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Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the remotest region of India, by virtue of its strategic geographical location in the Bay of Bengal and rich natural resources attracts and receives great attention. The sylvan glory of its virgin forests and exotic marvels of its flora and fauna, bizarre myths and quaint legends about this forbidden land and its primitive people make it a much sought after destination. The history of the Islands before the 18th century is shrouded in oblivion. How the primitive people came there or where they migrated from is still a matter of speculations. In 1789, for the first time, the British government decided to establish a settlement to control the Islands. In the administrative process, until the penal settlement was established in 1858, the Islands remained unnoticed to the outside world. Not hitherto attempted by any scholar in such a detail, this book describes the sequence of migration and settlement in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and explains the development process leading to the formation of a unique island society demonstrating the cultural pot-pouri of the territory. The book revamps critically the historical scenarios to illuminate the ethnic relations of the divergent communities settled in the islands. The author analyses how the gap between Indian racial identity on the one hand and ethnicity on the other began to increase and affected the course of refugee settlement in the islands. An outcome of a decade of intricate research, based on a wide range of archival sources, pieced together from oral narratives and testimonies, supplemented by documents, combined with its contemporary relevance, this book is a moving chronicle of the onslaughts of Partition, a sentinel of history both guarding the past and chaperoning the future. With its bold innovative approach supported by evidences; the book will be of considerable interest to students, scholars, defence officers, researchers, politicians and the administrators alike.
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