Now what would be the reason for the sudden surge in demand for the Mythology Course conducted by Mumbai University’s (MU) Department of Sanskrit? Well, MU has been conducting the Mythology course for more than two decades now; besides, its not that the general population in India has suddenly developed a liking for the mythology course. So what’s the reason?
The reason is simple; its because an in-depth knowledge of Indian Mythology is suddenly in demand, especially in the Indian television industry, and when money is involved, the demand soon follows.
Just take a look at the number of television shows/serials that are based on Mythology (most of them related to the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagvad Gita), and you will understand why.
Who’re the students enrolling for the Mythology Course conducted by Mumbai University’s Department of Sanskrit?
Students who’re keen to work in the television and the fiction industry see this course as a stepping stone to enter the industry. Besides, there’s goo money to be made as production houses are willing to pay those who can do some research work and add some inputs during the creative process, for their mythology-based serials.
How much money is there to be made?
A researcher working for a production house, on a mythological serial, can make a lakh or two for a single project. For longer projects, the researchers are paid around 2-3 thousand rupees per episodes.
“We keep giving additional inputs on how local (but relatively unheard) stories of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana can be used in the narrative”, says a research scholar working with Sony Entertainment Limited.
Those who also understand Sanskrit (there are few though) have an added advantage as they can work extensively on projects, and are usually involved in the creative process right from the beginning of any serial.
Naturally, Sanskrit researchers are excited because it opens a new (and exciting) door for them, because otherwise, they could have made money only by teaching and taking up research scholarships.
“When working for Mahabharata, the production house wanted some musical elements that could be used as background sounds. I referred to a few ancient Sanskrit texts and gave them some very good Shlokas, which were accepted by the creative team and recorded for use in the series,” says another research scholar.
Is knowledge of Sanskrit necessary for the Mythology course?
Knowledge of Sanskrit is definitely an added advantage as its a rare skill, but its not a must for pursuing Comparative Mythology (as per the Department of Sanskrit that conducts this course). In comparative mythology, students learn how different mythologies were developed. Topics covered in ‘Comparative Mythology’ include – Theories and Interpretations of Myths, Indian & world Mythology sub-divided into sections like Creation Myths, Fertility Myths, Hero Myths, etc.
Application in other areas
Mythology researches are not just in demand in the television industry. There are several researchers who’re working with reputed authors, assisting them on their projects. Several Management consultants are also taking up these courses so that they can teach management in a better way.
Be it education or media, the combination of mythology and stories is in great demand currently; those with a fair knowledge of this area will surely enjoy the ride.
Department of Sanskrit, Mumbai University
Address: Ramkrishna Bajaj Sanskrit Bhavan, Behind Anna Bhau Sathe Guest House, Vidyanagari, Santacruz, Mumbai-400 098.
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