In 1973, the signature tune of Doordarshan was first brought to life by Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan during his shehnai recital in an hour and a half long inauguration ceremony of Doordarshan Television Channel held at Vigyan Bhava in new Delhi. Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan was the one who first breathed life into that sad sounding tune.
As more and more cities started receiving the signals of Doordarshan, the number of its viewers kept increasing. It became a truly powerful medium. But, a medium of what - this was yet to be decided. Indira Gandhi, the Indian Prime Minister at the time, understood the power of this new medium. A common sentiment of the public during the turbulent 70s was: Nehru was a visionary, Shastri a revisionary, and Indira Gandhi a televisionary. Indira Gandhi knew how to wield and harvest the power of television. Indira Gandhi wanted the signature tune of Doordarshan to be based on the national song of India - Iqbal's saarey jahan se acha.
The task of composing the tune was entrusted to sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. But, he realized that the actual tune of saarey jahan se acha was of a bit longer duration. Working with Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan, Ravi Shankar finally came up with a variation of the original tune and created what can truly be termed the 'National tune of India'. A slow mournful sounding tune that became a cherished memory for generations of Indians. A memory twisted in swirls...the swirl.
Download the Signature Tune of Doordarshan ( .MP3, .99 MB)
The sound quality isn't great. But hey...still it is something!
Here is a little more clearer version (.MP3, 64Kbps, 535KB)
Here is something i did with the Doordarshan Montage (originally designed at NID) video uploaded at youtube. Fix you gaze all over again on that hypnotic swirl of good'ol Doordarshan. It's the total rewind:
You may also like to read my earlier post about signature tune of AIR
the freedom run torch song of Doordarshan
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