Shekhar Dattatri’s Monsoon Documentary at NMKRV College….

Today, I went to watch Shekhar Dattatri’s documentary on the Indian Monsoon at NMKRV college in Jayanagar 3rd Block. The screening, along with two other documentaries to be screened in the afternoon,(see this link was organized by GrowingWild, an organization that works with wildlife issues.

The documentary, made in the days before digital cameras became ubiquitous, had some beautiful, haunting and humorous moments…for example, the Travancore Tortoises seem to make both love and war in exactly the same fashion, butting each others’ carapaces! after the screening, Shekhar had an interactive session with the audience.

During this session, it occurred to me that all wildlife film-makers must have had, at some point or the other, concrete evidence of the corruption and the money-grabbing tendencies that vitiate our wildlife conservation efforts, and yet, none of these are ever documented in the hard-hitting visual medium that a documentary can be. I have certainly seen, at other such festivals, documentaries that stir one with visuals of how dogs and cats are killed for meat and leather; but never have I seen any documentary that, Tehelka-like, exposes the twin monsters of greed and corruption that are eating away all our efforts at conservation.

I am not saying that ever wildlife photographer must take up cudgels and become an evangelist in the cause of anti-corruption; but can’t everyone report concrete instances of corruption? I realize that this is probably an ominous minefield and could have dangerous repercussions boomeranging on the person who makes the complaint; as Shekhar himself mentioned during the course of the discussion, it is so easy to register false cases against even honest people who have to then struggle with the cases and courts for years together.

This atmosphere makes it all the more easy for corruption to flourish in the realm of our wildlife, and we must just watch helplessly as rampant greed and short-sighted policies combine with public apathy and the what-difference-can-we-make attitudes to decimate all the natural beauties which we should be doing our best to preserve and pass on to succeeding generations.

I wanted to ask the question, “Why is corruption not documented and screened the way the rest of Nature is?”…and then thought that maybe such a controversial topic should not be brought up in a small public forum…and as I deliberated about it, the interactive session ended….I am still not sure if I did right or wrong in not voicing this.

2 Comments so far

  1. Pisipati Sriram (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

    Deepa Mohan might perhaps find an answer to the query `Why is corruption not documented the way the rest of Nature is?’ in an intertesting work titled `We are a nation of thieves’ by a wellknown columnist and author, whose name I could not recollect correctly. But the seminal work makes a powerful analysis of the system.

  2. Harsha (unregistered) on October 15th, 2007 @ 5:39 pm

    Deepa you yourself have said that the if the action is taken by the person against corruption, it will boomerang on him one way or the other. Until we join together our hands and escalate this issue with many voices rather than just one it will not make any difference. That is what i believe

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