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

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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. 

An article titled Babys Killing Tests Indias Protection of an Aboriginal Culture in the New York Times on 13 March 2016 reported an incident concerning a five-month-old mixed-race Jarawa baby whom a Jarawa man had allegedly murdered. This also highlighted the lesser-known ritual killings of infants (fathered by outsiders) among the Jarawa that led to rampant media speculations on the Jarawa culpability in the crime. While the article succeeded in drawing attention to a sensitive issue in the islands, the subsequent media reports, failed to grasp the issue and have proffered only a fractured analysis.

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