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50 Years of Doordarshan

October 13, 2009

On September 15th 2009, Doordarshan has completed 50 years.

50 years! Very long time. Isn’t it? Today, with over a 100+ channels, most of them 24X7, I am not sure how many of them will be remembered after 10 years. But I am sure DD still lingers in the memories of many. For me Doordarshan has been a part and parcel of my Childhood. We dint have a cable connection until probably I was in my 7th or 8th standard and until then the only source of information-cum-entertainment was that black and white TV set with DD being aired.


Unlike 99%of the channels these days, most of the shows aired on DD were both informative and entertaining. I loved almost all the programs aired. Be it shows like Ramayana/Mahabharath or Surbhi. The little of history I know, I owe it to these shows. I remember having waiting for the Sundays to watch the special shows aired by DD. As far as I remember, Kroor singh of Chandrakanta was the first villain character I came across in TV.

I have no clue how it went on in other states but in AP, the single channel on TV would be shared between DD1 (the national channel) and DD8 (the Telugu channel). They use to change the frequency from dd1 to dd8 from 4pm to 9pm. Sunday 4pm feature film has been an integral part of my school days. We used to sit glued to television and munch whatever mom used to give us. My parents never missed the 7 pm news. Which were followed by Urdu news at 7:15. It used to sound Greek and Latin to us at that age but we used sit through all of it and try understanding it by relating it to the Telugu news we heard 15 minutes back.

The ads have also been memorable back then. The ‘Hamara Bajaj’ Ad, the songs relating to the diversity of our country like the Mile sur mera tumhara.., vandemataram all of them were so wonderfully made. Though I like few ads being aired now, I feel that these days there are no ads which can match their counterparts being aired on DD back then.

As time passed by and the channels increased, I have gradually stopped watching DD and now, I rarely tune into the channel except for the Indian cricket matches shown, which will be aired when the other channels don’t. Though DD is nowhere in the race for the TRP’s, I guess it will be one channel remembered by many for a really long time.

26 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2009 8:36 PM

    Doordarshan days were classic !!!!
    Oh yes they were classic! unforgettable days…
    Whether it be Ramayana or Mahabharata… Tipu Sultan or Malgudi Days… Yeh Jo hai zindagi… aah… or Karamchand… Vyomkesh Bakshi…
    i dont know about the last 3 shows:( Ah! Malgudi did i forget to mention that!
    dont get me started… I am a true fan of those days… !!!!!
    The T.V. of this day is hopeless… The world this week was a far superior news programme than all the 24 hour news channels put together !!!!!!!


    these 24 hours news channels hardly show real news for 1 hour. rest of the 23 hours they come up with their own theories

    • October 13, 2009 8:40 PM

      Strange that it completed 50 years and I didnt even know… !! geez… how less we watch that channel either… sigh…
      even i haven’t watched that channel for so many months 😦
      I still clearly remember in Bharuch we had a fruit wali who would come to sell fruits… and whichever house she would reach at Ramayan time on Sunday… she would put her tokri of fruits and sit and watch Ramayan… for 1 hour and than go about selling her fruits… !!!

      It was like Ramayan on.. India pause… !!!!!!!
      I do remember the Ramayana Days.. everyone used to sit in the hall and stay out of any other activity during that time..

      • October 13, 2009 9:03 PM

        Xactly Hitchu … traffic used to be so less during Ramayana time!

        I never went out at that time so dont know about the traffic 🙂

        • October 14, 2009 4:33 AM

          Swaram once a thief was caught because he claimed to watching Chitrahaar during the time of the theft, but could not tell what the entire nation could, the exact six
          or seven songs that were played that day on Chitrahaar 🙂

          LOL.. the thief must have been puzzled in the first place by the question itself..

          • October 14, 2009 10:58 AM

            Ha ha ha .. what a way to nab him 😛
            me 🙂

          • October 15, 2009 8:55 PM

            This really happened, he tried to say that he was sitting at home watching Chitrahaar at the time of the theft, but couldn’t tell which songs had played..

