New chapter in Raamaaya.na reception: tv-serial Raavan
Jan E.M. Houben
j_e_m_houben at YAHOO.COM
Tue Sep 11 07:00:01 EDT 2007
With the tv-serial Raavan (Zee-tv, since November last year) a new chapter has begun in the reception of the Raamaaya.na. From the web:
"A lot of research has gone into the subject and the script has been written with authentic references. Though we have all heard stories of Ravan being a staunch devotee of lord Shiva, a scholar, and a grandson of Lord Brahma, the serial will reveal the unknown facts about the life of Raavan, and the situations that changed him for worse."
A few episodes on Raavan's childhood and early years as king of Lanka I could see so far and they were quite entertaining. The research on the sources (mainly the Raamaaya.na) has been so thorough that the events in Raavan's life have become full of thinly veiled references to the modern world and recent history, with for instance Shukracharya training demons in Lanka for suicide attacks (with explosive belts) in the ashrams of hermits and sages in Dandakaranya, and Raavan pleading for equality and intercaste marriage in order to spread his influence and increase his power.
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