BITCHY POLITICS OVER CLASSICAL STATUS OF ORIYA LANGUAGE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

As the people of Orissa are utmost happy over recognition of the classicality of their mother tongue, a wrong person in the right place – Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik – under whose misrule Oriya language has been de facto reduced to a stale condition being deprived of its primacy in official use, has exceeded all limits of brazenness in claiming credit for the achievement, as the entire official machinery was used to celebrate the long overdue recognition in a style that was aimed to tell the people that, it is his government that has made the dream come true.

Union Minister Srikant Jena, who has injured Oriya mana by shamelessly acquiescing into an utterly inferior position in the Union ministry, has not stayed behind. He has claimed that the classical status “given” to Oriya language by the central government is the best gift of the Congress party to the people of Orissa.

Sadly, a handful of men of letters, taking advantage of anarchy spread in the literary horizon of Orissa, are seen cultivating approbations for their self-claimed contributions to achievement of the classical tag, though in reality, for collection and compilation of documents placed before the union cabinet in support of Orissa’s claim, they have discharged a paid duty. Even some of them have allegedly used officially procured data for projection thereof as their own researched collection! But none of these fellows have shown and cannot show, how had they reacted when Telugu bagged the classical status even though it was well on records that Oriya is a far superior language than that.

Let me begin with the most authentic recognition of Oriya’s superiority and proceed to say how it declined because of Orissa’s political and executive governments and men of letters – more eager to ingratiate themselves with the men in power for bagging desired positions and awards than staying sentinels of the Oriya language.

“The Oriya Language can boast of a rich vocabulary in which respect neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it”, the internationally acclaimed linguist Sir George Grier’son had to declare in Linguistic Survey of India (Vol.IV). We will come later to why he had to make this comparison; but let me first make it clear that, Orissa owes its origin to Oriya language.

Unique position of Orissa

Orissa is the mother of the concept of linguistic provinces in India. To quote Mahatma Gandhi, it had “raised the large question of redistribution (of population and landmass) on linguistic basis” (Young India, 18 February 1920). It was born out of political debris the British had made of it, on the basis and because of its children’s ardent love for their mother tongue.

The invader British was most afraid of the brave and proud people of Orissa. Orissa was the last land in India to have shrewdly been annexed by the British; but was the first land, where no sooner than being occupied, swords were raised to oust the British from the soil.

Admitting this historic reality, British historian G. Toynbee has said, “It was not long, however, before we had to encounter a storm which burst with so sudden fury as to threaten our expulsion” (A sketch of the History of Orissa).

The patriotic “disposition” of the people of Orissa was such that it was impossible for the British to defeat or overcome them “either by military or police” (Magistrate W. Forrester to Commissioner Robert Ker, on 9 September 1818).

Therefore, it is Orissa, where the invader British had to make a compromise with the people. Their leader Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mohapatra was honored with dignity and the moral sovereignty of their king-emperor the Gajapati of Orissa was restored. But through this compromise, the British also had gained acceptability as a government.

The people of Orissa allowed themselves to be ruled by the British in lieu of restoration of the lost honor of their leader Buxi Jagabandhu and their moral Sovereign the Gajapati.

It was a sacrifice par excellence ever made by a brave race.

But the British, after gaining this acceptability as a government, resorted to blatant treachery against the people and divided Oriya speaking tracks and arbitrarily attached the separated parts to neighboring provinces of Bengal in the north, Madhya Pradesh in the west and Madras in the south in order to weaken the Oriyas, whose “disposition” it was afraid of (Magistrate W. Forrester to Commissioner Robert Ker, cited supra).

In the labyrinth of conspiracy

Thus the proud people of Orissa were reduced to linguistic minorities in their rival neighboring provinces in the labyrinth of conspiracy.

To push them into further disadvantage, the “native servants” of the British were being helped to misappropriate the landed properties of the Oriyas militia and it was soon seen that a few fellows that were earning their livelihood as pimps in Calcutta brothels became Zamidars in Orissa!

People of Orissa got ruined as native servants of the British – the Bengalis in particular – went on looting their properties.

“A regular system of oppression and peculation appears to exist throughout …… these people (the Bengali servants of the British) are considered the terror and the scourge of the district” (Revenue Administration in Orissa, notes of W. Trower, Collector of Cuttack, dated 23rd may, 1817).

