Maitreya and Charvaka talk about the worm's life. Low angle shot
EXT. COURT - day
A centipede crawls determinedly along the floor. Quick feet step back and forth it's either direction. Some miss stepping on the insect by the narrowest of margins. A hint of a bare foot as the corner of a stamp paper enters the frame. The centipede callously climbs onto the document.
The affidavit ramps out over a leaf as the centipede perfunctorily steps over the threshold.
young man (o.S.)
Now that you have saved its life, will you also give it a proper upbringing and a good education?
Maitreya chuckles and sits down next to the Young Man, who is in lawyer's attire.
What if it was the worm's karma to just lie there and get crushed?
Well, is it lying there getting crushed? So, perhaps, it wasn't.
Or worse, the worm was trying to commit suicide and you've put it in the pot, and now it has to crawl it's way back to nirvana.
Do you believe in our case. I am sorry I didn't get your name...
Really? Your parents named you that?
No. My parents named me Madhava after the great theologist, Madhavacharya.
But I decided to switch sides at the age of fourteen.
Yeah, I do believe in our case, but I am here, uh, to learn to win an argument from both sides.
A call rings out in the distance.
Ok, we got to go.
Maitreya and Charvaka get up and make their way to the court room.
We are all blind men trying to perceive the elephant.
How are you blind? You're just wearing glasses.
SCENE 25 a
INT. COURT ROOM - MORNING
The court is in session.
Serial number 4, writ petition 212 of 2010.
Ladyship, please. I appear on behalf of the petitioner.
Please, my Lord, I appear on behalf of respondent number 1.
Yes, Mr. Gupta, a meat-eating lawyer for an animal rights case?
My client has made me change my ways.
Ok, what is this matter about?
Well, this is about testing of chemicals on animals. Pharmaceuticals companies in India are constantly violating animal rights. Every ethical and scientific research points to this having to stop. I know that may not be possible now, but what we are looking at is the complete elimination of cosmetic and non-essential research.
Ok, ok. That calls for a larger debate. Who's appearing for the board?
Your ladyship, we monitor 467 laboratories, overall. And the report submitted by them has been as per the guidelines.
It is very difficult for us to monitor on a day-to-day basis for this. These are my humble submissions to this honorable court.
My Lord, if this is the response of the board then what remains in this petition?
Public interest litigation nowadays, has become more like "publicity" interest litigation and this petition should be rejected at this stage.
Ok, ok. We'll hear from you, Mr. Gupta.
The question is that the animals which are kept in laboratories, they are treated completely ruthlessly. They're to be killed, they are to die, and they are treated as dead. They are kept in cramped spaces, they fight with each other, they hurt each other. They get burnt, they get cut up.
They suffer from diarrhea, paralysis. The conditions are despicable!
In fact, my learned friend is not accurately instructed. We've recently installed air-conditioning and ten by ten cages for these animals.
Yes, but then you cram ten animals
in those ten by ten cages!
Well, that's certainly more luxury than a commuter enjoys on a suburban train in Mumbai!
That was not warranted, Mr. Dastoor!
What I was trying to submit was that there are many more pressing issues which the court should concern themselves with rather than a sentimental petition of this nature.
Okay, we'll hear from Mr. Gupta.
My Lord, the point really is that molecules are required to be tested on animals before they are used on human beings.
Well, I don't know about that, because there's severe criticism of that within the scientific community itself. Today, we have stem-cell research, we have computer based research... there are many other options. The point we are dealing with is the conditions in which these animals are kept and how they are treated.