    • October 14, 2009 9:28 AM

      I agree with you…Those days were classic…
      Yes they were truly classic

  2. October 13, 2009 8:48 PM

    Sigh! Just saw this on the reader 😛 When did u comment Hitchu 😉
    Me 🙂

    • October 14, 2009 4:35 AM

      Interesting question Swaram.

      You seem to love the 1st place more than Hitchwriter 🙂

      • October 14, 2009 10:22 AM

        I have retired… no plans of playing again 😛 😛

        You retired from the 1st place 😯
        chalo.. you can sit back and watch others trying to reach the great heights you reached by coming 1st at all the blogs..

      • October 15, 2009 9:33 PM

        Arrreee naheen Swaram! I find this sweet that Hitchies plays these games (err..a little nimmature though) but really this isn’t my cup of tea… I believe it’s the thought behind the comment that counts, not the rank.

  3. October 13, 2009 9:07 PM

    Nice post Mystery! I ws just trying to recollect all the wonderful pgms seeing the logo on DD! I hardly see TV esp. DD and it catches my eye only while browsing the channels!
    Thanks Swaram.. the logo was also so special na.. first i dint include it in the post and then added the pic immediately after hitting the publish button..
    I remember hw much my family used to be glued to Humlog and Buniyaad!
    I never saw those shows 😦
    I used to love Tehkikat 🙂
    Dont know this either
    4 p.m movie on Sunday ws thinking we used to wait for too 🙂
    I am sure u would have waited.. only one movie in a we used to wait anxiously for that..
    DD2 used to be available everywhere na?
    DD2? i dont remember 😐

  4. October 13, 2009 9:08 PM

    Nice header Mystery 🙂
    Thank you Swaram.. All credits to Smitha again 🙂

  5. October 14, 2009 12:34 AM

    WOW! 50. Doordarshan will always remind us of the classic era of Indian television. Too much of anything becomes a poison and that is what today’s channels and shows have becomes. Earlier there was only one channel and few shows. Each show just 13 episodes each and then some extended to max. 20 episodes. It had class and also there was variety. There was Kannada, Gujrati, Bengali, Tamilian, Punjabi etc. representation. Today all shows are clones. Everyone celebrates same festivals and wears similar dresses and speaks in the same accent/tone and have same last names.
    Where is our diversity?

    I agree with you Solilo.. Too much of anything is not good and thats the reason we dont like many of the programs these days.. One channel starts something different and all the other channels follow the concept, it gets repetitive and we loose the interest in those shows..

  6. October 14, 2009 12:38 AM

    it’s been ages since i saw this ad Solilo..
    It love this one..thanks for sharing it 🙂

  7. October 14, 2009 1:41 AM

    Seriously?? 50 years?? I never watch doordarshan unless Im pressurised ! 😀 😀 😀 and I have no clue on the shows that were/are aired. But I always loved Mile sur mera tumhara. Awesome composition, it is !

    U dont know even a single show??? 😯 😯
    Mile sur.. was one classic song! How many ever times i see the video i still feel like seeing it one more time…

  8. October 14, 2009 4:29 AM

    My favorite were shows like Hum Log, Dekh Bhai Dekh and Pukaar. I do agree that we had more meaningful TV shows then, but DD was also extremely complacent. When I was in college we once went with a friend who knew someone at the Doordarshan kendra and while we waited, somehow a heated discussion on Politics was started, two of us were told to come for a show the next day, (we did not know but they were selecting who to call during that discussion) we were given a topic and told to come prepared. We were excited, and I had expected a rehearsal – instead they had the set ready, we were slathered with pancake and they shot the show – with no practice at all, they asked three of us some questions and we answered to the best of our ability… and were on cloud nine.

    But the most interesting part was that they had a special guest there, a well known politician today, he wore white and there was some problem with that… nothing was planned, they could have instructed everybody on what kind of colours to avoid, and what to say or not to say, or at least have one practice session! This was on national television. They were so unenthusiastic about their jobs !

    dekh bhai dekh.. i remember seeing it but dont remember what was in it 😐
    nice to hear that u came on tv IHM 🙂

    Competition has improved it a lot, and the poor quality Saas-bahu serials make it look great today.
    I feel it must have definitely improved over the years or else it wouldn’t last in our memories for this long.. and yes the poor quality of saas-bahu serials is also a positive thing for DD

    I hope eventually we make better shows for TRPs instead of more sensational shows for TRPs.
    TRPs have become like voting, we will eventually get what we watch 😦
    Very True IHM..

