Posted by: Ranjith Sankar | December 17, 2009

A climate for change

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.



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  2. […] A climate for change Ranjith Sankar […]

  3. Great !!!!!I saw this news on Indiavision..a movie based on this…it may be a ral gift…

  4. I don’t understand why development always conflicts with protecting the natural resources. Why can’t real estate people think for constructions which won’t destroy nature. Why can’t we build eco-centric development model??..What I have seen nowadays is people fills paddy fields and lakes for building SEZ and they put name boards with “Eco Space IT Campus”..There is many examples before us. For example: In Bangalore, The waterbodies like small lakes and rivers are flooded with either garbages or huge concrete blocks have build up on them, result: a city like Bangalore is facing a huge shortage of water. Roads are flooded with water tanker tractors. Slowly we will have to move to toilet papers :).Society(including leaders/politicians/students/engineers/teachers/common man/media etc etc) should beyond surfacial issues/short term profits.
    You have a medium to talk to people, please use it to make people think about it.

    (The irony here is: whenever I am seeing some protest against a new investment on development..I feel like I can never come back to my home and work from there..sametime I need all the natural resources to be protected..I don’t like to see in future a river/or a kandalkkad / forest in a museum)

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  5. Nobody understand the danger even after writing a lot of times about the distruction facing by BARATHAPUZHA.So I won’t write a single line about it.MT vausdeavan..
    mathrubumi 4th page 19/12/2009

    Then why did he write a script(pazassiraja) which distroy a lot of trees .No river in south india orginate from ice caps .they all need forest ….trees

  6. Thanks for commenting on such an important issue. Our whole outlook upon development should change. It is not some thing which should be brought up with displaced population, ecological imbalance; a development only for its own sake..!

  7. those who protest against may be having interests……….

  8. Hi,
    It is very true and contemporary. May be the same what Naraanathubranthan illustrated us by rolling down the stone from the hill.
    Incidently I want to invite your attention to a recent accident reported at Karunagappally. The LPG tanker fire accident. This has a very close coicidence with Passenger theme. Some youth and policemen sacrificed their lives during the rescue operation. It is a nearby place to my hometown.My mother visited the place and narrated the heartbreaking situation. The youths died who belong to very poor family had run around for saving many people, alerted so many not to switch on anything or prevent any sort of spark as the LPG was spread everywhere. Their relatives and neighbours reported that they were calling out even when their body got fire walking to a brave death. Everywhere this bottom class of the society shows the compassion and does sincere help without expecting anything. I think we (including me)should learn from them.
    One moment I refrained my mind from the usual cursing, “the current society has lost its humanity”. No Still we have hope.. Atleast let’s spread this hope..
    Irfan Haneef, Chennai (Kollam – Hometown). Mob 09445391291

  9. Great Blog! I support and would like to see the movie when it comes.

  10. […] of whats happening around!..than fighting on names like this!!! My take on Valanthakkad issue A climate for change Ranjith Sankar __________________ ഇനി നമുക്ക് […]

  11. Thanks guys.
    I really wish the youth of today atleast are aware of these things..what they are loding and whats happening around.
    Yes they can know the latest softwares,movies,sports,..all fine..But public awareness is equally important as well.

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