Doordarshan planned to spread the message of national integration and instil pride among Indians. The first of the trilogy
The short film was officially titled “Spread the Light of Freedom” – the first of the trilogy of patriotic films released by Doordarshan.
Doordarshan planned to spread the message of national integration and instil pride among Indians.
The brief went to Suresh Mullick of OBM (Ogilvy) who in turn reached out to Kailash Surendranath to produce and direct the film. After discussing various ideas, it was decided to feature sports and sportspersons.
The following year, 1988, was also the year of the Seoul Olympics. It also aimed to honour our various sporting personalities and build a sporting spirit in our country.
Inspired by the Chariots of Fire, Suresh created the concept along with Kailash Surendranath. The production team consisted of Kailash and Jeet Surendranath. The cameraman was R.M. Rao.
A difficult task was to reach out to all the sportspersons. A list had been compiled of the personalities who would feature in the film. But keep in mind that this was 1987, and there were no cell phones. Phone calls had to be made through land phones or otherwise send letters to the athletes who were included in the film and they had a large roster.
One of the highlights was the stirring type of music that Louis Banks created. It reminded people of a military organ. It started a new musical trend.
The Westernized tune switched gears and climaxed with a portion of the national anthem, thanks to Kailash Surendranath’s guidance. When the team submitted this to the Doordarshan bosses, they were flatly refused, claiming that the national anthem was sacred and that any experiment on it would inevitably cause controversy. As a result, Louis remade it sans the “Jaya He” part. When Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi heard both versions, he picked the one that included a portion of the national hymn, Jaya He!
The film was first shown on 15th Aug 1987.
None of the personalities or production team members charged any fees. They were all a part of this classic purely out of love for their motherland. (However, the production costs were covered by Doordarshan)
K. Srikkanth, P.K. Banerjee, Chuni Goswami, Shiny Abraham, P.T. Usha, Ramanathan Krishnan, Ramesh Krishnan, Tiger Pataudi (with his daughter Soha Ali Khan), Kapil Dev, Milkha Singh, Jarnail Singh, Nirupama Mankad, Taranath Shenoy, Michael Ferreira, Balbir Singh, Merwyn Fernandes, Sunil Gavaskar, Abbas Moonstasir, Adille Sumariwala, E.A.S. Prasanna, B.S. Chandrashekar, S. Venkataraghavan, Prakash Padukone and Fifty Children from Lawrence School, Lovedale, Ooty