Jarawa women forced to dance for food – what a shame!

In what is a glaring evidence of what tourism has reduced the indigenous Jarawa tribe in the Andaman Islands to, a recent video released by the UK-based daily The Guardian, has been the centre of outrage. It shows females of the tribe — some bare chested, and one naked, trying to cover herself with a polythene bag containing grain — being asked to dance by an off-camera policemen.

Anthropologists believe that the Jarawas are descendants of “some of the first humans to move out of Africa”. Since the Andaman Trunk Road has cut through the area, where the fairly isolated tribe lives, the tribals have been reduced to beggary, often asking for food and money from tourists.

The Indian government has asked the Andaman and Nicobar administration to explain the incident. The Andaman and Nicobar Administration cannot hide themselves behind the date of the video. The fact is that it has been happening under their nose and they failed to take necessary action to stop selling simplicity and nudity of primitive tribes to wealthy tourists. The administration is supposed to prevent any outside contacts with Jarawas as per the Indian laws. The administration feels that they are complying with the laws by just putting up the sign boards on the roads at the entry points, asking people not to offer food to tribals and not to photograph/videograph them.

All those involved in the inhuman exploitation of poor tribals, whom they should protect must be given rigorous imprisonment for life. They have converted the tribal reserve area to a zoo and are treating the tribals as zoo animals for bribes. This is a shame! The culprits must not be shown any clemency.

Unusual bravery or needless provocation?

While some have called her a heroine, others have opted for the term mentally ill. But however you see her, 20-year-old university drop-out Aliaa Magda El-Mahdy has managed to become a household name in Egypt in just a couple of days by posting naked photographs of herself on social networking Internet sites and sparked a global uproar after a friend posted a photo of her naked on Twitter with the hashtag #nudephotorevolutionary.

The tweet was viewed over a million times, while Aliaa’s followers jumped from a few hundred to more than 26,000. Between supporters and attackers, Aliaa’s blog, entitled “A Rebel’s Diary“, has received more than 4,400,000 hits since she posted the pictures.

In an interview with CNN, she has said: “I like being different. I love life, art, photography and expressing my thoughts through writing more than anything. That is why I studied media and hope to take it further to the TV world too so I can expose the truth behind the lies we endure everyday in this world. I don’t believe that we must have children only through marriage. It’s all about love.”

In closing, I will say that her ideas and thoughts are too radical and represent another extreme. It is hard for the society to give any iota of acceptance although her campaign cannot be put down as a mere titillating provocation. Her method of protest is definitely controversial. Also, she is not the first person to use nudity as a form of protest worldwide, she may be the first person in a country like Egypt. I personally agree that in a free society, every woman is entitled to her freedom, but just dropping clothes in public will not make them free from their exploitations and sufferings under the garb of some age-old, social practices, which have lost its relevance in this modern world.

Sila ki jawani!

In late 2010, one song – “Shila ki jawani” of a Hindi movie “Tees Maar Khan”, became a hot favorite with the Indian population. This song was on lips of almost everybody. This song/dance got some awards in India, also.

Now, in 2011, there is another Sila, who is buzzing nowadays. She is Sila Sahin. She is an actress in Germany. The reason for her being in the news is that she is the first Turkish Muslim woman, who posed nude for Playboy, Germany.

This has naturally caused a lot of reactions from her family & her society. But, she is staying bold and has said that this is her declaration of independence. She said to Playboy in an interview that she was feeling like Che Guevara.

Well, this is another way to declare independence …. “Sila ki jawani”!

“Sila azaad hui, Playboy tere liye…”