15 September is the day to celebrate 50 years in running of our beloved channel DoorDarshan. An epitome of national integration which stands tall among the lesser channels lost in their battle for higher TRPs,whatever they mean. 'Doordarshan' which literally translates to 'tele vision' has withstood the test of time to emerge as a channel that provides a source wholesome family entertainment, something that doesn't require members of the family watch seperately to savour.
50 glorious years of 80-year-olds reading news that actually had us tune our attention to the news rather than the newsreader. An era that gave us the immemorable Shabana Azmi saying "chhoone se bas pyaar failta hai" and the inimitable Amitabh Bacchan with his "do boond zindagi ke". "School chale hum" actually had us give our attention to the apathy of illiteracy that haunts our country.
Doordarshan is not without its share of contribution to the world of cinema. Shah Rukh Khan first traded his wares on the Doordarshan to win the hearts of 'DD' viewers before taking the big leap to conquer the world of cinema. Mandira Bedi first appeared on Shanti before she shot to fame talking non-sense about cricket .
The whole aura of Doordarshan has a spirit of nostalgia that has each and every one of us associate our childhood with it. Bonkesh Bakshi, Detective Sam De Silva, Captain Vyom, Shaktimaan are etched in our minds as our own super heroes. Even the idea of Surbhi, Chitrahaar, Rangoli, Malgudi Days does make us sigh with reminiscence "those were the days!!"
"Mile sur mera tumhara" is reflective of the diversity of our motherland. Were it not for DD I'd never have wanted to know what "Tumara moro Swara ra milana shrishti karee chalua jatana" meant nor bothered to know the language. We are yet to see a channel telecast the National Days' parades displaying the plethora of cultural diversity in India.
Ramayan and Mahabharata were featured to imbibe in the young the values and ethics that are part of our heritage.Such was the depiction that it elevated the actors to celestial glory with the viewers beliving them to be their actual Gods.
The weekends were the most awaited even for the movies which were on air. Barring movies like 'Shootout at Lokhandwala' which was surprisingly aired on DD but expectedly over in 20 minutes with more than half the movie censored to preserve viewer sentiments. The best part remained regional movies being aired on sunday afternoons.
Flop Show, Chandrakanta, Sam and Gopi, Alif Laila, Ji Mantriji, Wagle ki Duniya, Circus, Office Office are a few masterpieces DD has given to the world of television that languishes today lost in its fight for grabing viwership with an overdose of saas-bahu sagas, reality tv shows or talent contests. The contribution of Doordarshan to Indian society is immense and its content unparalled in television even today. It is but a futile attempt to even compare it with what we have to see today.