Book Excerpt: How The Television Boom Took Hold In India
Doordarshan took a giant leap in the 1980s. In 1982, to coincide with the Asian Games in New Delhi, it started its colour transmission with a national network of colour and satellite link-up via Indian National Satellite System (INSAT) transponders. This was the decade when a new transmitter was added almost every other day to the ever-expanding Doordarshan network. There were fifteen million TV homes by the end of the decade, but the viewership was higher—touching a hundred million viewers during peak times when programmes like Ramayana and Mahabharat were aired. While the initial expansion of TV in India happened during Mrs Indira Gandhi’s time, it was after Rajiv Gandhi took over as the prime minister that the true power of TV was unleashed. In the 1980s, Doordarshan news—read by the likes of Tejeshwar Singh, Neethi Ravindran, Rini Simon, Sunit Tandon, Minu Talwar, Salma Sultan, Raman, Shobhana Jagdeesh and Shammi . . .