Coronavirus Lockdown: Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana to be aired on DD national

FE Online

Shoring up the measures which could convince people to remain inside their homes, the government has decided to start the re-telecast of Ramayana on Doordarshan. Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar announced the decision about the telecast of the series. The government is happy to announce that on public demand, we have decided to start the re-telecast of the Ramayana series from Saturday, Javadekar told ANI. He also said that all the episodes of the series will be played on DD national with one episode in the morning between 9-10 and another episode in the evening between 9-10.

The epic series based on the life of Lord Rama was written for TV and directed by Ramanand Sagar. After its first launch in the 1980s on Doordarshan in 1987, the series has been re-aired on various channels one after another. Launched in the days when not every household had a television, the series was watched among large groups on one set of television which was available in the neighbourhood. The folklore is such that not a single would person be in sight on the streets when the show was telecast on Doordarshan. One of the very first experiences of an audio-visual medium for the majority of the population, the characters of the show gained immense popularity in a matter of days. The duo of Arun Govil and Deepika Chikhalia, who played the roles of Ram and Sita, gained popularity in such proportions that hordes of people would worship them during their visits in various parts of the country.

In tune with the success of the series, the show turned into one of the highest revenue generating sources for the Doordarshan. Cut to 2020, the government is looking at ways to convince the restless populace to stay inside their homes to tackle the spread of the virus. It remains to be seen how far the government succeeds in its aim to make people glue to their TV sets in the age of binge watching and OTT platforms.