Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions or FAQs on the Maa Ka Doodh documentary.
As a spiritual person, for me, only the ‘truth’ matters. I strongly believe that going against truth and living in lies is the biggest controversy we create for ourselves each and every day. It’s the biggest form of violence. I know at heart that no sensible and rational human, from any religion, caste, economical background, race, gender, etc. would be offended from learning the truth if it is presented well; on the contrary, they would acknowledge it.
The writings of Tolstoy and the teachings of Bhagavad Gita have been my biggest strength in facing a highly sensitive subject. They, along with regular discussions with my team have guided me to present these facts in a rational, factual and palatable manner.
When people at test screenings saw the rough cut and said to me, “You presented the film in an unbiased way, not against nor offending any religion or race or caste etc. but just by focusing on animals.” I knew we did the right thing.
For over a month, I was brainstorming various names with my Associate Producer Shrikanth. We came up with at least 20 titles but none of them were satisfactory to me. I just couldn’t feel the emotion of the film in those names.
Then one day, while returning home from an interview, Shrikanth suggested, “How about ‘Maa Ka Doodh’?” So, when I heard the name ‘Maa Ka Doodh’ it just resonated with me instantly and I knew at that instant that this was going to be the name of the film.
Maa Ka Doodh (Mother’s Milk) is the core essence of the film put in three words. At the end of the day, this film is all about mothers and their children who are forcefully separated from each other for the consumption of milk by humans. This title is a homage to all those mothers.
Based on my experiences with talking to people from various backgrounds (as mentioned in the film), I decided to undertake an investigative journey and record my findings on the dairy industry.
My knowledge and experience in research, analysis, video editing and script writing helped me to decide to make this project into a feature-length documentary film.
My initial idea was to make a film for YouTube because of a very tight budget. No matter how long it takes – months or years – I decided to be persistent in this initiative and not undertake any other project until this film gets completed. This persistence has played a very key role in the making of this film. I reached out to some of my friends and known activists in India and asked them to look at my earlier works and share my film proposal in their social circles to those who may be interested in working with me.
As months passed, through word of mouth, one-by-one, many got to know about my project and I don’t know how, but, my proposal even reached international documentary filmmakers and producers. Those who believed in my cause and my intentions, have personally reached out to me and have become a part of this project.
As more people joined, I decided to move from the YouTube release to an international OTT standard release. This film has very humble and spiritual roots. It has evolved with time. I am very thankful for all the people who invested their trust in me and made this into a project that has become what it is today.
Fortunately, no one called me mad or crazy. But people have called me saying, “You are doing a sacred job.” Such feedback was reassuring. At the end of the day, I am just a medium or an instrument, I am not the actual doer. Everyone who is involved in the project no matter how small or big their involvement was, has an equal share in its making.
The goal is to raise awareness and encourage as many people as possible – both in India and across the globe – to voluntarily choose and lead a compassionate and cruelty-free lifestyle.
I have shown the poster and the trailer to people from various backgrounds in India and explained details about the subject I am working on, and not a single person was offended nor felt the need to distance themselves from me. In fact, people were more curious to know about the film and were asking for the release date and the platforms on which they would get to see it.
What I want to say to the Dairy Industry is already in the film. To be fair, I have met and interviewed quite a few dairy entrepreneurs and farmers, and even they have shown a lot of curiosity in plant-based milk, alternative milk products and meat alternatives as a source of income and for personal satisfaction both.
I think the dairy and the beef industry must accept the truth and take initiatives to introduce plant-based alternatives to their existing customers today. The competition from among the plant-based meat and dairy industry is going to be very huge in the coming years.
I would want everyone to simply introspect at each of our dietary and lifestyle choices, and how it impacts someone else’s life; then lead a life accordingly to cause the least amount of harm to anyone.
I never even dreamt in my life that I would be quitting my job, let alone producing and directing a feature-length documentary film. This is my first project and I haven’t given any serious thought to the second project. I will think about it once the film reaches the OTT platform and the dust settles.