Lessons from Andaman

Dear Editor,
The recent report of the unfortunate brutal murder of a young American tourist in a remote island in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago (India) at the hands of an isolated primitive tribe is an example of how misadventure and irresponsibility lead to the demise of a dream and ended a precious life. The tragic incident should be an eye opener for all around the globe; particularly for young adults who always feel that they could do and achieve anything they want without any connection to reality of life. Similarly irresponsible tourist behaviour in foreign nations and in completely unknown terrains must be avoided to prevent repetitions of such sad incidents. Furthermore, an individual or a community (particularly isolated primitive tribes) have the complete right to protect their privacy and integrity of their socio-ethnic life style. Possibly the young adventurer was interpreted and attacked being identified as an intruder into their territorial domain. Several ancient tribal communities around the planet are facing dangers of extinction. Such isolated tribal members are extremely vulnerable to diseases and infections from civilized people due to poor immunity and should be left alone and respected for their socio-ethnic life style and should not be disturbed or bothered. Only scientific studies under special circumstances and following international guidelines and protocol should be allowed. Lastly, individual countries must have stringent monitoring and surveillance on forbidden territories. The Andaman and Nicobar administration also cannot avoid their responsibility in serious failure with respect to tourist security as also failure in protecting the privacy and serenity of ancient tribal communities surviving in remote islands. Each one of us needs to learn from this unfortunate incident and try to be more responsible towards local ethnic and ecological sensitivity as well as government guidelines while visiting another country as a tourist.
Saikat Kumar Basu,