Book Review - Islands In Flux

Title - Islands In Flux
Author - Pankaj Sekhsaria
Genre - Environment
Publisher - Harper Litmus, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN - 978-93-5264-398-1

We admire beauty but do we appreciate it? We go as a tourist to some of the exotic places in the World but do we know how much of damage we are inflicting on that particular place?

You may argue that you did nothing. I am not trying to fault over here because I was also one till I read this book. I haven't been to Andaman and Nicobar Islands but always wanted to go there but after I finished reading this book, I may think twice before setting my foot over there.

When the pleasure comes at the cause of extinction of native species and inhabitants, do we really need it? Andaman and Nicobar Islands are the largest archipelago system in the Bay of Bengal which has a group of 06 islands and 206 rocks and rocky outcrops covering the total area of 8,200 sq.km. Only 38 of these islands are inhabited with 11 in Andaman and 13 in the Nicobar. This is some 1,200 km away from India and is closer to Sumatra(145 km) and Myanmar(280 km).

Do we know how much of hardship the native tribes are going through in this island?

Do you know that the island has a history dating back some 40,000 years and if history has to be written, British would fit into a page and India in a paragraph but still what has happened here? Lot of places were rechristened to glorify the leaders from Britain and India. Is this a positive sign? Definitely NOT!!

Author has mentioned lot of things in great detail which can make this book a perfect one as an anthropology and also as a history book. The information present over this 200 page book is a treasure trove which has been made possible through a 2 decade of research into this mesmerising island combining environment, wildlife conservation, development and indigenous communities.

The Administration in this island has not implemented most of the orders passed by the Supreme Court till date including the closure of ATR(Andaman Trunk Road), Deforestation, Sand Mining to name a few and I really wonder as to who else can put a check to these activities?

After reading the book, I came to know about the native tribes like Great Andamanese, Jarawas, Sentinelese and Onges - their habits and lifestyle to some extent. I was also surprised to know that this place is a home to some 400 varieties of Coral Reefs and some 3 out of 8 endangered turtle species comes here to nest but face untold hardmanship and troubles.

The book shows the other side of Andaman and Nicobar Islands which bleeds and has been weeping throughout expecting for some Sunshine at the end of the tunnel. Will it ever get it? Only time will tell....

The book is available on Amazon