Skip to main content

India in 80s

RK Rishikesh Sinha

India of 80s was probably the last peaceful India where people led a simple and sober lifestyle away from the rat-race of today. Your neighborhood was truly yours. Your nearby bazaar or shop was the extension of your life. The area in which you live was your extended family. That was the character of the time — life seemed to be so beautiful in its true meaning. People were happy in small things.

And those who began exploring the world in the 80s of India definitely miss the time since India never remained the same. What are the characteristics and symbols of India in 80s through which people relate to that period?

Doordarshan Days

Doordarshan logo

Having a black and white Weston or Tesla television set was a luxury. That was the time in which a passerby could enter anyone’s house to watch serials like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Chitrahaar, an 8.30 pm entertainment programme, was the one and only entertainment dose which seemed to be rationed to the mass (leaving the Sunday reserved for an oldie-goldie film).

Another aspect of that period; children feared death of a national leader since Doordarshan goes to the state of mourning. A house with a television set was easy to detect since the house had antenna.

Feisty Sunday

Sunday was full of fun and frolic. It was the day to catch entertainment programmes in a nearby house and play to the fullest with your neighbourhood friends. Sunday was not less entertaining than any festival. Children spent rest of the week talking about their activities with their friends.

Kerosene Stove

It was very common to find kerosene stoves in homes. It was the same period when kerosene stoves were being replaced by LPG Gas connection. 

The Richest had car and telephone

It was easy to recognize richest persons; they had Maruti car and telephone connections. Less rich person had Chetak Bajaj scooter or Rajdut motorcycle. To possess a telephone was the hallmark of power. The telephone was neatly covered and used to occupy a special place in a house.


Still the impact of Mithun Chakraborty in the 80s could be gauged today. Movies like Gangs of Wasseypur starred by Manoj Bajpayee carry the time and impression that Mithun had in that period. He was a hero and icon to imitate. It was the Disco period led by Mithun Chakraborty. The same period brought heartthrob Madhuri Dixit with her song ek, do, teen, char….


Sony's Walkman

Besides television set, it was the period of VCDs, VCRs, PHILIPS taperecoder, radio, and camera. There were video parlours that stocked movies in ones locality. There was another gadget for music lovers — Sony’s Walkman.

Period of re-discovery

It seems awkward today that movies like Sholay (released in 1975) and Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon (1971) were a topic of discussion on entertainment. Praise the technology that rediscovered the old stuff and brought it to homes.

No-Money talk

Discussion on money never entered into camaraderie. People abstain talking about money matters. A person was not judged with his bank balance but with his character.

Nil security

It was the last decade where people enjoyed true freedom of movement. Civilian localites without any type of questioning enter nearby defence establishments. They were seen watching even late night movies in the cinema halls that were under defence area. Today it is impossible. There is a fear environment with gun-trotting soldiers in the gates everywhere across the country. 


  1. The eighties decade has always fascinated me. I was born in that ttime but cudn't remember much. It wud b gr to see pics of india from 70's and 80's.

  2. Very rightly depicted nostalgic article.. I can still remember those Ramayan sundays.. and the Sharjah cup cricket matches between Ind n pak.. the last ball six by Miandad.. the skills of players like Maradona, Platini and Romarios..the Napoli club episode..the tape recorder days.. the b/w tv .. the world this week by Prannoy Roy.. the Indrazal Commics days.. the three digit telephone number days... So many things... Those were really the simple yet happier days without the rat races of present days.... I loved the article Rishi.. U took me to my school days..

  3. Such a wonderful article. I could not resist but smile all the while I read your article. It was walking down memory lane. The line 'To possess a telephone was the hallmark of power' was the best in the whole article. It made me remind many things. Right from the attitude of the owner to his pathetic condition of taking the messages of the entire neighborhood and go and convey the messages personally. Also the guys who would possess a walkman would flaunt it as if he is a millionaire. And waiting the whole week for Sunday to come was such an excitement. Really it was a golden period of ones life.


Post a Comment

We all love comments. It is moderated

Popular posts from this blog

The 'Star' Krishankant Sinha of Space City Sigma

By RK Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi It is a myth that the all-knowing Internet knows everything. One such myth relates to old television stuff aired on Doordarshan before 1990. Search in Google “Space City Sigma”, the search engine would throw up reminiscent results from the people who still long for those days. Those days were really golden days. Krishankant Sinha in the role of Captain Tara in Space City Singma For those who have watched Doordarshan some 15 to 20 years back, am sure they will have nostalgic memories of it. The days when possessing a now ubiquitous looking television set was a luxury. It was a neighbour’s envy product. It was a visual product to showoff, to flaunt that we have a television set . Those were the days when black and white, locked television was rarely found in homes. The days became immortal for teleserials like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Swami’s Malgudi Days (Ta-Na-Na-Na…), Ek-Do-Teen-Char (Title song: Ek do teen char, chaaro mil ke saath chale to

Bishnupriya Manipuri people in Tripura

How correct is Barak valley being connoted as the cultural and political hub of the Bishnupriya Manipuri when Bishnupriya Manipuri people living in Tripura are way ahead in every respect to their counterparts in the Silchar region. It's a big question, an intriquing question. By BN Sinha, New Delhi Being a Silcharite and also a Bishnupriya Manipuri of Barak Valley, it is quite obvious to share the same thread with the fellow BMs of Tripura. From the very childhood days we were quite familiar with the names of the places like Kailasahar, Dharmanagar etc. With the same note every non-Tripurian Bishnupriya Manipuri certainly shares the same thread linked to Tripura. We have also been seeing a sea of talents from Tripura as we see meritorious BM Tripurian topping in various institutions of North East like Cotton College , National Institute of Technology [NIT] – Silchar, Gurucharan Charan [GC] College, Gauhati Medical Colloge [GMC], Sichar Medical College [SMC], and also in other u

Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Thakur, the great saint of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Community was born on 26th October, 1871, in a remote village of Cachar district called Baropua in the state of Assam. He was born to a Xatriya Manipuri family. His father Sri Sanatan Pandit was a Sanskrit teacher and mother Srimati Malati Devi, a house wife. Sadhu Baba from his childhood was indifferent to all worldly happenings. He was engrossed in chanting the name of Lord Krishna. Along with other students of his age, Sadhu Baba started taking lessons of grammar and other spiritual literature from his father. At a very young age he lost his mother but he was brought up with utmost love and care by his step mother. At the age of eighteen, Sadhu baba lost his father, so, to continue his spiritual education under the guidance of Rajpandit Mineshwas Swarbabhwam Bhattacherjee, he went to Tripura. But within one year he made up his mind to visit all the holy places and as such he took permis