Seeing your favourite celebrity pass away is a very unpleasant experience. The realisation that comes with the fact that the person who portrayed the character you admire is not around anymore is hard to deal with. Yet, we have to deal with it again.
Veteran actor Chandrakant Pandya, who portrayed the role of “Nishad Raj”, Lord Rama’s childhood friend in Ramananda Sagar’s Ramayana, passed away yesterday due to his health issues.
His co-actor Dipika Chikhlia, the actress who portrayed Lady Sita in the show, took to her Instagram and confirmed the news of his demise. “#RIP @Chandrakant Pandya- Nishad of Ramayan,” said Dipika along with a picture of him.
Actor Sunil Lahiri, who portrayed Lord Lakshman in the series, paid tribute to the actor with a heartfelt note on Instagram that said, “Ramayan ke Ek Aur kalakar Nishad Raj ka Abhinaya Karne Wale kalakar Chandrakant Ji Ab Hamare beech Nahin Rahe Bhagwan Unki Atma ko Shanti De. Om Shanti”. Arvind Trivedi, who portrayed Ravan in the series also passed away due to a cardiac arrest earlier this month.
Chandrakant was an extremely popular face in the Gujarati film industry. He was referred to as “Babla” by those who were close to him. Chandrakant had been casted in more than 100 Gujarati films, some of which include Prem Lagna, Pyar Ho Gaya, Parivaar Na Pankhi, Hote Hote Pyar Hogaya, and Chundadi Ni Laaj. He has also starred in new Gujarati movies as well.
Chandrakant had a keen interest in plays and acting since childhood. During this time he got a chance to work in plays with actors Upendra Trivedi and Arvind Trivedi. That marked the beginning of his journey in the field of acting. From 1991, he stepped into politics for a brief period and was elected as a Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from the Sabarkantha constituency, Gujrat on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket, serving for a full term till 1996. He has also served as a Chairman for the Central Board of Film Certification for a very brief period in 2002-2003.
Born on January 1, 1946, he was brought up in Bhildi village in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat. He later settled in Mumbai from Gujarat. Actor Chandrakant’s father, Madanlal, was a businessman.
Many prominent personalities from the Gujarati and Hindi film industry, which also included his co-actors in Sagar’s 1986 television series Ramayana, have expressed their sorrow at his demise. Sympathising with Trivedi’s death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described him as not only an exceptional actor, but also as someone who is very passionate about social service. Adding to this, the Prime Minister also said that he will be remembered for his work in the Ramayana Series.
Trivedi was ailing with a lot of age-related issues for a long time, according to his nephew and Gujarat theatre producer Kaustubh Trivedi. He is the brother of veteran Gujarati actor Upendra. He was also a good friend of the veteran actor and film director Amjad Khan popularly known as “Gabbar”. They both completed their college together.
Ramayana, the series for which he’s known, is an Indian Hindi epic television series based on the ancient Indian Sanskrit epic Ramayana. The show was originally aired between 1987 and 1988 on Door Darshan National. It was created, written, and directed by Ramanand Sagar. The series had a viewership of 82%, a record high for any Indian television series. Door Darshan National bagged around ₹ 40 lakh per episode.
It also has a second series named Uttar Ramayan. The series was reaired during the Covid 19 lockdown in 2020 and successfully broke many viewership records globally which includes setting a record for the most watched TV show in the world, with record 77 million viewers on April 16 2020. The show was narrated by the famous actor Ashok Kumar and the director Ramanand Sagar.
Edited by Anupama Roy