Ram Mandir inauguration: No invite for Prem Sagar! Filmmaker credits Rajiv Gandhi for green lighting Ramayan

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Ramanand Sagar’s son Prem, who assisted his father in Ramayan TV series, revealed how how then political class had fears over the show, but Rajiv Gandhi had given his blessings. The epic show, however, inadvertently benefited BJP over the years.

Prem Sagar

By IndiaLevel Media

The nation is looking forward to the grand inauguration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The Pran Pratishtha ceremony will take place on 22 January with the consecration of the Ram Lalla idol. Close to 7000 people are expected to gather in Ayodhya with celebrated names among them. However, one is stunned to know that Prem Sagar, who had assisted his late father Ramanand Sagar in the making of the 1987 epic TV series Ramayan, hasn’t yet received any invite for the Pran Pratishtha Samaroh.

Prem Sagar confirmed this in an exclusive conversation with Beyond Bollywood.

Arun Govil and Sunil Lahri

“No, I haven’t received any invite yet,”said Sagar. He, however, added, Whilst Arun Govil and Deepika Chiklia have rightly been invited, Sagar was surprised that Sunil Lahri, who played Lakshman, didn’t get one.

The seasoned filmmaker shared an interesting anecdote how it was a challenge to release Ramayan.

Arun Govil and Deepika Chiklia in Ramayan TV series (1987)

Taking about it, he says, “In those days, doing TV was considered a downgrade. Besides, the then political environment wasn’t deemed conducive for mythological content. I think the infamous Shah Bano case had happened before Ramayan. There was pressure on then ruling government. Besides, there were certain fears in political class whether to have such mythological content. However, Rajiv Gandhi backed my father and the show.”

Those were the days where Indian politics was more about secularism. For Ramanand Sagar and his son, Ramayan though was simply about reconnecting the Hindus with the values of Lord Ram, and the Sanatan Dharma.

Prem Sagar, however, revealed that their show inadvertently helped the opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party.

“I think before Ramayan, BJP had only two seats (in Lok Sabha). After Ramayan, it swelled to 55. When we later made a serial on Lord Krishna, that number swelled to 160,” said Sagar.

Given the indirect positive impact that a Ramayan had on BJP, it does come as a surprise that Prem Sagar didn’t get an invite for the historic day in Ayodhya. Besides, during peak Covid, the BJP government had banked on having a re-run of Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan to motivate the nation and also educate the current generation on the Hindu epic. The filmmaker, producer though isn’t upset about not getting an invite.

“I don’t think this in any way affects or changes my Ram bhakti (devotion). I’d recently done a Pran Prathistha of Ram Lalla in my office, ” quipped Sagar.

Ram Mandir inauguration: No invite for Prem Sagar! Filmmaker credits Rajiv Gandhi for green lighting Ramayan

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