More than three decades after it was last seen on our television screens, ‘Ramayan’ was brought back by public broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) to entertain Indians during lockdown. Over a month ago, Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, tweeted, “Happy to announce that on public demand, we will retelecast ‘Ramayan’ from tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, on DD National. One episode in the morning 9-10 a.m., and another in the evening, 9-10 p.m.”
Written, produced and directed by the late Ramanand Sagar, ‘Ramayan’ first aired back in 1987, but its second innings, that started in March 2020, shattered all viewership records in the world. DD National said, on April 16, 2020, that 7.7 crore people across the globe watched the show. On May 2, the pubcaster tweeted, “Thanks to all our viewers! #Ramayan – world record! Highest viewed entertainment program globally.”
Although the show has come to an end now, the buzz around it still remains high. Due to the lockdown, the production of fresh content has come to a halt, and the general entertainment channels have run out of soaps. The lockdown has been extended, and is now in its third phase, which means people are still locked indoors. In such a scenario, the broadcasters are heavily dependent on archival content.
Now, Star India, one of India’s largest pay TV networks, has acquired the license to retelecast ‘Ramayan’. A couple of episodes have already aired on Star Plus, and the show has managed to generate chatter on social media platforms.
The show’s cast includes Arun Govil as Lord Rama, Dipika Chikhlia Topiwala as Goddess Sita and Sunil Lahri as Lakshman, and veteran actors like Lalita Pawar as Manthara, Arvind Trivedi as Ravana and Dara Singh as Hanuman.
The epic mythological tale airs at 7.30 p.m. daily on Star Plus, and now, it remains to be seen if the show continues to garner high viewership.