|| Swapnil Joshi AT: from Gopala to Dwarakadheesh! - Page 4

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Posted: 2 years ago

Originally posted by MagadhSundari



Lol I have a PhD in this subject derived from loooots of articles, interviews, and Twitter conversations, so please allow me to bore you with the details smiley36 When Uttar Ramayan began, Ramanand Sagar got pulled into a looooot of court cases over what he did/didn't portray, and there was also a lot of political tension around airing "religious" content on a national channel. This was both financially draining and made it hard to get Shri Krishna on air even though RS had already begun working on it during Uttar Ramayan. So with the Dashavataar through VD's imprisonment pretty much ready in '89, they decided to start the show as straight-to-VHS and funded its continuation through preorders for the set (which was advertised as 26 volumes just because that's how many cassettes it took to cover Ramayan so they assumed they'd do the same). This went on from '90-92, with them sending subscribers an episode or two a month up until the phase in which Krishna is bound to the pillar and uproots the two trees. Then, by popular demand, Doordarshan lifted its ban on mythos and picked up the show in '93, but they put in on DD Metro/DD2 instead of DD National which reached only urban markets. This went on up until the Swapnil version of the Dwarika nirmaan track in '95, by which time the political environment and the channel's strategy changed so they decided to move it to DD National. BUT, since rural markets hadn't seen the show up to that point, there was demand to start it over from the beginning. By the time they reached the point where they had left off on DD Metro, RS had suffered health setbacks, Swapnil started his LL.B., and the junior Sagars had started working on a bunch of other shows which stretched the budget and led to them leaving the day to day execution of SK in wayyy lesser hands, hence the drop in quality (which keeps me from watching any of those later episodes to date). When the show hit 180 episodes (or something in that range), it hit DD's limit on how long they would air the same series, so it took another hiatus before it got kicked over to Zee TV for its final stretch (leading to another decline in the look and feel for those last 40-50 episodes). 

Knowing all of this has given me a bit of appreciation for the tenacity and perseverance that went into getting this show on air and overcoming obstacles to keep it going as long as it did, covering as much ground as it did, but as Janu said above--there will always be that sadness over what SK could have been, had it continued with the same leadership, cast, crew, care, and aesthetic that it had until the original end of Swapnil's run.


Thanks for the complete history.  I left India in 1992, and so had no idea of what went on on TV since then.  That was around the time that other channels, like Star, were coming to TVs.


One thing: you mention 180 episode?  I thought that this serial had exactly 100 episodes, as this playlist seems to suggest: there ain't 2 episodes per video, even though the playlist has 156 videos


https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-NRrjK61OD38i9X7KO5qrFKrWvpHubM5


Another question: what were the political issues involved in bringing this serial to TV?  Already the cat was out of the bag when first RSR and later BRC made it on DD: you had Arun Govil and Dara Singh campaign for Sunil Shastri against VP Singh for the (then) Allahabad LS constituency, in the midst of the Bofors controversy, and in 1989, you had  Deepika and Arvind Trivedi actually win LS seats in Gujarat for the BJP.  1991, after Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, you had Narasimha Rao become the PM and be there until 1996, then have a bunch of PMs until Vajpayee clinched it in 1998.  So where were the political pressures coming from to not put this show on TV?


And I completely agree w/ you: I'd have preferred Swapnil to play Krishna to the end, and just use SDB as Vishnu, whenever needed

Posted: 2 years ago

^^ Nope, that playlist is both missing episodes and counting by DVD volumes... the show ran for 221 episodes (of which each one was a half hour) when you include the handful of deleted episodes from the beginning of the series.

I don't think the politics preventing the show from airing on DD were against RS personally, though the lawsuits that consumed a lot of the RSR earnings were. It was general opposition to a national channel giving airtime to serials based on religious texts. This article posted on the Sagar World blog touches on it: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_mf4apAoKk/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Edited by MagadhSundari - 2 years ago
Posted: 2 years ago

oops double post!

Edited by MagadhSundari - 2 years ago
Posted: 2 years ago

RSR, BRC MB and SK came during a time period in India when people were either completely religious or completely atheist. There wasn't a lot of in-between. So we had either the super involved fans of the shows, or the people who protested against anything religious being shown on national TV, claiming it wasn't secular. 

