When Ramayan's Laxman aka Sunil Lahri thought Agnipareeksha scene will give out a wrong message
Aired again after more than three decades on popular demand as the entire nation went into lockdown, Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan became the most-watched television show globally with 7.7 viewers on April 16.
The mythological show first aired in 1987 and starred Arun Govil, Sunil Lahri, and Dipika Chikhlia in lead roles. Although fans love the stories of the ancient Indian epic, Sita's agnipareeksha or dhobi story has for years remained debatable topics.
In an interview with PinkVilla, Dipika, who essayed the roles of Sita, revealed if they ever had to face questions related to Sita's agnipareeksha or dhobi story.
Re-telecast has helped people realise they have had a wrong conception about Sita: Dipika
"Every Mother's Day, Women's Day, where they are talking about abla nari, I would hear about Sita. There was this fundamental darkness of a certain subject and when people are not ready to listen, it gets difficult to explain. But, when they saw it this time (the re-telecast), people in the majority realised that they were bombarded with such wrong stories about Ramayan, about dhobi. Now, people are sort of okay as they know the reality. Yes, of course, all these years I had to keep explaining myself. Now, I feel my life is a little easier because people know what happened and why."
Sunil Lahri aka Laxman's discussion with Ramanand Sagar regarding agnipareesha scene:
Sunil, who played the role of Laxman, added that he had a discussion with Ramanand Sagar regarding the agnipareeksha scene as he felt it would give out a wrong message. "In fact, I had a little discussion with Sagar Sahab about the agnipareeksha scene. I did come to Sagar Sir and asked him why this scene is there. Ram is a god and he must know that Sita is pure, so why this agnipareeksha? I asked him will this not give out a wrong message and he explained to me the purpose, what you see on screen as well. There was a little correction that took place while writing where Laxman get angry on Ram for the same."
Several cases against Ramanand Sagar:
Dipika then shared that Ramanand Sagar actual had several cases against him. "Papa ji (Sagar Sahab) had a lot of cases against him. Actually, the story about dhobi is not part of the original Ramayan, it is more of a folktale. Over the years, it has developed into a story. Papaji had a lot of cases against him. While we shot for Uttar Ramayan, he wasn't even there half the time because he was juggling between court and shoot. There was a lot of fury, there were scholars who did not accept this version."