I was channel-surfing today, when I came across a programme on one of the news channels about public service messages that were telecast on Doordarshan ages ago. You folks may remember those too - there was one with many famous sportspersons carrying a lighted torch, and another one about Mahatma Gandhi, which showed his simpliciy through a line sketch. But my all-time favourite was "Mile sur mera tumhara" - sung in a bevy of languages. Today, while watching the video on the tube, I must say, I had goose-bumps. It is hard to believe that Doordarshan could come up with such a 'cool' video - simple, easy-to-understand, with no bombastic claims, and still conveying the central message of national integration.
The video was telecast for the 40th year of Independence, when Rajiv Gandhi in his "Naani yaad dilaadenge" mood went overboard with nationalistic sentiment.
What's funny is how much India has changed since then. Twenty years is a miniscule period of time for a civilization that has spanned 5000 years, but the amount of change that has happened in the last twenty years has clearly dwarfed those that happened over the preceding 4980 (to be mathematically accurate).
Would such a video be successful today? Will a honest-to-earth video like this one succeed in the pop-patriotic world of today? Let me know through the comments link :)
BTW, a few graduate students in MIT made a similar video in 2003 - view it here
Update - Listen to the original soundtracks at raaga.com.