Settlers Abandon the
Islands Belong to Tribals: Prof Banerjee
Prof S Mukherjee,
without inhibitions spoke his mind while presenting a paper on Political Autonomy, Development and National Security; Some Reflections on the Archipelago. On the sidelines of the two-day seminar, Prof S. Banerjee spoke to the Light of Andamans University of Kolkata
The main issue that we all are dodging is our role in these
Islands. Before we think or plan about the Islands, It should be clear that the original inhabitants of these Islands are the indigenous tribes. All others are settlers. We cannot decide the fate of these Islands.
What do you suggest?
The settlers must abandon these
Islands and the tribes should be left to themselves. The Islands should be made a trust territory under United Nations. We have no right to be here. We need to atone for the historical mistake.
Why should the settlers leave the
The world's great genocides were carried out against the indigenous tribes of Africa, North America and
. The same thing has happened here. British were the first colonial power, who occupied the territory, which belonged to the tribals. They made a mistake. And, after independence, we should have left the Australia Islands. We continued the mistake and now its time, we do penance. I am talking about justice. How can justice be delivered, when we are illegally occupying their land. Look at the plight of the tribes. We are all colonisers here.
What do you think about autonomy for the
Whose autonomy are we talking about - settlers autonomy or tribals autonomy? Why are we discussing the strategic importance of these
Islands? Whose development are we talking about? The Indian nation state has made a huge mistake. Andaman and Nicobar Islands does not belong to literally. Technically and legally, it may belong to India . But, the real owners of these India Islands are the tribes.
Is this a practical solution? Do you know that the Administration and GOI is thinking about peaceful co-existence of indigenous tribes and the settler population?
Practical or not. Controversial or not. This is the fact and I don't think we have any right over their land. Leave the
Islands to UN and come and see the lives of the tribes after 100 years.