I got a call from C R Nilakantan sir last week.He called to enquire whether I was interested to attend a protest against a hi tech city in one of the kochi suburbs.The protest was becasue there was kandalkkadu in the said place and destroying it would affect the nature.
I called him back after a couple of days and said I would like to come.Thus I reached Valanthakkad.Its a small island almost towards the backside of Lakeshore hospital.I parked my car infront of a huge palace an NRI was building nearby and walked to the shore.I needed to cross a small lake from there to reach Valanthakkad.
As I was standing on the shore waiting for the vallam to arrive,met an old couple who makes a living by selling “kakka” from that lake.They told me the lake was much wider before.It became smaller after people started to buy the lakeside land and then convered the lake to land,totally unauthorised ,illegal and crimial.But whos there to question them?The palace I parked the car was also build similarly.
The vallam came and I reached valanthakkad.There was sara joseph,k r meera and some other environmentalists as well.Valanthakkad is a small island where there are 45 houses and around 150 people residing.The whole area around(mostly paddy fields) was sold to build a hi tech city.This small population is forced to sell their land and leave.Some wants to leave as there are no facilities,some wants to stay since its their land.
I was amazed to see such a beautiful place.Its the most beautiful place I saw in kochi so far.Very simple,basic people.
Kandalkkadu is supposed to have the power to stop tsunamis.Man can destroy it so easily!Valanthakkad is one of the few places which still has it.
I told them that I am not against hitech cities.All for it infact.But the question is for whom are these developments for?If its for our kids then we should ask ourselves what kind of a world are we preparing for them.If they are going to have hitech cities,but no good food or water,no good nature what kind of a development is that?
Any population displaced in the name of development never found their roots if you go back to history.They lost it forever.
I told them I feel for them from my heart.All I can do as a filmmaker is to talk about it through my movies.I promised them my new movie will start from this issue.It will not be a movie about it,but which can include it.
Sitting back in the vallam,i could see dead fish in the lake.I was told it was a result of hospital waste and other pollutants dumped to the lake.I looked back at valanthakkad from the other side of the lake.It still looked beautiful.
I was disturbed driving back home.Nilakantan sir was with me.I told him its not only about indian people,anywhere in the world common man is not concerned or unaware of whats happening around.I was trying to justify myself maybe.
It reinforced in me that the movie am gonna make next is something which should be made.Such subjects needs to be discussed commercially,in a very big platform.Perhaps thats the only thing I can do as a citizen here.
I will try to keep my promise to Valanthakkad.