Jay Bajaj has made a film on judicial activist M C Mehta who singled handedly through his Public Interest Litigation saved the Taj Mahal, recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World from destruction through marble cancer.
It was due to his case that the polluting industries in the monuments vicinity were ordered to be moved away. Mehta has also successfully used the courts to stop use of gasoline in public transport sector in Delhi besides also initiating action to clean up the Ganges.
Jay Bajaj spoke about why he made the film and what he hopes to achieve from it.
Why did you think of such a subject for a documentary?
I heard Mr. M.C. Mehta in N.Y. speak. I was impressed with his work.
How long did the process of shooting and editing the documentary take?
The research and pre production took about 2 years while the actual shooting was for 11 days spread out over three months period and the editing took another six months.
How did you come up with the name ‘marble cancer’?
Marble cancer is a common word with Eco-people. It’s used by the scientists all the time.
Do you think the message you send across is positive enough to inspire people?
I hope so. I have used a short clip of Bill Clinton outside of Taj Mahal, at the end of the film, which is a very powerful appeal.
What are your expectations from screening the documentary at IFFI this year?
I hope people will become more aware of the eco threats around us and perhaps a broadcaster will buy for India distribution so that more people can be reached through other media.
In what way do you think a dirty looking Taj Mahal affects the nation’s psyche?
It’s a shame that on one hand we say “India is Shining” and then we are destroying the icons of our cultural Heritage.
How do you quantify Mr. M C Mehta’s contribution to India?
Mr. Mehta has spent all his life fighting for the cause. If he was in America he would have been world’s richest lawyer of Class Action suites. Here he fights all this from his own pocket. He is a true crusader.
Could you describe a bit about yourself and the organization
I am a Toronto based film maker and live in Candolim Goa during the winter months. This documentary was shot by a Canadian cinematographer, it was edited here, and music was composed by a musician from Goa.