ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Ajay SainiSubscribe to RSS - Ajay Saini

Japanese Occupation of Nicobar Islands

Primarily based on archival research, especially an unpublished diary of Nicobarese stalwart leader John Richardson, this article gives a glimpse of the sufferings that the Nicobarese endured under the Japanese colonial regime during World War II. The regime exposed the indigenes to war, slavery, torture, and executions. At the same time it engendered leadership in the Nicobar Islands which consolidated these historically isolated people into a community and ended their prolonged economic and sexual exploitation.

Voices from the Periphery

Islands in Flux: The Andaman and Nicobar Story by Pankaj Sekhsaria, Noida: Harper Litmus, 2017; pp xxx + 268, ₹399.

Boycotting Schools in Nicobar for Education

The Andaman and Nicobar administration, vide its Extraordinary Gazette notification on 7 September 2015, lowered the minimum percentage of marks required for the Scheduled Tribe candidates for admission to the MBBS course and admitted eight Nicobarese students at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Institute of Medical Sciences. In March 2016, the Medical Council of India argued these admissions as illegal and discharged the concerned students, which has stirred resistance among the Nicobarese.

What Murdered the “Mixed-Race” Jarawa Baby?

Rather than focusing on the role of the Jarawa man allegedly involved in the killing of an infant in the Andaman Islands, we should probe into the changing relationship of the Jarawa and non-Jarawa population of the island. A shift in the Jarawa identity and their changing relations with the non-Jarawa may have made them even more vulnerable.

'Outsider, We Love and Fear You'

The Nicobarese are not against "outsiders" and have a long tradition of embracing different cultures. They respect religious heterogeneity and even though the Hindu population in Kamorta and Katchal is small, there are numerous Hindu temples around, to which the Nicobarese have never objected. Their opposition to marriage alliances with outsiders is not religiously motivated but provoked by the undue advantage that the non-Nicobarese have taken by encroaching on their land and also disrupting the hitherto harmonious socio-economic dynamics. A response to Swapan K Biswas's article "Interreligious Marriage in Nicobar Islands: Opportunities and Challenges" (EPW, 30 May 2015).

Post-Tsunami Humanitarian Aid

Historically, the Nicobarese of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have lived in isolation with sporadic cross-cultural contact. Relying on the traditional knowledge and the resources provided by their ecosystem, the indigenes subsisted independently in their tribal reserve until the Indian Ocean tsunami inundated the Nicobar archipelago. Post-tsunami, the ANI administration undertook massive humanitarian interventions in the southern Nicobar Islands. This article analyses the post-tsunami sociocultural change among the Nicobarese against the backdrop of the humanitarian aid administration that began in December 2004. The article specifically inquires into the post-tsunami strategic-spatial interventions in the Nicobarese ecological niche and argues that the change after the tsunami has been tacitly engineered through humanitarian interventions.

A Decade of Disaster and Aid in Nicobar

In her article, “A Decade of Disaster Risk Management in India” (EPW, 31 January 2015), Malini Nambiar argues that building resilience, vertical synergies and community participation are significant for vulnerability reduction and successful disaster risk management. She also emphasises the need to...

The Nicobarese 'Letters of Sufferings: In Protest, Respectfully Yours'

I read Pankaj Sekhsaria’s “Disaster as a Catalyst for Military Expansionism: The Case of the Nicobar Islands” (EPW, 3 January 2015) with interest. Throughout, Sekhsaria poses interesting questions and proffers a cohesive analysis of the raison d´état by interlinking incidents (jigsaws) in the...

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