Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan fetched no substantial monetary rewards for the actors when it was first telecast.
One of the actors confidentially divulged that they were paid “a pittance” for the year-long series.
Now, when the series has acquired renewed fame during its re-telecast during the national lockdown, some of its actors feel some kind of remunerative compensation seems legitimate.
I think we should get royalty,” says Dipika Chikhlia, who played Sita.
“We had no money when we shot (the serial), but also now (we haven’t been given any monetary compensation),” Dipika tells an online channel.
Arun Govil, who played Ram, agrees.
“There was little money back then. Now when the series has had a successful re-run, some royalty seems right. Why not?” he asks.
“This issue should be addressed to Doordarshan who hold the telecast rights of our serial,” says Moti Sagar, the late Ramayan producer-director Ramanand Sagar’s son.
“We (the Sagars) paid what we had to when the serial was made. Now it is up to Doordarshan to look into this matter,” Moti Sagar adds.
“If the artistes are saying they should get royalty, they must have reason to feel that way. How can I say anything about it?” he asks.
The Sagars are pleased with the attention Ramayan is getting with new audiences.
“After Ramayan, Doordarshan is showing our Shri Krishna,” says Moti Sagar. “It gives us Sagars great pleasure that young generations in our country are being familiarised with our religion and heritage through our serials.”
“Now, because of the popularity and success of Ramayan, our war film 1971 — directed by my son Amrit Sagar and released in 2007 — has got an unprecedented viewership. Maybe the actors of 1971 should start seeking compensation too.”