The Sentinelese are an uncontacted tribe living on North Sentinel Island, which is part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean. They vigorously reject all contact with outside people. According to a 2011 census report, there are probably somewhere between 80 to 150 people living on the island.
These people are considered one of the world’s last uncontacted people and are listed in the top ten most dangerous islands in the world. The most interesting part is that the behaviour of the Sentinelese people, and their reasons for avoiding contact, can be attributed to soldiers from the East India Company.
According to some articles and sources, early in the 19th century, soldiers from the East Indian Company landed on the island. When the Sentinelese people opposed them and warned them to go back, the soldiers did the opposite. Using guns, they arrested five people including the head of their tribe and took them to Port Blair where they put them behind bars. Due to the sudden and drastic change in their environment and food, all five became sick, and three died within a one-month period. The main reason for their deaths is still unknown. The person in charge of Port Blair felt that it may be risky to keep the remaining two there, so he ordered the soldier to send them back to their island along with an order not to disturb the community further. The soldiers followed the orders and dropped the two Sentinelese back on the island. It is unknown what happened to them and if they survived, but it is one of the major reasons why they reject outsiders.
Since then, many people, scientists, and researchers have tried their luck in contacting them, but to no avail. India’s government has declared that the island is protected under the Indian constitution. Indian authorities have also instructed everyone not to disturb the community, and it is illegal to enter the island without proper permission from the authorities. Recently, one American tourist was killed by the Sentinelese people, when he tried to enter the island without permission and proper safety equipment. Now it has become a hotspot for researchers like Anthropologists and Biologists. We have to find a sustainable way to deal with such issues rather than forceful entry. It can be harmful if someone enters your home without your permission, the same applies to the Sentinelese people.
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