A conversation with Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi, maker of the iconic TV series, Chanakya on how he created this masterpiece
This is the full story of the making of Chanakya narrated by Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi, the creator of the Chanakya Television Series that aired on Doordarshan between September 1991 - August 1992.
For the first time after about three decades of its making, Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi narrates the full story of how he conceived, researched, travelled, wrote, and directed the Chanakya series, which has become a modern cultural milestone in India.
The hallmark of a classic work of art is an innate trait in it to have universal appeal transcending age groups, geographies, languages and cultures. In the annals of creative storytelling through the medium of television, Chanakya undoubtedly is one such modern classic. This series has become a cultural milestone and an iconic creative harbinger of sorts in recent Indian history.
Today, there are thousands of clips of selected scenes and dialogues from Chanakya on YouTube and elsewhere on social media that continue to be regularly circulated. The story of the Chanakya TV series revolves around the character, life, vision, and accomplishments of Chanakya or Kautilya or Vishnugupta, one of the world’s pioneering masters of statecraft, politics, and economics who lived in the third century BCE. The Chanakya TV series has elevated a historical subject and a great event in ancient India into a rich art experience.
The story of the actual making of this legendary classic is as interesting, inspiring, heroic and moving as the the series itself. Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi's single-minded focus and efforts to complete it and finally air it on Doordarshan was no less a feat than Bhagiratha's never-say-die effort to bring the sacred Ganga from the heaven to the earth. The story of the making of Chanakya is also a great lesson, inspiration and a model for all creative artists who want to make a classic on these lines.
Its sustained endurance, staying power, appeal and relevance is also indicated by the fact that Chanakya continues to draw massive viewership when it has been re-telecast during the nationwide lockdown to contain the global outbreak of the China Virus or Corona Virus or Covid.