Director: Janaki Nair; Cinematographer: R V Ramani
Duration: 00:08:37; Aspect Ratio: 1.366:1; Hue: 222.119; Saturation: 0.036; Lightness: 0.294; Volume: 0.132; Cuts per Minute: 6.724
Summary: "How little the gentle landscape of KGF revealed of the trials and triumphs of people who had made it their home!" - Janaki Nair
The landscape of Kolar is revealed in this video, the turning mineshaft in the distance, the ravines almost golden in the setting sun and the train tracks leaving the town behind.
Excerpt from Janaki Nair's article 'Historian as Filmmaker: Slow pan to the Present'
"My first encounter with KGF was in the chill and rather gloomy environs of the Karnataka State Archives in Bangalore in 1989. Dull and plodding research on the labour history of Bangalore sprang to life when I came across a thick and yellowing file on a general strike in KGF in 1930. This 'leaderless' strike, which lasted for twenty-one days and involved all 18,000 workers on the mines, was an unqualified success in opposing the new system of worker registration for the four principal mines. The system, which hoped to use thumb impressions of largely illiterate miners for a new Labour Registry, was hastily scrapped.' Though my research was then too well under way for a shift to this more dramatic working-class history, I took time off to investigate the KGF strike in some detail. I felt compelled to make the first visit to this gold-mining town, less than a hundred kilometres from Bangalore.
My eager anticipation was somewhat diminished on arrival in Robertsonpet, the nondescript small town. Mine shafts dotted a calm and lyrically placid landscape, quite unlike the image I had formed of a gloomy, ravaged countryside. Even the most disturbing 'monuments' to a century of mining in the area, the 'cyanide dumps'( sodium-cyanide treated waste from which gold had been extracted), wore a rather benign look. The people were unhurried: nothing in the distilled account of workers' militancy during the 1930 strike had prepared me for such somnambulance. Later it became clear that the stillness of the surface belied a great deal of activity thousands of feet underground, a whole subterranean way of life. How little the gentle landscape of KGF revealed of the trials and triumphs of people who had made it their home!"
Kolar Gold Field, Kolar District, Karnataka