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Central Minister Baabul Supriyo On The Return Of Ramayan

Ramayan the beloved  serial on Indian national television  Doordarshan,  which ruled the  charts for  a one-and-a-half-years  from January  1987, is being brought back from Saturday, March  28.Two episodes will be aired every day, one  in the morning at  9 am and  the other at  9 pm.

 The  decision has been taken in view of the rapidly dwindling original new content on Indian satellite television  due to the Coronavirus.

A source close to Doordarshan that I spoke to says the decision was taken at the highest level.

“This  is  Doordarshan’s chance to revive  its lost glory. It’s also an opportunity for Indians locked away in their homes to reclaim one of their most beloved holy scriptures. The  decision was taken by the  honourable minister of Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar , as it was felt that  the scarcity of  new fiction content  on the home-viewing medium could be  adequately filled by  Ramayan.”

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 Ramayan was conceived  by  veteran filmmaker the late Ramanand Sagar  who wrote the screenplay for the televised adaptation. The  series  running into 78 episodes  of  35 minutes each featured Arun Govil  and  Deepika  Chikhali as Rama and Sita. The series was phenomenal  hit on telecast. Govil and  Chikhali were  worshipped  like real deities wherever they went.

 In a conversation with me many years ago Ramanand Sagar had said, “In my entire career as a  filmmaker I had never seen  an impact equivalent to the  mass hysrteria that Ramayan generate.The entire Indian population was  mesmerized. Every Sunday morning when Ramayan was telecast the streets would be  completely deserted. Everyone was at home bathed and ready to watch the serial.”

Ironically  the same  situation now exists. The roads  are emptied out, though not only on  Sundays but every single day of the week for three weeks as  the nation is locked down for Coronavirus.

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 This  is where  Doordarshan hopes to strike gold and revive  its lost glory with the the most successful series ever aired on Indian television.

One hears plans are also afoot to telecast  B R Chopra’s Mahabharat which also created history on Doordarshan when aired  in 1988.

Baabul Supriyo, singer, actor  and   Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change feels  telecasting Ramayan  from today is a  masterstroke.

Says Baabul, “It is an excellent move by the I&B ministry.. it will help the older generation pass their time and youngsters get a glimpse of the most celebrated epics .Indian culture  triumphs even if they catch them in bits and pieces.”

The  Central Minister takes a potshot at  the  Opposition. “The Congress is feeling helpless and bankrupt politically after seeing how effectively our Honourable PM is leading from the front and I am sure they have nothing to crib about after the economic packages announced by the  Honourable FM on Thursday and  by the RBI  on Friday… hence they are resorting to these petty politics! Question is why wasn’t Ramayan or Mahabharata a problem during it’s inception in the 1980’s and why is it a problem today? Rahul Gandhi  is most welcome to skip Ramayan  and watch the channel of his choice .But please keep quiet.”

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