KGF: Drive through Kolar town
Director: Janaki Nair; Cinematographer: R V Ramani
Duration: 00:10:53; Aspect Ratio: 1.366:1; Hue: 36.628; Saturation: 0.089; Lightness: 0.408; Volume: 0.099; Cuts per Minute: 31.514; Words per Minute: 34.638
A drive through the streets of Kolar, that reveals the houses, signboards, church and several shrines and ends at the location of a local theater group and where wood cutting is taking place. The women cutting wood crowd around the camera. Here the filmmaker and camera person have a conversation with someone cutting wood, who informs them of how the bark is kept by the people in Kolar for the stove, and the stripped wood sent to factories that use it to make paper and other goods. In another conversation, there is talk about the closing down of the mines by the government because of an "order from Delhi".
The days of glory and wealth for Kolar are evidently over. Many regions across the world were witness to the crazed rush for minerals like coal, uranium but especially gold. Michael Taussig in his book 'My Cocaine Museum' writes about gold mining in regions of Colombia, the inexplicable fetish for gold even when it has been sluiced off the earth almost entirely.
"People here tell me you can go for days panning gold without finding any.
Yet this is the only source of cash for most people. Years ago it was different. But
now the village lives more on memories of gold than gold itself. Perhaps this is
the nature of gold. Before it must have been a fairy-tale place with all that gold
concentrated there at the end of the world in the primeval forest where the rain
never stops and the river leaps its way down the mountain on its way to the sea;
all that gold that the Indians made into exotic art for their bodies, for their dead,
and for the lime containers needed for the ingestion of coca; all that gold the
African slaves dug out and washed for their owners, the Arboledas and the Mosqueras, living on the other side of the cordillera in the whitewashed capital of
Popayán, nestled in the mountains of the interior far from these gray skies and
pounding rain; all that gold the ex-slaves tunneled out for the French engineers
of the New Timbiquí Gold Mines early in the twentieth century. All that. Gone. It
seems. And the ultimate throw of the dice by these hapless gamblers? To stay put
and keep looking. Not that they had much choice. Not when your cash income is
down to a dollar a day."
Kolar Gold Field, Kolar District, Karnataka
(Silamboli Nataka Mandram - to be translated - but roughly a theatre group)
Ramani: What is all this for?
To burn in the stove.
Ramani: Where is the pattam (bark) going?
The wood goes to outside places, the pattam (bark) is for us.
It goes to Salem, Trichi, Madras, it goes that side.
J. Nair: Is this coolie work?
No, it's not coolie work, the pattam is alone for us, they take the wood, they don't give coolie.
Ramani: And what do you use this for?
This is for just the stove, so we tak it, we give them the wood.
Ramani: Why do they take the stripped wood?
They use it to make paper, polyester clothes, saris.
Ramani: In India or abroad?
J.Nair: Where are you from?
J.Nair: Do you speak Kannada?
(overheard conversation, personal)
J.Nair: Does your father work here?
J.Nair: In the mines?
No, not in the mines. He keeps a shop.
30 days we practice, after .. the strikes also the management said no, this order came from Delhi, they've said to close the mines, there is no way, the management said. 80 % of the labourers are working in mining, so they felt very difficulty for their livelihood, so what do they do? The mining is totally under loss, and many shafts have been closed so far. Nearly 24 or 16 shafts were in KGF, almost all the underground ones used to take gold, but gold grinding machines, that and all was completely accomplished from the shaft. Now if you come to education, to study we need money. If money is not running what will people? So we are searching if any industries...many political leaders came forward, but what are they thinking? If there is mining, it is not necessary to start industries in this area, first they are getting scared to start industries because there is mining. What the industries are saying is that if we start the industries, any time the earth quake may occur, because of mining there is a chance for the earth quake to occur. For this reason many political leaders are going back, and even the political leaders are not good in KGF, just the mining people are struggling for everything.
Ramani: What are your parents doing?
Both my parents are working in BEML. My mother is working in BGML, my mother is a staff nurse.