have already turned the
aborginals into a commodity by promoting shows like "Janbaaz Junglees". Some of these media persons entered these areas with full cooperation from a military officer who was dealing with them. While the military has done a great job with relief in the post-tsunami situation, this officer has brought the services into disrepute by his insensitive behaviour.

In an island inhabited by the Sentinelese , the journalists were taken in
a military helicopter and the aborginals were provoked to shoot  arrows. That makes for great TV footage but reveals the insensitivity with which both a section of the media and the military handle the aborginals.

We demand a full enquiry to (a) identify the media
persons who illegally trespassed into the tribal reserves to shoot and film (b) which official help facilitate them (c) how has the media then portrayed the aborginals. We also demand that any violation of the ANPAT regulation by the media and the military should not go unpunished and the vigilance in these reserves to prevent the intrusions should be stepped up.

Yours sincerely,

Samir Acharya
C/o Kalpavriksh
Apt. 5, Sri Dutta Krupa
908 Deccan Gymkhana,
Pune 411004
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