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India comforted by Hindu dramas

GURUGRAM, India (AP) — Staying home under lockdown as they wait for the worst of the coronavirus pandemic to pass, millions of Indians are turning to their gods. Not in prayer rooms, but on TV.

Seeking comfort in the certainty of the past, Indians are devouring reruns of popular Hindu religious dramas. They’re drawing on shared experiences of Indian mythology, which is replete with tales of moral and ethical choices in times of crises and invokes the virtues of individual sacrifice for social good.

The country’s public broadcaster has revived epic television shows like “Ramayan” and “Shri Krishnaî” — both highly revered mythological tales — airing them in prime time every night.

“Shri Krishna,” a TV series originally broadcast in 1993, is an adaptation of the life of one of Hinduismís most popular gods.

In “Ramayan,” a wildly popular series from the ’80s, filmmaker Ramanand Sagar tells the story of Lord Ram, the prince of Ayodhya, who was sent into exile for 14 years and rescued his kidnapped wife Sita from the demon Ravan.

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