Doordarshan Turns 60
Satellite dishes (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)  

Doordarshan Turns 60

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Doordarshan turned 60 on Sunday bringing back memories of a golden period when entertainment in the country revolved around serials such as Mahabharata, Fauji and Malgudi Days.

People turned nostalgic on Twitter to mark the public service broadcaster of India's 60 years with several of them asking on social media “which are your favourite DD shows”.

Some posted its iconic logo that used to appear before the start of programmes with its characteristic tune.

There were many who shared their fond memories associated with Doordarshan and remembered iconic shows that made their childhood days memorable.

Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer Shashi Shekhar Vempati said, “It’s a moment to recognise that it’s not that Doordarshan has gotten older, but it is getting newer for digital audiences.”

It’s not only that Doordarshan has turned 60 but the history of television broadcasting in India now spans 6 decades—a milestone for all of TV industry in India, he said.

Doordarshan Director General Supriya Sahu said in a video message, “Doordarshan is in the DNA of India. Happy Birthday Doordarshan. 60 Glorious Years of DD. May you continue to enthrall generations of Indians. Starting off as an experiment in 1959, Doordarshan can take pride in the fact that it has emerged as one of the leading broadcasters in the world.”

From the days of “Ramayana”, “Hum Log”, “Buniyaad”, “Surabhi”, till today Doordarshan gives high-tech coverage of national and international events, she said, adding that Doordarshan has been a “trailblazer”.

Doordarshan, which began as an experiment on Sept. 15, 1959, became a service in 1965, when it began beaming signals to reach television sets in living rooms in and around the national capital. By 1972, services were extended to Mumbai and Amritsar and then to seven other cities by 1975.

All this time, it was part of the national broadcaster, All India Radio. On April 1, 1976, it transited to become a separate department in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Over the years, Doordarshan has grown into a network operating 34 satellite channels, besides providing free-to-air DTH service having 104 in its bookings.  Many a career were launched on this platform, including that of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan who became a household name after his serial “Fauji”, and many shows went on to become classics.

Entertainment shows like “Chitrahaar”, “Mahabharat”, “Dekh Bhai Dekh”, Malgudi Days, among others, captured the imagination of the Indian public in the late 80s and early 90s, and still remains etched in people’s minds as pure entertainment that brought people together.

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