The Bengalis, taking the advantage, not only went on looting the jewelry and landed properties of the people of Orissa, but also their intellectual properties like Sri Jaya Dev’s world famous lyrics compiled in Geeta Govinda and Proto-Oriya works of the Siddhacharyas of Orissa known as Bauddha Gana O Doha and dared even to claim that Oriya was not a separate language, but an offshoot of Bengali!

The words used for the Bengalis by Trower in Cuttack context were applicable to Madhyapadeshis and Telugus in whose hands the Oriya speaking tracks had fallen under the conspiracy.

Birth of the Oriya movement

Dinabandhu Pattanayak of Dharakot (Ganjam) was the first man to have raised voice against this mischief. He made a public appeal to peoples of Cuttack to come forward to fight for amalgamation of the Oriya speaking tracks in entirety as otherwise Oriya culture, sculptures and natural wealth cannot be saved from non-Oriyas (Utkala Dipika, 22 October 1870).

It eventually gave birth to Utkal Sammilani, the great Oriya Movement led by Kulagaurav Madhu Sudan Das, which not only forced to create Orissa as a separate province with the concentrated Oriya speaking areas, but also paved the path for formation of language-based States in India.

But, by then Congress being the national forum of negotiation with the British and Bengalis and the Telugu as well as Hindi speaking people having their sway in the Congress, there was a lot of resistance to creation of Orissa as a separate State. The Oriya Movement led by Utkal Sammilani was unique and unprecedented. Gandhiji had to say, “The fine race (of Oriyas) cannot possibly make the natural advance which is its due, if it is split up into four divisions for no sound reason” (Young India, 18 Feb. 1920).

By then, the British had already had a linguistic survey of India.

Making a study of the linguistic superiority claims of Bengali, Hindi and Telugu as against Oriya, Sir George Grier’son had made it unambiguously clear – as quoted supra – that, Oriya was far superior to all these three rivals. “The Oriya Language can boast of a rich vocabulary in which respect neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it” he had declared (Vol.IV, Linguistic Survey of India). With specific reference to Bengali, Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee had later to admit, “It may be said without travesty of linguistic truth that Oriya is the eldest of the three sisters (Oriya, Bengali and Assamees) (I.H.Q. Vol.XXIII, p. 337), in view of her “archaic” richness.

Birth of Orissa from the womb of Oriya

The “Oriya Movement” succeeded and Orissa, as the first linguistic province took birth from the womb of Oriya language on April 1, 1936.

We therefore celebrate Utkal Divas (birthday of Orissa) on April 1 every year.

Orissa Official language Act

On the first April after independence, i.e. on April 1, 1948, Orissa decided to make Oriya the official language of the State, with effect from June 1, 1948 (Orissa Assembly Debates, 1 April 1948, p.748). Accordingly, the Assembly enacted ‘The Orissa Official Language Act, 1954’.

Biju sabotaged Oriya language

Nabakrushna Chowdhury, whose government had brought the Act, was not tolerable to fellows like Biju Patnaik that were priding in being elite.

The administrative officers, in order to keep them as a separate distinguished class, ignored the Act and went on managing their files in English.

Chowdhury was to relinquish office due to their conspiracy.

The Official Language Act was relegated to insignificance and English reemerged as the language of administration.

Oriya language was rendered officially useless by Biju Patnaik when he became the Chief Minister. And he contrived a shrewd method to render it useless.

When the Act of 1954 had stipulated that Oriya was “to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the State of Orissa”, Biju Patnaik damaged this stipulation by amending the Act in 1963 providing for use of English “in addition to Oriya for transaction of business in Legislature of the State of Orissa”. This shrewd insertion subjected Orissa administration to predominance of English and ruined the utility of Oriya as a language.

Role of non-Oriya officers

The people of Orissa had saved their language from non-Oriyas through decades long movement. But non-Oriyas ruled the roost as Chief Secretaries till Biju Patnaik’s protege Nilamani Rautray was dismissed as Chief Minister by then Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi.

In fact, from B. C. Mukherjee to B. Venkataraman, the first sixteen Chief Secretaries since adoption of the official language resolution in the Orissa Assembly were all non-Oriyas. Due to them, despite adoption of the resolution by Orissa Assembly to make Oriya the official language with effect from 1 June 1948, administration run in English and even English remained the language of interview for administrative posts. Oriya lost its utility as far as official work was concerned.

