Since their home became a tiger reserve, the Jenu Kuruba, like tribal peoples in tiger reserves across India, have faced illegal evictions and abuse at the hands of forest guards. They are harassed, tortured and even shot while going about their daily lives.
While the Jenu Kuruba, who worship the tiger, are forced from their land, tourists are welcomed in.
This is yet another example of racist and colonial conservation that is destroying the lives of indigenous peoples around the world. This model is a disaster for the planet and for tribal peoples – the best conservationists.
Now hundreds of Jenu Kuruba in India’s Nagarhole National Park have been risking their lives by holding a massive protest against this land theft and for the right to stay in their forest.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) supports the eviction of the Jenu Kuruba. It has led the calls for evictions of tribal people from tiger reserves across India.
The Jenu Kuruba are simply demanding what Indian and international law already recognize: that their rights to live in their forest are respected; that those who’ve been illegally evicted be allowed to return; and that no conservation projects can take place on their land without their consent.
During the protest, the local government said that all the Jenu Kuruba’s demands will be met by June. In Modi’s India any protest is dangerous, and the Jenu Kuruba have risked much by speaking out. Please support them and write to the government to make sure these promises are kept.