Ramayan (1987 TV series)

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Ramayan is an Indian television mythological series, which aired between 1987 and 1988 on DD National, created, written, and directed by Ramanand Sagar. It is a television adaptation of the ancient Indian Hindu epic of the same name, and is primarily based on Valmiki's Ramayan and Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas.

Quotes about Ramayan[edit]

  • They not only want to ban what is objectionable and hurting to followers of some religions : they also want to ban what is sacred or at least valuable and uplifting to members of another religion. A great many secularists have blamed the Ramayana and Mahabharata TV serials for the "rise of Hindu communalism" and for the Ram hysteria. Of course, Ram was never that far away from the ordinary Hindu's consciousness, that the TV serials could have made much of a difference. Through Tulsidas' Hindi Ramayana, the common people in North India are thoroughly familiar with Ram, Sita and Hanuman, and they don't need TV serials to remind them. For the urban elites, it may have been a reminder of the culture they are in danger of forgetting. But for those secularists who have been completely alienated from their culture, these TV serials were anathema, and so, of course, they wanted them to be banned... But I think it is time the secularists come out and admit that a ban on Hindu TV serials is dear to them not because of the law and order situation, but because of the fact that these serials remind Hindus of Hindu culture.
    • Elst, Koenraad (1991). Ayodhya and after: Issues before Hindu society.
  • Notice the controversies which were kicked up over the telecasting of Ramayana and Chanakya, notice the hesitations on account of which the telecasting of Krishna was delayed for months and months. And notice too that these controversies were kicked up by columnists and the like - not by the common masses they so adore - and the hesitations hobbled politicians and civil servants - not the masses. .... we are taught to look upon Ramayana or Mahabharata or the story of Chanakya as "communal", and the legends of Shivaji and Rana Pratap as "revanchist"...
    • Shourie, Arun (1993). A secular agenda: For saving our country, for welding it. New Delhi, India: Rupa
  • When the Ramayana was being shown as a serial on TV, Leftist and progressive artists, led by doughty warriors like A.K. Hangal and Dina Pathak, organised a protest in Bombay to protest against this "communal" act... [Similarily...] Adressing a rally at the conclusion of the march, Dina Pathak castigated Doordarshan for showing another "communal" item on its network - a report of the archaeological discovery, by Dr. S.R. Rao, of the remains of ancient Dwarka....
    • Talageri, S. The Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism (1993), 34.
  • The rise of Hindutva politics is also often tied to the airing of Ramayana , which has apparently helped the BJP become a major political player on the national stage. It is believed that the proposal of the serial had to face resistance from some ideologically committed bureaucrats, who claimed that the public broadcaster of a secular state shouldn’t air anything remotely religious (when it comes to Hinduism, the definition of secularism suddenly adopts its western form). While I do find some merit in the argument that Ramayana played a part in the socio-political history of India, I think the claimed ideological or political effects of the serial are exaggerated. I am more inclined to believe that since the Left was dumbfounded by the success of Advani’s Ram Rath Yatra, they somehow blamed it on a TV serial...
    • Sanghi Who Never Went To A Shakha. Rahul Roushan. Rupa Publications India. 2021.

An Epic life: Ramanand Sagar[edit]

‘An Epic life: Ramanand Sagar’ by Prem Sagar, Published by Westland. 2019. [1]
  • There were many interesting incidents during the telecast of Ramayan. Apart from powerhouses being set on fire by frenzied mobs if there was a power cut during the telecast, brides were said to have run away from the marriage mandaps, to not miss watching Ramayan, before completing the nuptials.
  • Streets in Karachi (Pakistan) were said to have worn a deserted look on Sunday mornings during the telecast. Even funeral processions were said to have been halted, with the corpse made to sit on a chair with open eyes to watch Ramayan for one last time!
  • In Delhi, ministerial swearing-in ceremonies had to be delayed for lack of attendance, political rallies had to be postponed and the Hindu-Muslim rioters in Muzaffarnagar were said to have found deserted streets.
  • Such was the impact of Ramayan! As one newspaper put it, ‘It was a revolution in those times.’
  • Every Sunday, the train from Patna to Delhi would be delayed by one hour. The railway inspectors who were sent to find out the mystery behind this phenomenon discovered that only on Sundays the long-distance train reached a station called Rampur at 9 a.m. All the passengers, guards and even the driver would get off the train and go straight to the waiting room. They would sit in front of a TV set, garland it, break a coconut, light incense sticks and shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

External links[edit]

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