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Maneka in another controversy

Animal activist and MP Maneka Gandhi has run into another controversy ? this time, however it involves her.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 01:54 IST

Animal activist and MP Maneka Gandhi has run into another controversy — this time, however it involves her.

Animal activists are not happy with two photographs depicting cruelty on animals that were a part of Maneka Gandhi’s exhibition in August last year. The two pictures, one showing a bullock cart race and the other taming a camel, were a part of "The Incredible Moment" — a three-day photo exhibition, organised by Maneka Gandhi's People For Animal as a fundraiser for building Kerala's first animal shelter-cum-hospital.

Animal activists are accusing her of double standards. The Lok MP had recently lodged a protest against the use of animals in the Amir Khan starrer Rang De Basanti.

The exhibition that was sold as the biggest-ever photography show in India was inaugurated by Bollywood stars John Abraham and Bipasha Basu on August 19, coinciding with World Photography Day, and was held at Capital's Maurya Sheraton hotel.

Gandhi's sister Ambika Shukla was then quoted as saying, "We want to promote Indian photography as a collective art investment."

Although there's dissent among animal activists and conservationists over the use of these pictures, nobody is willing to come out in the open against Gandhi. According to a conservationist, "Maneka Gandhi forced the director of Rang De Basanti to cut the scene of Nihangs and Aamir Khan riding horses. Then how can she herself make money for her organisation by selling pictures depicting cruelty in animals?"

According to renowned wildlife photographer and filmmaker Mike Pandey, "Animals and man share a relationship and in some cases they cannot live without each other. Take the case of Maharana Pratap and his horse Chetak. The two were inseparable. So I have no problems of animals being used in movies, the only thing is filmmakers should not discomfort the animals. They should not be ill-treated.”

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 01:54 IST