I feel like if RS existed as a director today, he'd have had a bigger budget and less exterior burdens to deal with, but then again, his fanbase may not have fully appreciated his vision.

Posted: 2 years ago

I used to think that RS had the advantage of a captive viewership.  Both RSR and BRCM happened on DD, and at the time, there weren't alternate channels: Star TV was just arriving at the scene.  So people could either watch that, or not watch at all.  With something more recent, say ASR, NDTV Imagine wasn't in the basic package if one was just hooking up a TV and wanted the cheapest deal: one had to specifically request it.  I therefore thought that RSR had an inherent advantage.


However, these days, during the lockdown, my YouTube channel has quite a number of visitors, and every night when I open it to watch this serial before sleeping, I usually see ~10 comments.  A majority of them clearly prefer RSR to ASR.  While I preferred differently - b'cos I liked the serial pulling stories from other places like Kamban, Krittivas and so on, I can now see that people do prefer the likes of Arun Govil, Deepika, Sunil Lahiri and so on over Gurmeet, Debina, Ankit, et al


Also, does anyone recall the TRPs of SK when it moved back to DD national and to Zee TV?  Like both RSR and BRCM were blockbusters, but was the same thing true about this serial when it ran on DD2, DD1 and then ZeeTV?

Edited by .Vrish. - 2 years ago
Posted: 2 years ago

SK was definitely a blockbuster during its run in DD1 but it never hit the craze Ramayana or even Uttar Ramayana and BRC Mahabharata commanded

Posted: 2 years ago

One more question - was SK telecast on weekends, like Sunday mornings, or was it on weekdays?

Posted: 2 years ago

Originally posted by MagadhSundari



Lol I have a PhD in this subject derived from loooots of articles, interviews, and Twitter conversations, so please allow me to bore you with the details smiley36 When Uttar Ramayan began, Ramanand Sagar got pulled into a looooot of court cases over what he did/didn't portray, and there was also a lot of political tension around airing "religious" content on a national channel. This was both financially draining and made it hard to get Shri Krishna on air even though RS had already begun working on it during Uttar Ramayan. So with the Dashavataar through VD's imprisonment pretty much ready in '89, they decided to start the show as straight-to-VHS and funded its continuation through preorders for the set (which was advertised as 26 volumes just because that's how many cassettes it took to cover Ramayan so they assumed they'd do the same). This went on from '90-92, with them sending subscribers an episode or two a month up until the phase in which Krishna is bound to the pillar and uproots the two trees. Then, by popular demand, Doordarshan lifted its ban on mythos and picked up the show in '93, but they put in on DD Metro/DD2 instead of DD National which reached only urban markets. This went on up until the Swapnil version of the Dwarika nirmaan track in '95, by which time the political environment and the channel's strategy changed so they decided to move it to DD National. BUT, since rural markets hadn't seen the show up to that point, there was demand to start it over from the beginning. By the time they reached the point where they had left off on DD Metro, RS had suffered health setbacks, Swapnil started his LL.B., and the junior Sagars had started working on a bunch of other shows which stretched the budget and led to them leaving the day to day execution of SK in wayyy lesser hands, hence the drop in quality (which keeps me from watching any of those later episodes to date). When the show hit 180 episodes (or something in that range), it hit DD's limit on how long they would air the same series, so it took another hiatus before it got kicked over to Zee TV for its final stretch (leading to another decline in the look and feel for those last 40-50 episodes). 

Knowing all of this has given me a bit of appreciation for the tenacity and perseverance that went into getting this show on air and overcoming obstacles to keep it going as long as it did, covering as much ground as it did, but as Janu said above--there will always be that sadness over what SK could have been, had it continued with the same leadership, cast, crew, care, and aesthetic that it had until the original end of Swapnil's run.

y

Thankyou for this detailed response. 

Its a miracle then that SK turned out to be so good even after so much of issues. 

RS had so much problems yet he made a marvellous show, that tells us how dedicated he was to his faith.

Sincere respect and honour for him


@VrishBhai it had nothing to do with actors supporting one or other party, it's about how secular a government wants to show themselves. 

Congress was against the airing of Ramayana Mahabharatha during lockdown too, for them it's undue importance to the religious mythology of one specific religion

Edited by FlauntPessimism - 2 years ago

Swapnil Joshi Shree Krishna 


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