Early life of Ramanand Sagar
His birthplace is at Asal Guru Ke near Lahore. His great-grandfather, Lala Shankar Das Chopra was a migratory from Peshwar Kashmir. Ramanand was adopted by his childless maternal grandmother and, although his original name was "Chandramauli," it was changed to "Ramanand" by his adoptive family. Struggle of existence had been great for this person. Sagar worked as a peon, truck cleaner, soap vendor, goldsmith apprentice etc. during the day and studied for his degree at night.
He was a gold medallist in Sanskrit and Persian from the University of Punjab in 1942 as well as the editor of newspaper Daily Milap. He even tried his hand at writing by writing many short stories, novels, poems, plays, etc. under names like "Ramanand Chopra", "Ramanand Bedi" and "Ramanand Kashmiri". In 1942 when he caught tuberculosis he wrote a subjective column "Diary of a T.B. patient" writing about his fight. The column was published in series in the magazine Adab-e-Mashriq in Lahore.
Career of Ramanand Sagar
In the year1932, Sagar started his film career as a clapper boy in a silent film, Raiders of the Rail Road. Later he shifted to Bombay in 1949 after India's partition.
In 1940's, Ramanand Sagar in full swing started out as an assistant stage manager in Prithvi Theatre of Prithviraj Kapoor. Also, directed a few plays under the fatherly guidance of Kapoor.
Apart from directing the films, he plunged into scripting story and screenplay for Raj Kapoor's super hit Barsaat. He founded the film and television production company known as Sagar Films (Pvt. Ltd.) a.k.a. Sagar Arts in 1950. He is the producer and director of many successful films. He won the 1960 Film fare Best Dialogue Award for Paigham which was directed by S. S. Vasan and starred Dilip Kumar, Vyjanthimala and Raj Kumar in lead roles. In 1968 he won the Filmfare Best Director Award for Ankhen. Ankhen was a spy-thriller starring Dharmendra and Mala Sinha. It was declared a "block buster" and was amongst the Top 10 Hindi films of 1960s.
In 1985 Sagar turned towards television. His Sagar Arts began producing serials based on Hindu mythology. His most popular Ramayan aired its first episode on January 25, 1987. The series became instantly popular amongst the Indian masses and won numerous national and international awards and felicitations. His next mythological tele-serials Krishna and Luv Kush also received good responses. Apart from mythology, he made fantasy dramas like Vikram Aur Betaal and Alif Laila.
Based on his experiences of Indo-Pak partition, Sagar published a Hindi-Urdu book Aur Insaan Mar Gaya (English: And Humanity Died) in 1948.
The government of India honoured Sagar with the Padma Shri Awards in 2000.
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