The Growth of Mythological Epics On Television

Posted on April 3, 2012 in Society

By Amrita Nayak-Dutta:

India is a land of traditions. Tradition steeped in societal upheavals dictated by each ruling dynasty which came and went by leaving an everlasting impact on the evolving socio-cultural landscape of what started as Indus valley civilization. There are endless tales of emperors and their conquests and fiefdoms with each historian giving his own story. Nevertheless it does exist and it is imperative that we should not only know but also understand in order to have better future. Where do we find this information? It is there in history books but then this medium of communications its scope and reach is constricted. In this age of television being the most dominant medium of information exchange with the omnipresent DTH satellite TV dish found on the rooftop of the remotest village in India.

We started with the Ramayana and Mahabharata being the most awaited serial on TV in the 1990s. One would see children, mothers and fathers quickly finishing the morning chores and sit with the utmost attention every Sunday morning for these serials on DD. It not only brought families together to watch epic dramas , know about it but also discuss the good and bad values in those epic tales and their similarities in day to day affairs. Students of that generation are the present today and needless to say are better equipped with the knowledge and its implications in today’s world.

But what started off as a TV revolution fizzled out at the close of the century. With the advent of satellite TV in late nineties, not only DD took the backstage but so did the mythological epic dramas on TV. We do come across Chandra Gupta Maurya on the TV but its far and few. Also it is no longer a family affair. TV serials are more of a personal affair now with every family member having his set TV timings contingent to serial timings. In some homes having two TV’s or more is not uncommon. Families no longer spend time together discussing our rich lineage and traditions that is the foundation of these epic serials. Hence it’s a double blow with less epic dramas and even lesser family get together in from of the TV.

Mythological dramas have found another medium of CD, DVD and internet over the years but are yet to reach the masses when compared to the reach its TV version had. CDs, DVDs are expensive and it is more dependent on parent’s initiative.