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Once Upon A Time In Doordarshan-DD@50

By Srinivasan

            Just last week I watched the video - “Mile sur mera tumhara”. Some things leave an indelible mark in your life, and this video is certainly one of them. This was a video that aptly described the concept of unity in diversity. Surely there was a time when media was an instrument to spreads communal harmony and promoting brotherhood and not about just dim-witted reality shows and breaking news. The television entertainment industry in India has come a full circle as DD completes 50 years of existence last month.

                There have been other amazing things about doordarshan. Like the intellectual program called Surabhi hosted by Siddharth Kak and Renuka Shahane. Teaching diverse things like geography to culture was never so much fun. The presentation was so good that it would take a mammoth effort to recreate it. There was quality content on the show and TRP’s (if there were TRP’s then to measure the success of different shows back then) would have certainly hit the roof.
            I was not part of the generation that saw (as I was not born then) ‘Buniyad’ and ‘Hum Log’ which were the bellwether serials. But I definitely liked watching Circus in which Shah Rukh Khan acted and Mahabharat, the epic that never seizes to amaze. DD had a lot to offer for everybody; from ‘Amchi mati amchi mansae’ to ‘Shaktimaan’. It was certainly the single biggest entertainment provider till the early nineties when cable TV entered the arena.
           Also there were many unforgettable cricket matches that I have seen in our DD like the phenomenal test series of 2001 where India hosted Australia for 3 test matches. I vividly remember the VVS Laxman’s innings of 281 with Rahul Dravid where not a single Indian wicket was lost in the 4th day of the second test match in Kolkatta. Also in the same series where Harbhajan Singh who ended up taking 30 odd wickets in the series hit the winning run of Glenn Mcgrath by guiding the ball to the thirdman region.
          I also remember some of the ads that were on display at that time as I was equally engrossed in them. ‘Humnara Bajaj’ was certainly my favourite and Cadbury’s ‘Kya swad hai zindagi mai’ comes a close second. 
          Lately DD has sadly entered the phase where cable TV has almost entered everywhere in the country. The fancy news channels have become the staple diet of the Indian Diaspora. In the world of intense rivalry between different channels competing to catch more and more Indian eyeballs . The time has come to reform and revitalize our  national channel.
Well I hope that DD makes a comeback and the theme music of DD - the famous Shehnai again reverberates in our homes.

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