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Dipika Chikhlia on Adipurush row: 'Ramayana is not for entertainment, it is what our sanskars are all about'

Jun 21, 2023 09:51 AM IST

Dipika Chikhlia, who played Sita in Ramanand Sagar’s Doordarshan show Ramayan, hasn’t watched Adipurush, but has reacted to the backlash the film is facing.

Dipika Chikhlia, who became famous for her role as Sita in Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan decades ago, has reacted to the backlash against Adipurush directed by Om Raut. Speaking about the recently-released Prabhas and Kriti Sanon-starrer in a new interview, the veteran actor said that any kind of deviance from the Hindu epic will encounter criticism. Also read: Arun Govil calls Adipurush ‘Hollywood ki cartoon’

Actors Sunil Lahiri, Arun Govil and Dipika Chikhlia in a still from the TV show Ramayan.
Actors Sunil Lahiri, Arun Govil and Dipika Chikhlia in a still from the TV show Ramayan.

Dipika also said that the Hindu epic is not for entertainment, and added filmmakers should avoid coming up with new iterations every few years. Adipurush, a lavish multilingual retelling of the Ramayana, has come under attack for its dialogue, colloquial language and misrepresentation of some characters from the Hindu epic.

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Dipika on Ramayana

Amid the backlash, Dipika Chikhlia told news agency PTI, “Every time it is going to come back on screen, be it for TV or movie, it is going to have something, which is going to hurt people because you are not going to make a replica of the Ramayana that we made. (But) what really pains me is why are we constantly trying to make Ramayana every year or two years. Ramayana is not (for) entertainment value; it is something that you learn from. It is a book, which is being passed down to us by generations and this is what our sanskars (values) are all about."

On why she hasn't watched Adipurush

Dipika Chikhlia hasn’t watched Adipurush yet. She said that given the negative buzz around the film and her work commitments she is unlikely to do so any time soon.

"Possibly that (negative buzz around Adipurush) also clouded my judgment. I am shooting round-the-clock, so time is a big constraint for me. So, when I actually watch it, then I will possibly be in a better frame of mind to talk about Adipurush. At this point, I have nothing to share. People are coming to me about it, the scenes and everything, and a lot of people from the press too, but I have no clue about it (the film)," Dipika said in the same interview.

On her Doordarshan show

Recalling her TV show, Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan, which began airing in 1987 on Doordarshanl, Dipika said the aim was never to make money. She added that people need to understand that Ramayana is 'something you worship, you worship Lord Ram and Hanuman'.

Dipika added Ram and Hanuman 'are not some American superhero kind of a thing'. She said they are people 'whom we look up to, they are part of our history, they are our ancestors'. Dipika further said that all the actors on Ramayan did a good job of portraying their characters with utmost honesty, which is one of the reasons why viewers adore the show even today.

The series featured Arun Govil as Lord Ram, Sunil Lahri as Lakshman with late actors Dara Singh and Arvind Trivedi essaying the roles of Hanuman and Ravana, respectively.

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