On public demand, 'Ramayan' & 'Mahabharat' makes comeback during lockdown

NEW DELHI: Doordarshan and DD Bharati will be telecasting mythological series "Ramayan" and "Mahabharat" respectively from Saturday on public demand, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has said.

Many social media users had demanded the airing of "Ramayan", directed by Ramanand Sagar, and Mahabharat, directed by B R Chopra, amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown. Two days ago, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati said they were working on it.

On Friday, Javadekar tweeted about the development.

"Happy to announce that on public demand, we are starting retelecast 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," the Union minister wrote on Twitter.

Later in the day, he tweeted that DD Bharati will be airing "Mahabharat" as well from Saturday.

"Happy to announce that @DD_Bharati will relay from tomorrow Saturday 28th March popular serial Mahabharat at 12 noon and 7 pm everyday," he said in a tweet.

Vempati 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," the Prasar Bharati CEO said.

"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.

"Heartfelt thanks to the Sagar Family for this service to the Nation during this moment who took immense effort to mobilise their resources and made available content to Team @ddnational in Mumbai on a war footing," the Prasar Bharati CEO said in another tweet.

Vempati also tweeted about bringing back more iconic content on the public broadcaster.

"Stay tuned for more iconic content to come back on Doordarshan over the next few days as you relive the nostalgia while we observe the Lockdown, staying home to save lives," he tweeted.

Based on Lord Ram''s life, "Ramayan" 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 other series "Mahabharat", based on the eponymous epic, first aired in 1988 and was a show that made many actors attain iconic status.

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PTI