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World Environment Day: A Playlist Close To Nature


The United Nations marks World Environment Day to raise awareness about the environment, and focus on the steps to be taken against issues such as wildlife crime, marine pollution, climate change and overpopulation.

Here’s a listicle of scenes and songs from Tamil films that speak about caring for and conserving the environment.

In this scene from Unnal Mudiyum Thambi, the old gardener of Kamal Haasan’s house says his garden is his life’s work and he has lived in the midst of it throughout. He plants two saplings in a pot every day and once  they grow up, he transfers them to the ground and waters them.

The K Balachander film also featured the song ‘Punjai Undu’  that spoke of our bountiful resources and the need to share and protect them.

Director Pandiraj’s Kadaikutty Singam (2018) starred Karthi as a hero who forgoes school and formal education to become a farmer. Many of his dialogues spoke of people’s indifference to farmers’ lives and the pollution to their lands.

Karthi recently launched a trust for farmers, with the support of his brother Suriya and his family. He was also a supporter of Nel Jayaraman’s work to conserve different varieties of rice.

Tamil stars such as Sivakarthikeyan, Sathyaraj and others have spoken about the need to protect lands and forests. Actor Aadukalam Kishore and his wife Vishalakshi have taken up a vast organic farming project in Karnataka, and run the Buffalo Back Collective.

The 2014 film Kaadu centered on people whose livelihoods depended on forests around them. Vidharth as Velu aspires to be a forest officer, but gets caught up in the smuggling and corruption that is required of him. He comes out of it with Samuthirakani’s help. Samuthirakani plays a reformist who is a political prisoner. In this scene, he tells Velu to stand up against anyone who tears down forests, speaking of the urgent need to protect wildlife and the plants that grow there.

AR Murugadoss’ Kaththi starring Vijay had companies trying to take over farm lands, at the centre of its plot. There are scenes that show how arid lands give no yield due to pollution, and how farmers are forced to desperate measures, with some even giving up their life to protect their land.

Of the many Tamil songs that speaks about Nature, ‘Pulveli Pulveli’ from director Vasanth’s 1995 film Aasai is memorable. Suvalakshmi sings about the vastness of the sky, the surrounding hills and lands, in this composition by Deva, sung by KS Chithra.

‘Life of Ram’ from 96, composed by Govind Vasantha and sung by Pradeep Kumar, begins with underwater visuals of marine life, and  is about the joy that Nature and forests bring Ram (Vijay Sethupathi).

With inputs from Karthikeyan A

Image Courtesy: YouTube

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