Shyam Benegal, Sai Paranjpye say it's 'a crying shame' to lose footage of their Doordarshan projects

FP Staff

Jul 03, 2019 15:01:44 IST

Shyam Benegal and Sai Paranjpye have expressed disappointment as multiple documentaries and TV projects broadcasted by Doordarshan go missing.

An enraged Benegal tells Mumbai Mirror, “It’s a crying shame really. Supposedly DD is required to hand over its material to the National Film Archive of India in Pune. How many have been handed over is a mystery. The archive is meant to store and preserve our national heritage of cinema and TV series. Clearly, the archive has never been looked after or given any priority.”

Shyam Benegal, Sai Paranjpye say its a crying shame to lose footage of their Doordarshan projects

Shyam Benegal (left), Sai Paranjpye. Images from Twitter

According to the report, Benegal has repeatedly requested DD to preserve and digitise filmed content. He remarks that the storage facilities are "awful," lamenting that "at least a millennium of our literature" is lost.

Although a few of Benegal's masterpieces, including Bharat Ek Khoj/Discovery of India, are available on YouTube, he is unsure how many of the original 53 episodes are available. Apart from this, his documentaries on music and rhythm were submitted for archival, but are no longer accessible. His other documentaries on Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan still remain unaccounted for.

Filmmaker and writer Sai Paranjpye, who was one of the first female producers to have been appointed by DD, says that she has persistently inquired about four of her programmes, without any avail. Her documentaries on Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, movie-hoarding painters that featured MF Husain's quote and singer Pankaj Mullick are the few of her many works that have gone missing.

Other seminal works, such as a documentary on Rupert Murdoch's India visit, the famed dacoits of the Chambal Valley, a 1980s documentary with former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu and Subhash Ghisingh, leader of the Gorkha National Liberation Front are also untraceable and could have been binned.

Updated Date: Jul 03, 2019 15:01:44 IST