25 January, 2021

Oh, To Be The Beeb

A controversy explodes over special privileges in Ranthambhore

Oh, To Be The Beeb

WILDLIFE film-making in India is already as tough as it can get. We're handicapped by equipment scarcity, limited budgets and stringent rules. Is it fair to make it any tougher, give us step-motherly treatment?" asks wildlife film-maker Mike Pandey, whose film, The Last Migration, won the Green Oscar at the Wild Screen Awards in '94, but failed to find an Indian sponsor.

Though celebrated globally as a connoisseur's art, shot on high budgets and to great public acclaim, wildlife filming in India is a pariah profession. It's given scant support by either the government or the media, and the small tribe of wildlife film-makers is treated with callous oversight. This underlying grievance has reached its flashpoint in a controversy over the closure of three lakes in Ranthambhore National Park and allegations of special privileges given by forest officials to a BBC film unit shooting there.

Ranthambhore National Park, one of the world's prime tiger-sighting areas, is also the focus of heavy tourist traffic. The closure of its best...



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