    • October 14, 2009 9:35 AM

      We all remember DD serials because we had no choice…Now that we have choice, the programming (saas-bahu serials etc.) on alternate channels reflect what we really like…Maybe, people would have preferred these serials even then?

      It’s true that we dint have a choice then..but these days we dont like most of the shows we see but still continue watching it as we have no other nice shows…

  9. October 14, 2009 11:39 AM

    DD was the best.I posted few ads and jingles on my blog few months back.I still watch youtube for those old ads and jngles.i am complan boy,bajaj bulbs,cadbudry ad and many were classic.
    I remember that post of yours saritha..i loved it..
    Cartoons were the best,spiderman,uncle donald,mougli etc…..
    Duck tales was one of my fav.. uncle scrooge and the triplets made me laugh so much..

    The list of fav are endless no,can’t name which is the best.
    ya..its difficult to pick one among a bunch of good ones..
    My school was near the doordarshan studio and there used to a big banner of doordarshan logo,every time we pass we used to look at the gate so that we get any chance of seeing any tv artist.
    Once shanti swaroop the 7 pm news reader came to our colony for some function and the whole colony came to see him..
    I came to know about the 50 years when news readers salma and komal gb singh was interviewed on ndtv.
    Even i saw a couple of programs in TV..
    We sisters used to write the songs aired in chitrahaar and chitralaahri.And we never used to miss the regional language movie on dd every sunday afternoon. used to come at 9:30.right?

    • October 15, 2009 4:55 PM

      Chitralaahri used to come at 8.30 night

      😐 i am getting old already 😦

  10. October 14, 2009 11:43 PM

    Doordarshan days!!! I guess we all have some or other memories associated with it…
    My fondest memory is of getting ready for Ramayana & Mahabharata!!! My granny used to bath and all before sitting for Ramayana. Then I associate sat. afternoon with Vikram Betal!!!
    Vikram betal! those tales were so nice.. we used wait eagerly for the next weeks episode..
    And election times main they used to show non stop movies!!! What days they were!!!
    I dont remember this 😦
    Nice nostalgic post dear 🙂
    Thanks Smita 🙂

  11. October 22, 2009 9:49 PM

    That was such a lovely, nostalgic post, Mystery! I have come here atleast 5 times since you posted and I have never been able to comment – each time, I get busy with something and move away without commenting – so sorry!
    The fact that you read the post 5 times is more than enough than leaving a comment smitha 🙂

    I miss those days! I think DD will always have a very special place in our hearts. The programs were really nice and I can’t tell you how many memories are linked to those days..In some ways, the nostalgia value probably makes us feel that the programs then were much better – but in my mind, they were 🙂

    Lovely lovely post!

    Thank you Smitha 🙂
    Even in my mind those programs were the best of the lot.. as said in the post DD was not just a tv channel but a special part of our childhood..

  12. October 29, 2009 5:48 PM

    DD….we had only DD till we completed our degree. We didnt watch Tv all that much but yes Chitrahaar, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Hum log, Buniyaad, Different Strokes, The famous Five, Oshin[remember tht japanese serial dubbed in Hindu :-D], Surabhi were some of the shows we watched.

    And ads I particularly remmeber tht Cinkara ad with javed jaffery & tht lalithaji ad.

    And oh how can I forget the serial Rajini…remember her?????
    Rajini??? buniyaad, different strokes 😦 i know none of them 😦 but yes i can understand the emotion
    Thanks for reminding me :-)!!!!!

    Thanks to all the comments, i am knowing of the other programs and reliving the memories of DD days..

  13. Awesome Person permalink
    July 6, 2012 2:52 PM

    Wow.. ur post took me back into my Childhood..
    I further researched for links related to Doordarshan and look what I came up with –
    Nostalgic really..

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