Prime Minister Narendra Modi rarely makes a speech without referring to “yug purush” Deendayal Upadhyaya. Early this year, the Publications Division of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry published books on him, along with other political leaders, ahead of the Book Fair.
Nearly Rs. 1,500 crore has been set aside for the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gramin Kaushal Yojana — targeted at providing job opportunities for rural youth.
A determined effort is being taken to make Deendayal Upadhyaya, a stalwart of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, precursor of the BJP, an influential part of the mainstream political discourse. And to strengthen this campaign by those who regard Deendayal Upadhyaya as the 20th century’s most original thinker, Doordarshan recently cleared a proposal for a biopic, to mark the centenary celebrations next year.
Ram turns Deen Dayal Upadhyaya
The decision to clear the bio-epic on Deen Dayal Upadhyaya for telecast, with other serials, was taken by a committee established by the Prasar Bharati Corporation with the nod of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in April-May this year.
Arun Govil, better known for playing Ram in the epic Ramayan telecast on Doordarshan in the mid-80s, has been commissioned to work on it.
Mr. Govil said: “I received the news only a few days ago and I am yet to finalise the name of the actor who will play the character of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.”
Blaming the Congress for narrowing the political discourse in terms of actors and ideologies, RSS thinker and India Policy Foundation head Rakesh Sinha says: “Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’s ideas are a negation of both communism and free market-based economy. His thought has an unexceptional spark to contest neo-liberalism. He is also an epitome of political morality which is most required in the contemporary politics of India and the world. Therefore, his inclusion will be most beneficial to Indian discourse.”
While sources said DD officials had some reservations about Mr. Govil’s capabilities to make the bio-epic, the decision taken by the committee is final.
The bio-epic has been given an A grade, which entitles it to prime-time telecast, and it is learnt that it will be of 32 episodes to begin with. Interestingly, the committee was set up following charges of corruption levelled against the in-house committee set up by Doordarshan. The public service broadcaster, which has been in the news for its failings highlighted by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry that finances it, and controls it, is battling for survival.