J.B.Patnaik’s noteworthy steps

The change came with the end of Biju Patnaik’s shadow rule that his sycophant Nilamani Rautray was running, when President’s rule was promulgated on 17 February 1980. A silent scheme cooked up in Indira Gandhi’s kitchen made it certain that J. B. Patnaik would be drafted to take over Orissa and S. M. Patnaik became the first Oriya by birth to head the executive government as Chief Secretary of the State.

So, by the time JB took over, an Oriya was ready as the Chief Secretary to help the mission of J.B.Patnaik to enforce the 1954 Act in making Oriya the official language in reality.

Specific and time-bound steps were taken to train the stenographers in Oriya shorthand and typing; an expert committee was appointed to build up a full-fledged English-Oriya bilingual dictionary of administrative and legal words. The Government took up with type-writer manufacturers for Oriya type machines. JB set the 1st April 1985 as the day from which use of Oriya as official language would be compulsory. An year ahead of the targeted day, as many as 2,846 Oriya type-writers were supplied to all offices with another 2,077 machines on the anvil. It was decided to enforce use of Oriya as the official language by strengthening the 1954 Act with necessary amendments.

Biju was blatantly against Oriya

But Biju Patnaik blatantly opposed the idea of making Oriya the official language. He was entirely in favor of English.

When the Official Language (Amendment) Act, 1985 was taken up in the Assembly, it was Biju Patnaik, who opposed the proposal. “We can progress further if we have international (English) language (as the official language), he said. He ridiculed the idea of making Oriya the official language and went on elaborating, “If you go to Andhra , you will find DHUD DHUD, if you go to Karnatak, you will find FUD FUD ! Nothing you will understand there. So many languages there in our country. This is not a country at all”.

And, this Biju Patnaik, on succeeding Hemanand Biswal of Congress on 5 March 1990 as Chief Minister, dismissed Oriya from official use with such contempt that the 2nd edition of the Administrative Dictionary, which was ready with more words, was abandoned.

The third term of JB

After JB’s return to power again in March 1995 the abandoned dictionary of administrative words was recompiled and published. Translation of various Acts and Rules into Oriya was taken up and official communications and file notes commenced in Oriya.

But this third term of JB’s chief-ministership was under confusing impact of utter opportunism and corruption and capitalistic anarchy that Manmohan Singh’s emergence in power politics had generated in the country under Prime Ministers P.V.Narasimha Rao, which successive PMs like Atal Bihari Vajapayee, H.D.Deve Gowda, I. K. Gujral and again Atal Bihari Vajpayee had patronized to.

JB had to make a lot of compromises to retain his government and had to relinquish his chair ahead of his term succumbing to internecine rivalry when the Congress high command was too demoralized to ensure for him the much needed discipline in his party to continue with authority.

This is why, the compulsoriness he could have given to use of Oriya as official language had escaped his prerogative.

Rot returned with Naveen Patnaik as CM

And, then, with a very insignificant intervening phase in hands of two short stayers in CM chair, the State fell in the hands of Naveen Patnaik whose only qualification for the post is sonhood of a father whom the people had refused to rely, but whose posthumous image building by his shrewd sycophants has kept the people too overwhelmed to discard the dire danger. Oriya language has lost its utility most severely since the day Naveen Patnaik became the CM.

Like his father as quoted supra, he is so contemptuous towards the Oriya language that despite 14 years in the highest political seat, he has not learned the language though non-Oriya IAS or IPS officers posted in Orissa learn and speak Oriya quite efficiently within a very short span of time, philologically so systematic is the language.

When, to the bad luck of Orissa, a man like him became the Chief Minister, apprehensive of embarrassment that my State will have to suffer because of his zero capability to understand and express in Oriya, I had made a Xerox copy of ‘ A Handbook of Uriya or Oriya Language’ authored by a British Civil Servant Mr. T. J. Maltby in 1874, and revised and republished by Government of Orissa in 1945 on the basis of copyright obtained from the daughter and heir of Mr. Maltby, which was helping the British and other non-Oriya Officers to learn the Oriya language for official use in Oriya speaking areas; and had given it to him through his Secretary. But my endeavor did not bear any fruit. Naveen Patnaik, whose mother tongue is not Oriya, continues to embarrass the people of Orissa by his clumsy utterances of Oriya words as yet, which he reads out from scripts typed either in Hindi or English.

