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Watch: Not religion but religious leaders spreading hatred, says Ramayana actor Arun Govil

"It is not religion that spreads hatred but those who practice it -- the religious leaders. Besides them, politicians also use it as a weapon for political gains, Arun Govil said.

Written by Nishant Shekhar | New Delhi | Updated: October 7, 2019 8:09:23 am
arun govil, ramayan serial, ramayan actor, Ramanand Sagar, religious intolerance, ram mandir, ayodhya dispute, durga puja, ashtami, dussehra TV star Arun Govil during an interview with The Indian Express.

It is not a religion but religious leaders who often incite communal hatred among one another, believes actor Arun Govil, who played Lord Rama in Ramanand Sagar’s television serial of the eighties — Ramayana.

“It is not religion that spreads hatred but those who practice it — the religious leaders. Besides them, politicians also use it as a weapon for political gains,” Govil told indianexpress.com.

The lead actor in the television blockbuster had played the maryada purushottam as an approachable young man with a genial smile. Govil has essayed numerous other roles, including the hero of Vikram Air Betaal, but it was Ram who drew the crowds wherever he went, including airports.

But many don’t know that he was rejected in the audition for the role of Ram. “I believe I was destined to play Ram. Although when I was first auditioned for the role I was rejected outrightly,” said Govil adding that “even when I came to know that a serial called Ramayana is being made, I was determined to play Ram only.”

Three decades later, the actor will revisit the role in The Legend of Ram: Ek Shabd, Ek Baan, Ek Naari, a Broadway-style play directed by Delhi-based Atul Satya Koushik that will open in Delhi during Dusshera next week.

When asked how different is the Ram of this play from the one he performed 30 years ago, Govil said, “The Ram I play now is human rather than the divine figure of Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan. He is a normal man, who faces many struggles in life, sticks to his ideals, emerges victorious and begins to be considered a Vishnu of his times. What we are trying to say in the play is that there are people who have sublime qualities and become godlike.”

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