Gods In Shackles – Sangita Iyer


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With a foreword by Jane Goodall, this moving memoir follows a successful journalist and filmmaker who felt like something was missing in her life as she finds her purpose in advocacy for the Asian elephants in her childhood home town of Kerala, India.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Elephants are self-aware, conscious beings. They can feel and grieve the loss of both elephants and humans. But despite all empathy that elephants shower on humans, we continue to inflict pain and suffering on these caring, sentient beings.

In 2013 Sangita Iyer visited her childhood home of Kerala, India. Over 700 Asian elephants live in Kerala, owned by individuals and temples that force them to perform in lengthy, crowded, noisy festivals, abusing and shackling these animals they claim to revere for tourists and money.

When Sangita found herself in the presence of these divine creatures and witnessed their suffering first hand, she felt a deep connection to their pain. She too had been shackled and broken for too long-to her patriarchal upbringing in India, to the many “me too” moments in her work life that were swept under the rug, to the silence. Now she would speak out for the elephants and for herself. And she would heal alongside them.

This sparked the creation of her award winning documentary of the same name and a new purpose in this life for both Sangita and the elephants.


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