To demonstrate India’s soft power, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has decided that a documentary on Ramayana’s connect with South-East Asian countries should be made which would be further screened by the Indian embassies in foreign countries.
An official at the ministry told that legend of Rama as an individual who established human values in the society can be seen and heard across Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
He added that it was possible that tales of the Ramayana reached these countries through oral transmission.
The official explained:
“The language and names of characters may be different, but the core of Rama’s legend remains constant…the variations, deviations, changes, additions, and omissions in the story in each country depend on the cultural values of the people.”
For now, the ministry is looking for filmmakers who can make the documentary.
The Ministry has also set out a few criteria. Firstly, they should have earlier made a documentary on this particular theme. Secondly, they should have won a National Film award and thirdly, they should have earlier made a film for the MEA.
The movie based on the theme ‘The Ramayana — a shared culture in India and South East Asia’ would be primarily meant for the foreign audience, but will also be shown in India.
“It has to be made in English… other languages, if any, used in the film will require English subtitles. The duration of the documentary should be about 26 minutes,” the official said.