In his regime, Oriya language has suffered irreparable damage and humiliation.

A Bengali colleague of Naveen Patnaik was the Higher Education Minister when directions were issued to jettison Oriya as a subject in degree course. When we exposed and vehemently opposed the anti-Oriya modus operandi under the caption “A Renewed Bengali Conspiracy: Thwart it. Thwart it. Thwart it” on 22 May 2005, and demanded that the Lingua-Benga Minister be sacked, holding Mr. Naveen Patnaik responsible for the rot, the order was, of course, nullified by the Chief Minister; but the national humiliation Oriya language suffered was not avenged. Naveen Patnaik continued to keep Higher Education in the hands of Samir De. We had reiterated on 30 May 2005, “Not enough, National humiliation must be avenged”.

Damage done to Orissa Sahitya Akademi

In the circumstances, in order to further hoodwink the people, to show them that he has his thinking for development of Oriya language, a few months after the official assault on Oriya by his colleague Samir De, a new hotchpotch styled as Odia Bhasa Pratisthana was floated. And, in this, he has destroyed the preeminence of Orissa Sahitya Akademi (Orissa Academy of Letters) in the matter of Oriya language.

Bitchy politics

Against this backdrop, three-days long official celebrations of classical status of Oriya language under orders of Naveen Patnaik when general election is knocking at the door, seems to be nothing but bitchy politics, contrived again to hoodwink the people in the name of their beloved mother tongue.

Guru Dheeraj Mohapatra strengthens immensely Odissi Music’s claim for classical status, says VC of Utkal University of Culture

Dheeraj A

The history of Orissa’s musical tradition goes back to the 2nd century B. C. as we have documentary records of histrionic arts (Gandharva Kala) explicitly reflected on the rock edicts of Hatigumpha (Elephant Cave) in king Maha Meghavahana Kharavela in Udayagiri hill at Bhubaneswar.

The archaeological evidences, historical facts, literary and documentary proofs, oral tradition handed down from generation to generation, style of presentation, gramatical and technical aspects prompt us to believe that ‘Odissi” is significantly one of the important streams of Indian Classical Music with a rich treasure of musical rendering like Chhanda, Champu, Chaupadi, Chautisha, and lyrics of Geet Govinda of Jayadev etc.

Odissi music is the finest reconciliation of harmony with melody, which suffers no diminution of the essential quality of the classical music. The individual character of Odissi Music makes every recital an interpretation and self-expression.

The pace of Odissi Music with its vibrated motion called GAMAKA emanates a flavour which marks its special entity.

Odissi Music has three main characteristics:
ANDOLITA GATI (vibrated motion);
NA DRUTA NA BILAMBITA (Neither fast nor slow); and
SAMA PRAYOGA OF BHASA AND RAGA (equal application of language and Raga).

Style of rendition

The rendition of Odissi Music at the time of elaboration or expansion needs five actions. They are:
ANIBADDHA ALAPA,
NIBADDHA ALAPA,
PADA VINYASA,
SWARA VINYASA, and
TANA.

Specific GAMAKA

The mode of singing of Odissi Music is determined by some GAMAKAs. They are:
ANDOLITA,
ANAHATA,
DHATU (AROHA ABAROHA),
AMBREDITA, and
ULLASITA.

The major and inevitable accompanying instrument of Odissi Music is MARDALA.

These words of Guru Dheeraj Kumar Mohapatra were presented with corresponding demonstrations in the open air auditorium of Utkal University of Culture, Bhubaneswar last evening when Mohapatra’s audio CD “Odissi Dhara” (Geetanga style of Classical Odissi Music) was dedicated to the people along with his second CD in the series, “ Meeta Chahan” (Nrutyanga style of Odissi Music) under chairmanship of Prof. Dr. Jagannath Kuanar, Department of Instrumental Music of the University.

Dheeraj B

The University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Debendra Nath Jena, speaking as the Chief Guest, lauded Mohapatra’s path setting endeavor, which, he was sure, will strengthen immensely Orissa’s claim for classical status to her unique music.

Mr. Satakadi Hota, President of Orissa’s Academy of letters, dwelt on the glorious history of Odissi Music, underlining that the Oriya language which has been proved as a classical language is developed on Odissi Music and hence, it deserves national accordance of recognition to its classical status without any delay, specifically as this style is absolutely unique and has evolved on its own tradition.

