Sunday, March 1, 2009

ODE TO DOORDARSHAN

A nostalgia that cannot be reimbursed, Doordarshan, gave India its first taste of the picture tube and with it came a series of programs which paved the way to the television that we see today.

The channel began broadcast on an experimental basis on September 15, 1959 from a makeshift studio at Akashvani Bhavan in New Delhi as part of All India Radio. It started with 20 TV receivers in and around Delhi and transmitted one hour educational and developmental programs twice a week. In 1976, the Indian government constituted Doordarshan, the public television broadcaster, as a separate department under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Doordarshan gave us a list of nostalgic songs which brings in a sense of homesickness , some of them were, Mile Sur Mera Tumhara , Ek Anek, the title song of Malgudi Days, and the theme songs of Mahabharata and also Jungle Books-“jungle jungle baat chali hain”, these are some songs which are irreplaceable. Broadcasting was harnessed for the task of political nation building and national integration and for the development of “the national consciousness” which can be sensed in the serials that were aired. By 1990, nearly 90% of the Indian population watched Doordarshan , it was during this time that the “integration of Indian consciousness”, concept came home.

The serials which were aired after 1982 like Hum Log, Chitrahaar, represented the Indian common man and his ideologies during the post independence era. The serials like Mahabharata, Chanakya, Malgudi Days, Mungeri Lal ke haseen sapne, Mitti keRrang, Mr Yogi, Neem ka Ped, Nupur, Bible ki Kahaniya, Babaji ka Bioscope Om Namah Shivaya, Oshin, Byomkesh Bakhsi , Ramayana, topped the list of those “ not to be missed”, these shows lacked the fanfare of the sets, accessories and locales but were succulent with human emotions. For children there were an array of shows like, Chutti Chutti, Nukkad , Brahmaand, Captain Vyom, Chamatkaari Telephone, Alice in wonderland, Baigan Raja, Quiz time, Rimba’s island, Disney Hour, Gayab Aya, Sindbad The Sailor, Alif Laila, Haddi Raja , Shaktimaan, Sunno Re Kissa, which were entertaining as well as informative. There was something about the serials which were aired post 1982, which reflected the Gandhian ideology of ‘swaraj’ and ‘swadeshi’. One could find the nationalist autonomy in Doordarshan. But 1991 saw the beginning of international satellite broadcasting in India and the government launched a major economic liberalization program. Both these events combined to change the country's television environment dramatically.

With the advent of STAR TV, the popularity Doordarshan took a nosedive. Now commercial competition has transformed Doordarshan as well, and it is scrambling to cope with the changed competitive environment.

Satellite broadcasting has threatened Doordarshan's audiences and self-preservation has spawned a new ideology in the network which is in the process of reinventing itself. On a deeper thought one can see how the cultural imagination of national identity has changed because of satellite and cable television.

In retrospect, one could find that though these serials lacked huge investments when it came to the sets, costumes, but then the stories that were aired had much more than what Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV could give us or any other channel could give us for that matter.

10 comments:

  1. oh this post brings back so many memories...although by th time i got hooked to the television, Doordashan's ... (or as we are used to calling it... DD... )popularity was already on th decline.. bt still i can recall a lot of programs like Ramayana.. Mahabharat... Chitrahaar.. and my favorites.. Jungle Book... Disney Hour... Surabhi... and Shaktimaan.. (yes.. i admit.. i too was hookd to it fr a brief period in my life... though.. in hindsight.. i hv NO IDEA WHY...!! :P ..) ... and the songs like Ek Chidiya.. n Mile Sur.. they r iconic to say th least.... still very popular...

    and u know wht.. th popularity of these programs can be seen frm the fact that many.. in fact almost all of these programs were bought off.. or remade by the private broadcaters like Star Zee n Sony.. and it also tells us one of th reasons of the decline of DD... th power of money.. th fact that all that th Govt cared fr was to cach in on th popularity of the programs of DD.. kill th golden egg laying hen instead of nurturing it..!!

    'one could find that though these serials lacked huge investments when it came to the sets, costumes, but then the stories that were aired had much more than what Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV could give us' ... i completely agree to this.. today its nt th content.. bt th packaging that matters... make the wrapper attractive.. the product will sell fr sure... * sigh* ...

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  2. Well DD1 was a milestone in television history.For us when we are in our childhood DD1 was the only channel that glorified the very concept of television.I dont remember that particular animation that dd1 used to show so as to represrnt there very emblem or symbol but i really miss it nowadays.In the current days of glam sham television that black and white animation still satnds out.Sometimes in some old hindi or bengali movies i do get to see that animation..it really makes me feels nostaligic...makes me miss my childhood days a lot.
    With time came DD2 which was supposed to be the more colourful verison on the two.Programmes like chandrakanta ,alif laila..were like addictions to me when it came to sundays and monday evenings respectively.
    I remember i used to have contracts with my private tutor or my parents that if i study certain hours on Saturday evening then i will be able to see Disney hour that was shown on DD2 on sunday mornings...[:p]...i miss those days.But i guess with time the glamsham world took over the much more simple and beautiful stuff..so nowadays we rearely see anyone taking interest to see DD1 and DD2..but i must say..with all due respecty to both of the channels the quality of programmes have become much more boring nowadays.I guess they should have some form of facelift..and borrow some commercial ideas from the private channels

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  3. read you comment mr. subhajit. thanks for your inputs. i must say nice thought.

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  4. aakash bahut uncha hai.. door bahut hain taare... iske aage ka song yaad h kisi ko.. brahmand serial from chutti-chutti?!?!

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    1. ugte hue saikdo suraj ... akash ke ye banjare ....

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    2. Akash bahut uncha hai, aur door bahut hai tare.
      Hilte hue saukdo suraj, bhramhand ke ye banjare.
      Sung by the soothing voice of Suresh Wadkar.. aah the simplicity and the innocence of those days. If only it could be bought back :)

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    3. choti si boond dharti, sagar se kahin gehri he, akash ki ganga mei ye bajre ki tarah behti hei.

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  5. mp3 for brahmaand title song?? anyone??

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  6. I am looking for mp3 for brahmaand title song.

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