After three decades, ‘Ramayan’ returns to small screen on popular demand

Ramanand Sagar's epic, a household name in the 80s was decided to be aired after I&B ministry and Prasar Bharati gave the go ahead on popular demand amid nationwide lockdown

Netizens had demanded the airing of Ramayan, directed by Ramanand Sagar, during the 21-day nationwide lockdown. Photo: Shashi Shekhar/Twitter

Ramandand Sagar’s Ramayan, a rage in the late 80s, which had the power to stop household chores and make families and neighbours huddle in front of the television on Sunday mornings, is making a comeback on national television on popular demand, thanks to the countrywide lockdown which has confined people to their homes.

Doordarshan, which aired the serial 33 years back has been entrusted with the rerun of the popular mythological series, from Saturday (March 28), Union minister of information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said on Friday (March 28). The serial would be telecast twice a day – at 9 am and 9 pm, for an hour each.

The ministry’s decision came after netizens demanded a rerun of the serial, during the 21-day nationwide lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis. Two days ago, Prasar Bharati’s CEO Shashi Shekhar said they were working on it.

Javadekar in a tweet on Friday confirmed that the serial will indeed be aired from Saturday onwards.

“Happy to announce that on public demand, we are starting re-telecast of Ramayana from tomorrow, Saturday March 28 in DD National, One episode in morning 9 am to 10 am, another in the evening 9 pm to 10 pm. @narendramodi @PIBIndia @DDNational,” he posted.

Shekhar thanked Javadekar and the Sagar family for the development in a series of tweets. “Thank you Sir for all your guidance and support in making this happen at this time,” he tweeted.

“A dedicated team of DD officers worked through the day yesterday and through the night to make this happen even as they stayed away from home and their families. Kudos to the entire team who worked on a war footing in response to immense demand from the viewers to watch the epic,” he added.

The serial based on Valmiki’s epic The Ramayana, was first aired on Doordarshan in 1987 and attained a cult status. It featured Arun Govil in the role of Lord Ram and Deepika Chikhaliya in the role of Sita. It was brought to the screen by Sagar Arts.

The cast included actors such as Dara Singh, who played Hanuman, and Lalita Pawar, who essayed the role of Manthara. Arvind Trivedi played the role of demon king Ravana while Vijay Arora was seen in the role of Indrajit.

(With inputs from agencies)

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