Corrupt cops who were supposed to be protecting a recently contacted tribe from the outside world are treating them like performing animals. On the main road through the Jarawa people's forest homeland in India's Andaman Islands, a Guardian journalist saw tribeswomen naked from the waist up ordered to dance for convoys of tourists who had bribed police. Tourists threw bananas and biscuits to tribespeople at the roadside.
Members of the once reclusive 400-strong tribe only began to venture out of the jungle in 1998, after a member of the tribe was treated in a hospital and spoke enthusiastically of the outside world. They now see the main road as a place to forage, but human rights groups warn that they are being exploited, have begun using alcohol and tobacco, and are beginning to suffer from unfamiliar diseases like measles and mumps. Lawmakers argue that trying to keep the Jarawa away from the outside world is futile. But advocates say the road through their territory should be closed to allow them to decide whether or not they want contact.