Prasar Bharti is in talks to work out a deal with the rights holders of the epic television serials Ramayan and Mahabharat, to re-telecast these shows once again during the 21-day nationwide lockdown by popular demand. Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar conveyed as much on Twitter in response to a tweet by Akhilesh Sharma, political editor at NDTV India.
"Yes we are working on the same with the Rights Holders. Will update shortly. Stay tuned," Shekhar wrote on his official Twitter handle, @shashidigital on Wednesday.
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
Hopeful of sharing schedule by end of day today. Technical and Logistics issues being worked out. https://t.co/codicTLBdC
— Shashi Shekhar (@shashidigital) March 26, 2020
With India coming to a standstill owing to the national lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, many on social media have written how these shows were hugely popular at one time. People also noted how life on Sunday mornings would come to a standstill when these serials were telecast on Doordarshan National.
"Dear @narendramodi ji @PrakashJavdekar ji 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," tweeted a user identified as @pranasutra, reports theprint.in.
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
Others said that these mythological shows would help reduce stress at a time when normal life had become paralyzed owing to the lockdown. Some suggested back-to-back telecast of the serials, to enable a binge-watching sort of mood.
Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan starred Arun Govil as Ram and Deepika Chikhalia as Sita, with Arvind Trivedi playing Raavan and Dara Singh essaying Hanuman. The series originally ran from 25 January 1987 to 31 July 1988.
BR Chopra's Mahabharat featured Nitish Bhardwaj as Krishna and Roopa Ganguly as Draupadi, with Gajendra Chauhan, Praveen Kumar, Arjun, Sameer Chitre and Sanjeev Chitre as the Pandavas, and Punit Issar playing Duryodhana. The show ran originally from 2 October 1988 to 24 June 1990.