Former Indian Ambassador Mr. Abasar Beuria maintained that recognition or no recognition of its classical status, Odissi Music is a very independent, unique and magnificent music of ancient origin which has developed in a pattern of its own.

Dr. Suman Das, Registrar of the University, praised Mohapatra for having made the institute proud over his association with it as a faculty and was sure that his contributions shall always enrich Odissi Music.

Prof. Dr. Tamasarani Das Mohapatra, Principal of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya expressed profound pride and satisfaction over the works done by Mohapatra.

The Guru’s two disciples – Lilamayee Panda and Sagarika Kundu – presented Odissi Vocal whereas further two disciples – Bijaynee Madhusmita and Minakshi Rani Jena – presented Odissi Dance under his directions. All of four performers are conspicuous by their participation in Geetanga and Nrutyanga rendition in the CDs.

In the Land of Arts, Artists Perish

Orissa is world famous for its wealth of arts. It is known as Utkala, the land of artistic excellence. But, in the present phase of her life, artist are perishing in absence of avenues of livelihood and due to exploitation by the State administered by Naveen Patnaik who is in power for about 15 years.

The State has an unique University called the Utkal University of Culture. It had selected through a selection committee qualified persons to teach in PG classes, several years ago. Instead of appointing them permanently, as they were selected against permanent vacancies, the state owned university had appointed them as ‘casual’ faculties on ad hoc basis, terminating their services before completion of 90 days and reappointing them immediately thereafter. This design was meant to exploit the faculties without granting them regular service benefits. When they have already worked for several years as such, a temporary VC, just before the end of his tenure, terminated them permanently by manipulating hand-picked members of the board of its management and took in new hands in the same temporary design. Whether or not sumptuous bribes from aspirants for the assignments was the fountainhead of this design is not known, but the illogical action has been challenged as illegal in many cases in legal forums. Notwithstanding what would be the fate of litigations, the hard reality is that artists are perishing because of exploitive design of the State.

Orissa Sangeet Mahavidyalaya is another center of exploitation of performing artists. Faculties are kept on temporary basis against permanent posts and tenterhook of hope for regularization keeps them afloat on slow starvation.

When teachers as thus are perishing, their pupils who have graduated from such institutions are seeking employment. The State is exploiting them by appointing them under Sarva Siksha Abhijan on a day per week basis where they have no hope of acquiring regular status. The performing and visual artists are suffering beyond endurance. In December, thousands of artist had gathered in Bhubaneswar to attract attention of the Assembly as well as administration to their plight. L.P.Pattanayak had captured some of their action in his camera. They are of continuing relevance; and so we place them here as a token of our recognition of undying agony of the artists despite passing away of the year 2013. (Editor)

2artists agitation 3artists agitation 4artists agitation 12artists agitation 13artists agitation 8artists agitation14artists agitation9

But the artists, despite their scornful agitation have given a hopeful message. The two pictures at the bottom indicate, an artist is caricaturing chief minister Naveen Patnaik where Sri Patnaik is trying to pacify the aggrieved artists by visiting them on the street and by patiently hearing them in their meeting.

artists agitation6in their protest meeting

We earnestly hope, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will stop exploitation of of artists in 2014 before relinquishing his post in 2014.

Kali Puja is indicative of Oriya’s Buddhist entity

Kali Puja is indicative of Oriya’s Buddhist entity.

Kali Pooja of Orissa is not Diwali

“Kali Pooja in Orissa is symbolic of the necessity for a united battle of the oppressed against exploiters that are set to spread their empires, and not Diwali, that the exploiters now a days project.”

DIALECTICS: A poem from saubhasya.com

DIALECTICS.

Andamans in the eyes of Aditya Sircar

AdityaAditya Sircar is a 2nd year student in B.A. course with Economics (Hons.) in the St. Xavier’s College at Ranchi.

In the company of his parents and grand parents, maternal grand mother, aunt and uncle and younger brother, he had been recently to Andamans and has depicted his experience in a mail to me. While going through the same, I was as if seeing the serene islands in my eyes!

I feel, it deserves attention of my esteemed visitors. And here it is:

RENDEZVOUS WITH ANDAMANS
by Aditya Sircar

My journey to the Andamans was rewarding. Rewarding in the sense that I had experiences that one can hardly expect in  towns and cities where we live. The serene islands with their elegance and the beauty of nature without much human interference has a charm of its own. The pollution free atmosphere and the greenery around is enchanting. The blue waters of the seas are so clear that you can clearly view the underwater sea life and corals up to a few feet. 

