The fact that several years after its original release and at a time when OTTs are becoming the most preferred choice for viewers, Ramayana's successful re-run and record-breaking journey has come as a big surprise. Not only has the show surpassed all Indian shows in terms of TRPs but also broke several records held by other shows all across the globe.

Talking about foreign media's attitude and how they still remain biased towards the gem of the shows that India comes up with, Ramanand Safar's son Prem Sagar had said that BBC had also wanted to run Ramayana. He told Swarajyamag, "All other channels too had a captive audience due to the lockdown. Then why single out Ramayan? DD was the last on the chart of TRPs. And now not just is it number one but also, there is no competition for miles. The foreign media is biased. This is my personal experience and opinion. WaPo had sent two journalists to interview me way back in the 90s. They were dripping honey during our interactions. But when they went back, they wrote trash, and none of what was projected to me.

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BBC's bait

Same was the case with the BBC. They had decided to buy telecast rights to the Ramayan for the Asian population. Ramanand Sagar, Arun Govil, Arvind Trivedi (who played Ravan) and I went to their Liverpool studios for an interview before signing the contract. But they wanted Arun Govil dressed and paraded as Shri Ram in full costume and crown through the BBC studios so they could film it. Papaji and I realised it was a calculated attempt to break the image of Shri Ram as divine, worshipped in every grain of soil in India. We refused their bait. There was a major battle of telephones being exchanged between London and Birmingham and finally they didn't sign the contract.

They instead opted for Mahabharat, which portrayed a lot of negativity, and everyone trying to grab the crown; this in place of Maryada Purushotham Ram and Sanatan values of Ramayan, where every character is an epitome of sacrifice. Nobody wants the crown. Bharat's character who worships the padukas of Shri Ram and places them on the throne, I think, was unacceptable to the foreign media.