Ramanand Sagar was a veteran Indian film and TV serial director and producer. He is the director of the popular TV series, ‘Ramayan’ (1987).
Ramanand Sagar was born on Saturday, 29 December 1917 (age 87 years at the time of death), in Asal Guru Ke, Lahore in Punjab, British India (now in Pakistan). His zodiac sign is Capricorn. In 1942, he received a gold medal in Sanskrit and a gold medal in Persian from the University of Punjab. Web Archive
Family & Caste
He was a Kashmiri refugee.
Parents & Siblings
His great grandfather, Lala Shankar Das Chopra, a migrant from Peshawar to Kashmir became the ‘Nagar Shet’ of Kashmiri Chopras. His grandfather, Lala Ganga Ram had his own business in Srinagar. Ramanand’s father, Lala Dinanath Chopra, used to write poetry. His younger brother’s name is Chittaranjan. The popular Bollywood director, Vidhu Vinod Chopra is his stepbrother.
Relationships, Wife & Children
He is married to Leelavati Sagar. He has one daughter, Sarita Sagar and four sons, Subhash Sagar, Moti Sagar, Prem Sagar, and Anand Sagar. His grandchildren include Meenakshi Sagar, Preeti Sagar, Akash Chopra, Amrit Sagar, Namita Sagar, Shakti Sagar, and Jyoti Sagar. He is the grandfather of Payal Khanna; ex-wife of the Bollywood director, Aditya Chopra. His granddaughter, Ganga Kadakia is a famous Indian painter.
At the age of 16, he wrote the poetry titled “Pritam Pratiksha” (The wait for the beloved) for ‘Shri Pratap College Magazine’ Srinagar-Kashmir. Though he was a gold medallist in Sanskrit and Persian, he did a few odd jobs at the beginning of his career. He worked as a peon, truck cleaner, soap vendor, and goldsmith apprentice.
Later, he joined ‘Daily Milap’ as a newspaper editor. He wrote many short stories, novels, poems, and plays with different names like “Ramanand Chopra,” “Ramanand Bedi,” and “Ramanand Kashmiri.” He started his career in Bollywood as a clapper boy in the silent film, ‘Raiders of the Rail Road’ (1932). After the Partition of India in 1947, he relocated to Mumbai and worked as an assistant manager in the Prithvi Theatre. He then wrote the story and screenplay for the Raj Kapoor’s superhit film ‘Barsaat’ (1949).
In 1950, he started his own film production company, ‘Sagar Art Private Limited.’ He directed and produced many Bollywood films, including ‘Zindagi’ (1964), ‘Arzoo’ (1965), ‘Aankhen’ (1968), ‘Charas’ (1976), ‘Bhagawat’ (1980), and ‘Salma’ (1985).
In 1987, he directed and produced the popular mythological series ‘Ramayan,’ starring Arun Govil as Ram/Vishnu, Deepika Chikhalia as Sita/Lakshmi, and Sunil Lahri as Lakshman. Some of his other popular TV serials are ‘Vikram Aur Betaal’ (1986), ‘Luv Kush’ (1988), ‘Krishna’ (1992), and ‘Sai Baba’ (2005).
Awards & Honours
1960: Best Dialogue Award for Paigham
1969: Best Director Award for Aankhen
2000: Contribution in the field of Arts
He died on 12 December 2005 at his home, and his last rites were performed at the Juhu-Vile Parle Crematorium, Mumbai.
- His friends and family call him ‘Papaji’ and in Ramanand’s remembrance, his heirs started a non-profit company ‘Ramanand Sagar Foundation (RSF)’ in Mumbai.
- At the age of 30, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and experienced near to death experience. Rediff
- In 1948, he wrote the book, ‘Aur Insaan Mar Gaya’ (English: And Humanity Died).
- Ramanand Sagar was adopted by his maternal grandmother, and she changed his name from Chandramouli Chopra to Ramanand Sagar.
- His son, Prem Sagar published a book on his life ‘An Epic Life: Ramanand Sagar, From Barsaat to Ramayan’ in December 2019.
- He was honoured with the Doctor of Literature (Sahitya Vachaspati) by Hindi Sahitya Sammelan (Prayag) Allahabad in 1996 and Doctor of Literature (D. Lit.) (Honoris Causa by Jammu University) in 1997.
- His popular mythological series, ‘Ramayan’ (1987) was retelecasted on Star Plus and Star Utsav in 2000s. In March 2020, it was retelecasted on DD National during Coronavirus lockdown in India.