New Delhi: Responding to people’s demand for a re-telecast of Mahabharat and Ramayan during the nationwide lockdown, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Wednesday said the public service broadcaster was “working” with “rights holders” to air the mythological series on Doordarshan.
Shekhar’s tweet came in response to the request made by Akhilesh Sharma, political editor and anchor of NDTV India.
Yes we are working on the same with the Rights Holders. Will update shortly. Stay tuned. https://t.co/2Jhjw2qD3s
— Shashi Shekhar (@shashidigital) March 25, 2020
ThePrint tried to contact Shekhar through calls and messages but failed to receive any response till the time this copy was published.
A senior Prasar Bharati official, who did not wish to be identified, told ThePrint that concrete details on airing the two series will only be finalised after formalities are completed.
Series ‘acted as magnets’ earlier
With the majority of citizens being forced to stay indoors, in order to avoid transmission of coronavirus, many Twitter users have written how the Ramayan and Mahabharat had earlier “acted as magnets that quarantined people” and that it still can.
Please consider asking DD, and advising other channels, to telecast Ramanand Sagar's Ramayana and B R Chopra's Mahabharata daily. Perhaps two episodes a day each.
They acted as magnets in quarantining people back then. They still can.
— Pranasutra (@pranasutra) March 24, 2020
Some even said the two mythological series will also help reduce stress.
— Mohandas Pai (@TVMohandasPai) March 25, 2020
Just like SAB shows TMKUC back-to-back episodes, DD should telecast back-to-back episodes of Ramayana and Mahabharata for next 21 days.
— Self free, outside quarantined (@gouripathy) March 25, 2020
Users particularly demanded the re-telecast of film director Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan that was first aired in 1987 on Doordarshan.
The series was based on the Hindu epic Ramayana written by Valmiki around 300 BCE. This epic poem was first composed in Sanskrit and documents Hindu deity Rama’s journey.
People also demanded the telecast of film director B.R. Chopra’s Mahabharat which was first aired in 1988 on Doordarshan. Mahabharat, based on Sage Vyasa’s epic, narrates the struggle for “sovereignty” between two groups of cousins, the Kauravas and Pandavas.
(With inputs from Amrita Nayak Dutta)