Rajani (Old Doordarshan TV serial)

Rajani (Old Doordarshan TV serial)

Rajani was the most popular show in Indian television ever. The mid 80s time when the Doordarshan had all the shows on family drama and some are based on social issues, Rajani came as a protagonist who never gets down against any crime by the system itself. Rajani wasn’t the first show on TV that brought about the social issues and movement against the government’s carelessness, but it was the first show ever that depicted how a middle class housewife can voice her opinion in support of the people who are being exploited by the system every day.

Rajani (Old Doordarshan TV serial)

It was Padmini Kohlapure, the ace Bollywood actress who had started the character but later Priya Tendulkar stepped into her shoes and took up the character when Padmini left the show. Most of the people still don’t know about Padmini doing the character as Priya tendulkar overshadowed effect of rajani in the society. It was a weekly show that used to come on Sunday morning. A half an hour show that changed the Sunday morning for millions of households was the name Rajani. Basu Chatterjee was phenomenal as a director as he had already been directed many a films under big banners by the time he started working on Rajani. With Priya ji’s excellent acting and Basu Ji’s fantastic direction the show had become the best of all.


Rajani was based on a housewife who used to opine against the government’s carelessness and the after effects. Rajani was a housewife and belonged to a middle class family. She encountered a various problems and issues in her daily life where she could identify the lax of government. Unlike other people who only blame the government but don’t do anything, Rajani was a different. She voiced her opinion every time she faced such issue in her life.

One of the many episodes was about the cooking gas cylinders and how people are getting issues with the delivery of cylinders. The episodes started with a lot of people waiting since ages to get their gas cylinder but the agent was no way listening to them. On the other the rich people who kept paying high price for the cylinders were getting them within no time. Once Rajani identified the issue rather than sit back and blame the agent she went to police station and reported against the agent. Later on he got arrested and had to shut down his illegal business.

Another episode showed the issue of taxi drivers and their rude behaviour. This is not an old or unknown thing to many of us. Even today we face such issue while availing a cab. Rajani brought about the issue and showed how normal people face several problems while availing a cab and how the drivers behave badly with people.

Within 13 episodes the show grabbed a good number of viewers and set a landmark on Indian Television that yet to be crossed.

Relevance Today

Rajani is the voice of every Indian woman, not only the woman but every person living in this country. Though the show was based on a housewife but it wasn’t a typical family drama. It showed so many common issues that even today we come across in our daily life. However rather than try to solve them or voice against them all we do is sit back and blame the system. Rajani wasn’t that kind of a person. She was, is the inner voice of every citizen who is exploited by the system.

The makers of the show had faced a lot of adversity while airing the show. After almost every episode the authority took a stand against the show and asked for apology for showing the dark side of the system from the channel and the makers. It wasn’t easy for them to go against the system and society and air such bold drama at that time. But they did and it was highly inspirational.

Important Details about the show
Name of the show Rajani
Country India
Language Hindi
Subject Social Drama
Banner (production House) Video City India Pvt. Ltd.
Director Basu Chatterjee
Creator Basu Chatterjee
Producer Anand Mahendroo
Story writer Karan Razdan
Dialogues written by Liliput
Official website
Telecast Details
Telecast Date 1985
Aired on Doordarshan
Telecast Episodes 13
Episode Length 22 minutes
No of seasons 1
Cast details
Character Name Real Name
Rajani Priya Tendulkar

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