In Kaala Paani, the Oraka Tribe had far more significance in making human lives better than any of the other characters. Their decisions were questionable in the beginning, but as the series progressed, their actions made sense. The Oraka were one of the indigenous tribes of the island who preferred living in isolation. They are being protected because they are one of the last living tribes that came into existence centuries ago.
The tribe has only a few hundred members alive, and their protection is of utmost importance for the administration. The tribe and the local government take a lot of precautions to ensure the Oraka have a bare minimum of contact with the world outside of tribal territory. This Netflix India Original does a wonderful job of talking about the tribe’s right and dignity to live on their own terms and why it should be supported by the other locals on the island. They still do not comprehend the need to safeguard the Oraka.
Chiranjeevi Prabhu, aka Chiru, believed that Oraka should not be protected. According to his conclusions, the tribe is doing more harm to the island than any other community. Lt. Governor Admiral Zibran Qadri of the Union Territory considered the Oraka tribe to be part of the cultural fabric of the island and mainland India. He strongly believed in protecting them because the tribe allowed the population to be aware of the country’s history and heritage, as human being’s roots dates back to tribal communities. Just like other locals on the island, the Oraka tribe has the right to live on their own terms and not be disturbed. These are the values Lt. Governor Qadri believed in, and he continues to trust them. He narrated a tale of a shipwreck that involved him as an Indian Navy officer, and that ended with him being rescued.
After the incident, the Lt. Governor always spoke in favor of the Oraka tribe on any given platform. There were many on the island, including Vinayak and his mother, who worked towards the betterment of the tribe. The Lt. Governor made sure to support their cause over the years. As the epidemic broke, the Lt. Governor’s first response was to make sure the tribes were protected, as they were not immune to any of the new diseases. The LHF-27 is waterborne, and as a result, the Oraka tribe themselves left their settlement and moved deeper into the forest. Many wondered if they moved away to save themselves from the outbreak.
Lt. Governor Qadri’s administration did a lot of right things to make sure the epidemic was contained, but the death toll kept rising, which was a matter of grave concern for him. Dr. Ritu’s research pointed towards a rare plant named ‘Andamania Echnemia’ whose peptide could potentially be the cure for the bacteria that caused LHF-27. Unfortunately, Ritu soon learned the plant was extinct. The Lt. Governor’s team did not conduct a thorough search on the island. The plant was discovered in the school compound by Vinayak, Chiru’s younger brother. The compound was being utilized for gathering people for evacuation points and yet many officials did not locate this rare plant. If the administration had been successful in locating the plant, the Lt. Governor could have allowed Ritu to make some breakthroughs concerning the cure. Sadly, the shoddy administration and poor judgment throughout the timeline of the epidemic made sure the Lt. Governor was always on the back foot.
An Oraka tribe member is captured to be questioned about their knowledge of ‘Andamania Echnemia’. Ritu also conducted tests on the Oraka man, and the results shocked her. Ritu reveals that the Oraka tribespeople have peptides in their system because their ancestors consumed the ‘Andamania Echnemia’ plant for centuries. This created a strong immunity against bacteria that cause LHF-27 and its other variants. The viewers have also been informed through flashback sequences that the Oraka tribe has been at the forefront when it comes to making ‘Andamania Echnemia’ a crucial part of their lives. The peptide in their system is the reason why the entire Oraka tribe is not affected by the current epidemic.
Dr. Ritu is keen on finding the plant, but the local administration expects Oraka to be their guinea pig and offer themselves to save the infected people on the island. Chiru had offered himself because of his newfound connection with the tribe. The doctors obliged, and the peptide extracted from his body had some significant results on the infected patients, and many recovered quickly as well. This increases the chatter amongst the administration about doing the needful.
The cure for the other infected patients is now available, but that would mean erasing the Oraka tribe from the face of the earth. The doctors are aware that the Oraka will not survive a complex procedure conducted on their bodies since they aren’t adapted to surgeries and prescribed drugs. ATOM and the local administration wanted the Oraka tribe to surrender themselves, while the Lt. Governor was in two minds about it. His team asked him to consider this path because the plant is not available on the island. The administration is responsible for the citizens, which is why they should have conducted a thorough search of their island before making a firm decision about the lives of the Oraka.
Lt. Governor Qadri finally had to make the tough decision of forcing the Oraka to offer themselves for the procedure. He knew they should not be given the choice to back out of this deal, as he and his administration were desperate for a cure. Lt. Governor Qadri’s words reeked of greed and impatience. He justified his decision based on Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’ theory.
The Lt. Governor believes that as a leader, he is supposed to make an evolved decision that would benefit his people. He is of the assumption that the Oraka Tribe has reached a point where it should not exist anymore. He considers them to be weaklings that threaten the food chain. There are hardly four hundred members of the tribe alive, and they are devoid of any modern-day weapons to protect themselves, which makes their chances of survival very small. Taking advantage of this line of reasoning, the Lt. Governor approved that the tribe would be forcefully escorted to Huxley Island so that the procedures could begin. He feels their sacrifice will help other humans to live, and this offers another justification to possibly carry out ethnic cleansing. He was sure about his actions, and he sent forest guards to follow Chiru and Enmae and procure the exact location of their current Oraka settlements. Lt. Governor Qadri essentially wanted to come across as a hero by agreeing to what the people expected of him. This is not leadership, but a man being manipulated into believing that a tiny group of people must pay the price for the greater good. The Lt. Governor was essentially no better than every other local on the island who wanted to get rid of the Oraka tribe. They all have a superiority complex, which is used to justify their right to live on the planet. The lieutenant governor’s switch was not unexpected because he had to take a stand. There is no turning back, even if the Oraka resists.