Mythmaking: Fashioning a Past
Time & Location
About the Event
Join us at: https://bit.ly/2CjlQfe Meeting ID: 879 2229 2997 Passcode: 492763
Did you know that Ramanand Sagar’s mega 78-episode series Ramayan which aired on Doordarshan in the late 1980s was the first deviation in the channel’s programming policy which until then abided by a strict idea of constitutional secular ethos? The show that captured a whopping 82% of then-Indian TV viewership ran strong at a time when the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was gaining momentum. Towards the end of the same decade, Peter Brooke’s 9+ hour play Mahabharat that had been touring worldwide, was turned into a 5+ hour film with a multi-racial cast. Tellingly, an offer to bring the production in English translation to India was refused; the official reason given being that the play might ‘confuse’ the Indian audience that was already receiving the epic in the form of BR Chopra’s Mahabharat television show then. This strange resistance to plurality and interpretations when it comes to anything claimed as ‘Hindu’ culture, continues to colour a political atmosphere that regularly upholds and invokes mythologies as historical demonstrations of a glorious past.
This week we read from and converse about some vastly varied efforts to reforge the myths of this land and through them, to define that 'foreign country' called the past.