Doordarshan: 61 Years of Television in India
Doordarshan: 61 Years of Television in India

Doordarshan: 61 Years of Television in India

Recall those days when there was an eagerness of watching Chitrahar coming on Doordarshan. We all used to wait to hear the news and every word of ‘Ramayana’, ‘Mahabharata’ was eager to be heard. When the signal was not received properly, the roof-mounted antennas were inclined in every direction. If ever a program was missed in the meantime, there was regret for several days. Doordarshan had such a craze from those days. No one has forgotten that golden period till date. Doordarshan, which was started on 15 September 1959, is celebrating its 61st anniversary this year, once again it is the time to turn on Doordarshan to remember that glow.

A responsible Channel

The people of the house would sit in front of the TV set as soon as the tune of the montage of Doordarshan would fall in the ears and its logo would go round. Everyone would have to wait, what is the news for today, which reader will come? Names like Salma Sultan, Avinash Kaur Sarin, Shammi Narang, Sarala Maheshwari were preferred. The best voice of Shammi Narang is still fresh in every mind. Shammi Narang, narrating his experience, said, “As far as the subject and presentation of the news was concerned, we never let his dignity fall.” Even today, people remember that time. We did not have resources like today, but children were taught to watch news. It was said that if you want to correct your language then listen to the news. Whenever we came in front of the camera for reading news or a presentation, we had a huge responsibility on our shoulders that the wrong pronunciation of one word would cause injustice to many children. Doordarshan was called the family’s channel at that time only when these things were taken care of.

Doordarshan for every age and class

Who can forget ‘Saurabh’, ‘Rajni’, ‘Nukkad’, “Vikram-Betal”, “Chitrahar”, “Katha Sagar”, “Mungeri Lal Ke Haseen Sapne”, “Jungle Book” era. The content for every age and every category was on Doordarshan. The artists were also the best, who has settled in the hearts of everyone. Small visuals such as Mile Sur Mera Tumhara … , School Chale Hum, Ek Chidiya Anek Chidiya’, etc. also had a lot of viewership. Those golden times and memories are still a part of the mind.  Not only this, but Doordarshan also made Pakistani artists like Ghulam Ali famous in India. Once Ghulam Ali Sahab told that when I sang Ghazal ‘Hungama Hai Kyun Barpa’ in the program of Doordarshan in 1980, people came to know that this man has brought something new, which is his own. Doordarshan has taken my programs to people with great love”.

Quality serial

On Sunday, the telecast of ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’ which were broadcasted on Doordarshan, the city would feel like curfew. People those days used to consider Arun Govil as Sri Ram and Nitish Bhardwaj as Sri Krishna and bowed their heads with reverence. Very few people know that Nitish Bhardwaj was a newsreader and announcer in Bombay Doordarshan. Nitish says that he started with the Kisan program, he further says about this, I used to read news bulletins there. He was then an announcer and newsreader. At that time we were Announcers Stars. Serial directors or producers in Doordarshan like Ramanand Sagar, BR Chopra, Ramesh Sippy, Kundan Shah used to do big films.  The quality of the then serials was distinct, which is still remembered today. Artists like Shah Rukh Khan have also come out of Doordarshan itself. The telecast of the Asian Games on Doordarshan brought revolutionary changes in Indian television. In 1966, the ‘Krishi Darshan Program’ became the architect of the Green Revolution in the country.  Krishi Darshan is the longest running program of Doordarshan.

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About Utkarsh Upadhyay

Learning something new Everyday !!

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