Life there is much simpler and one with nature. The local people rely on agriculture and other farm and fishing activities for sustenance. The lack of industries is a boon as the environment remains free of pollutants and thus nature blossoms in full swing. There is Asia’s largest and oldest saw mill called Chatham Saw mill located in the seas. Our journey to the three islands located close to Port Blair was a wonderful experience. The ruins of British establishments in Ross Island, the Death chambers of Viper island, and the splendid water sports facility at North Bay with its beautiful beach are marvelous! How I wish I could have explored more…. 

Away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, its a beautiful respite for those who seek a getaway from their boring and tedious lives.

Monuments like the Cellular Jail evoke strong nationalist sentiments. Our freedom fighters who were tortured by the British in that monstrous edifice, died there in the hope that their nation would one day be free of foreign rule. Their sacrifices have made the place holy for every Indian. I salute our heroes!

Then there is the beauty of Mount Harriet. The view from the National Park at the top is just heavenly! The beautiful valley stretching vast into the sea is a wondrous sight to behold! Its an out of the world sight! Such views cannot be experienced anywhere else in India. My father rightly said, ” One should meditate in such places.” (about Mount Harriet) Truly the presence of God and his wondrous creations are revealed when one gets to see the beauty of nature. A lighthouse was visible at the very end of the valley on the sea shore! I felt for the first time that I have been blessed indeed that I could visit such a place in this lifetime. In the morning the view was even more beautiful with the sky covered with clouds and mist descending upon the sea….It churned up emotions of joy from the deep recesses of the soul. Oh! What a wonderful sight it was! Traveling to the various places feels less and less tiring as one experiences such beautiful things.

Another wonder of nature is the Havelock island with its gorgeous beaches. Radhanagar beach is truly Asia’s best as reported by the TIME magazine. The view of the island jutting out into the sea on one side and the beautiful greenery on the beach side was nothing short of awesome! People were basking in the sun and enjoying all kinds of water sport activities. During monsoon and early winter, Green Sea turtles lay eggs here! Snorkeling at Elephant Beach and Red Skin Coral island was a first time experience and that too an exhilarating one! One can experience the under water sea life and the best part is that you don’t need to know swimming at all! Thus everyone- from children to the old, can enjoy this sport. Racing on a water scooter was even more enthralling! I performed stunts that I couldn’t have imagined I could do. Maybe its the magic of the place which instilled such spirit into me. Swimming was also great especially in the Gobindanagar beach right in front of the Forest Rest House at Havelock, where we stayed.

The visit to the Red Skin Coral island was another great experience never to be forgotten. The view of the beautiful corals on the sea bed was awe inspiring! Snorkeling in the beautiful waters and getting close to the underwater life was just awesome! I could touch the various types of corals and even sea flora like sea cucumbers and could sea the beautiful fishes of all kinds while snorkeling!  We traveled by glass bottom boats which have magnifying glasses fitted in the middle so that one can view clearly the underwater flora and fauna. The islands have rich flora and fauna. We saw deer and antelopes at Ross island! They are beautiful creatures and thrive in the greenery of the islands. Such exquisite natural environment is  rare to see as today’s cities have become concrete jungles which lack vegetation and are simmering in heat from global warming! 

Thus the journey to these ‘Jewels of the Sea’ was a lifetime experience for me. The islands also possess unique places on earth like the Snake island, full of all kinds of sea snakes, consisting of 9 varieties of such snakes which are not found anywhere else on earth! There is also the North Sentinel island which houses the only stone age tribe present today on earth called the Sentinelese. This tribe has remained totally cut off from civilization for over 60,000 years! Very little is known of these people! While other tribes are becoming extinct, these people mysteriously have thrived and increased in number and also managed to survive the 2004 tsunami without any external help! No one goes around this island as the tribesmen shoot arrows and kill oncoming foreigners! Its really awesome to think that such a place exists in our India which is indeed a wonder on earth! There is also the Barren island which has India’s only active volcano constantly emitting smoke! 

I loved every moment of our trip. Even the sight of the islands from the window of the airplane when it descended was marvelous. I indeed wish to visit again maybe in the future and would ask all to visit this wonder of nature!

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