North Sentinel Island. Located off the coast of India, this small island paradise is home to the Sentinelese. They are one of the very last tribes of humanity to be completely cut off from the rest of the world, living in total isolation from the politics, religion, and technology that is plaguing the rest of the world. Due to health concerns and the fear of even the simplest disease potentially being a death sentence to the tribe (rumored to number only a mere hundred or so) it is against the law for anyone from the outside world to encroach on Sentinelese land.
Very recently, a young man named John Chau decided to purposely ignore the law and allegedly try to bring his own version of Christianity to the natives. They responded as anyone would to a trespasser–they killed him on a volley of arrow fire. He was adamant about doing what he wanted despite the law, and paid the price for his ego.
As with everything, the debates have been raging across social media. The majority of people, myself included, believe that Chau got what he deserved. I mean, I know a great many people who would do far worse to a trespasser who overstepped boundaries than shoot an arrow or so at the intruder. That’s a more merciful way to go, in my opinion. But there are others who are condemning the tribe and incredulously believe that they should be punished for their reaction. Fortunately, India has immediately brushed these thoughts off and refuse to violate their own law, even for the sake of removing Chau’s body, which has allegedly been left undisturbed from where it fell.
For starters, despite being an island of India the Sentinelese are their own people and rule over their island their own way. They are more of a protectorate of India than say, an American county or whatnot. The government of India recognizes them as an endangered species of humanity, and protects them as such. We are as alien to these people as saucer men from Mars would be to us. Of course they know about the modern world. They see planes overhead, ships and boats sailing around and metallic debris floats ashore which is then used by them as arrow tips. But they are likely so terrified of us because of how advanced we are that they have no attempted any sort of contact with us, and that is their choice.
Secondly, they do not speak the same language that any of us do. Hell, their tribal ways are probably similar to those we would normally read in an archaeology text book. Teaching them all the language and basics of modern society would take YEARS, and Indian law allows for quick trials the way the American government does. To expect us to try holding them to our standards when it was Chau who broke the law to cross into THEIR territory is like punishing the homeowner for protecting his house. That’s not how that works, kids.
Who knows what sort of sickness or germs Chau has on his person when he tried approaching the island. With their severely weakened immune systems not familiar at all with our diseases, even something as simple as a little virus to us could have spread like wildfire throughout the Sentinelese and killed them off in great numbers. It’s best he was killed before he unintentionally committed genocide against these poor people.
Many great tribes and cultures have gone extinct because of Christianity. I don’t know whether the rumors of Chau being a self-professed missionary are true or not, but to me it’s wicked to try to violate the law just to spread your own message to a race of people that couldn’t give a rat’s ass. Rumor is Chau left a journal accepting the fact that he’s probably be killed, but was still going to attempt First Contact because if he were to die he would be a “martyr.”
You are no martyr, Chau. You were nothing but a punk who thought yourself above the law trying to make a name for yourself. That’s all. You will be forgotten accept for the occasional news mention in any future articles about the Sentinelese. The harm you could have done could not be overstated, and the arrows that pierced your hide deserve to send a sharp message to anyone else who might try in the future to invade North Sentinel Island.
These are the last souls on Earth free from the evils and stresses of the modern world. They are happy and at peace. Don’t provoke them. Don’t try forcing your beliefs on a people who can easily do without. Respect them.