Aired again after 33 years, DD recently claimed that Ramayan had set a world record to become the highest viewed entertainment program globally. “Rebroadcast of Ramayana on Doordarshan smashes viewership records worldwide, the show becomes most-watched entertainment show in the world with 7.7 crore viewers on 16th of April,” DD National posted on twitter.
Sunil Lahiri aka Laxman expressed in happiness on Twitter and wrote, “Duniya ka sabse zyada dekha jaane wale show ka record banane wale program Ko Ek Bar aur dekhne ka aur sarhaane ka avsar#Ramayan, 4 May se har roz shaam7:30 baje @starplus par."
However, this claim was questioned by a Mint report which said that the finale of American comedy-drama M*A*S*H actually holds this record, with 106 million viewers. In the report, the Chief Operating Officer of the Broadcasting Audience Research Council (BARC), Romil Ramgarhia, confirmed that while the figures cited by DD come from them, they didn’t make the claim made by the broadcaster.
After the Mint report, HuffPost India contacted Dipika Chikhila and Sunil Lahri, who played Sita and Lakshman respectively in the show, and Prem Sagar, son of creator Ramanand Sagar.
Dipika said that she was unaware of the news. On the other hand, Sunil and Prem didn’t believe the report. Prem said that the ratings were led by the ‘hand of God’. He added, “At a time when you’ve Netflix, Amazon, this is big. The idea is to bring it (the show) to this generation and teach them. To really bring them back into the fold of ideal living.”
Sunil added, “So in that sense Ramayana has created a bigger impact. It’s a world record in spite of so many options,” he said.
According to the article, Sunil and Prem ‘stuck to the claim that their show had created a world record’ even after being repeatedly told otherwise.
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