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

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Post-Tsunami Humanitarian Aid

A Trojan Horse in the Southern Nicobar Islands

Historically, the Nicobarese of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have lived in isolation with sporadic cross-cultural contact. Relying on the traditional knowledge and the resources provided by their ecosystem, the indigenes subsisted independently in their tribal reserve until the Indian Ocean tsunami inundated the Nicobar archipelago. Post-tsunami, the ANI administration undertook massive humanitarian interventions in the southern Nicobar Islands. This article analyses the post-tsunami sociocultural change among the Nicobarese against the backdrop of the humanitarian aid administration that began in December 2004. The article specifically inquires into the post-tsunami strategic-spatial interventions in the Nicobarese ecological niche and argues that the change after the tsunami has been tacitly engineered through humanitarian interventions.

I acknowledge the support and guidance received from S Parasuraman, the tribal councils of Nicobar, the ANI administration, the TISS–ANI project team and the andmanicobar e-group members. I am thankful to Binayak Sen, N Jayaram, T Jayaraman, Ali Qadir, Manish Jha, Sunil Santha and many other fellow scholars for their comments on the manuscript. Thanks to Mahesh Gavaskar and Ashutosh Murti for their support.

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