Reel-Life Ram Arun Govil's Lesser Known Facts: Abused For Smoking To Not Getting Work After Ramayan

Here are some lesser-known facts about the reel-life 'Ram' played by the legendary actor, Arun Govil in Ramanand Sagar's popular series, 'Ramayan'.


By Oindrila Muhuri Last Updated:

Reel-Life Ram Arun Govil's Lesser Known Facts: Abused For Smoking To Not Getting Work After Ramayan

The legendary devotional show, Ramayan used to telecast in the '90s on Doordarshan. However, to date, the show has been treasured in millions of hearts worldwide. And no matter how many television shows and movies are made, Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan was simply an remarkable one. The craze of the show was so much that it was extended thrice to a total of 78 episodes instead of 52 episodes. As per reports, Doordarshan got Rs. 40 Lakhs per episode, while each episode was made on a budget of only Rs. 9 Lakhs. 

Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan was telecasted in 55 different countries with a viewership of 650 million. The cast of the show also got immense stardom due to this. The reel-life 'Ram', played by the actor, Arun Govil also got huge admiration from the public. So much so that many years after the show stopped telecasting, Arun was approached by many of the fans who used to think of him as Lord Ram and also take blessings from him. However, not many people know much about Arun's life apart from this. So, let's check out some lesser-known facts about him.

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Arun Govil wanted to become a businessman initially


Ramayan's Arun Govil was born on January 12, 1958, in Ramnagar, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Shri Chandra Prakash Govil was a government officer. He spent his childhood in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The actor did his graduation in engineering science at Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. Arun is the fourth child of six brothers and two sisters. At the mere age of seventeen, he came to Mumbai to work with his brother and wanted to do something for which people would remember him forever.

How did Arun Govil's career begin?

Arun Govil

Starting from his college days, Arun was interested in acting. And after working for a short period of time with his brother, Arun started losing interest in the business. Thus, he restarted doing dramas in small theatres, the same way he used to do while studying in college.

Afterwards, in 1977, Arun got his first break with his debut Bollywood film, Paheli. This is how his acting career had started. However, he rose to fame with his stint in Kanak Mishra's Sawan Ko Aane Do (1979) and Satyen Bose's Saanch Ko Aanch Nahin (1979). Later, he made his television debut with Ramanand Sagar's show, Vikram Betal, in 1985. He was also loved for his films, including Judai, Hathkadi, Himmatwala, Shatru and others. 

Ramanad Sagar's one condition to keep Arun in the serial, Ramayan

As per multiple reports, Arun Govil somehow got to know that the filmmaker, Ramanand Sagar was about to make a serial on Ramayana Katha at that time, so he also gave his audition. Even though Arun's audition was up to mark, Ramanand Sagar rejected him for the role of 'Ram'. This was because the filmmaker wanted the person playing the character 'Ram' to be completely away from all kinds of addiction. And since Arun was already a chain smoker by then, he gave up his addiction for the sake of the role. Finally, Arun was taken in the leading cast, and the shooting started in 1987.

How was Arun abused for smoking, and he immediately quit?

However, even after initially agreeing to Ramanad Sagar's condition, Arun couldn't stop himself from smoking while on breaks. Once in an interview with the Pinkvilla, Arun had shared that whenever he used to get a break from shooting, he used to go behind the scenes and start smoking cigarettes. However, during one such break, while he was smoking, an unknown person came to him and showed his anger on him due to this. That day Arun understood how his fans had immense belief in him as he was portraying their almighty, Lord Ram. Since then, Arun has never touched a cigarette and gotten more absorbed in character. Not only that, after being part of the series, Arun became completely spiritual and is actively associated with Brahmrishi Kumar Swamiji.

Why Arun stopped getting work after Ramayan?

Arun Govil

Before working in Ramayan, Arun worked in many films and television shows. However, after working in Ramayan, he stopped getting offers from the industry. Once, the ace filmmaker, Yash Chopra had told him about the role he played in the mythological series, Ramayan, in such a way that now all the directors are confused about what role they should give him next. Arun also wanted to keep the 'Ram' image of him intact with his millions of fans.

Arun got roles in several other language films and mythological roles in similar types of TV shows. He worked in Bengali movies like Bidhir Bidhan (1989) and Telugu movies, including Edu Kondalaswamy (1991), Govindha Govindha (1993), The Great Robbery (1996) and others. He also gave his voice in the Hindi version 1992 Indo-Japanese animation movie, Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama as 'Rama'. He also played mythological roles, including 'Harishchandra' in Vishwamitra and 'Buddha' in the same named Tv series, Buddha.

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Arun Govil also played 'Laxman' in a Jeetendra-Jaya Prada film

Ramayan’s Arun Govil also played the role of 'Laxman' in a film named Lav Kush, starring Jeetendra and Jaya Prada in the lead role. In the film, Jeetendra played the role of 'Ram', and Dara Singh who was part of both Ramayan and Lav Kush, played the popular character of Hanuman in both. Even though the shooting of Lav Kush happened earlier than Ramayan, the film was released almost a decade later, in 1997.

Arun's wife is a veteran actress

arun govil

Arun Govil

In the picture: Arun Govil and Sreelekha Govil with their children

Coming to Arun Govil's personal life, he is married to the love of his life, Sreelekha, who was a former actress. She made her acting debut with Himmatvar in 1966, opposite Dharmendra. She also worked in the film, Chota Sa Ghar. Before joining Bollywood, Sreelekha worked as a textile designer. Together, they are blessed with a son, Amal and a daughter, Sonika. While Amal works at a bank in Mumbai, he and his wife, Divya have a son, Aryaveer and a daughter, Ariana. On the other hand, Sonika studies in the USA.

Arun Govil's bhabhi was Tabassum



Arun Govil's elder brother, Vijay Govil was married to former child actress, Tabassum. Moreover, Tabassum was a host of the first Bollywood Celebrity talk show on Doordarshan, Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan, which continued airing for 21 years from 1972 to 1993. Viay and Tabassum's son, Hoshang Govil is also a film and TV actor. Talking about Tabassum, she was born to Indian freedom fighters, Ayodhyanath Sachdev and Asghari Begum. However, Tabassum left the mortal plane on November 18, 2022, due to cardiac arrest after she was diagnosed with the deadly virus, COVID-19.

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Arun Govil tried his hand at politics

When Ramayan was telecasted, the Congress government protested the telecast of it. The Information and Broadcasting Minister, BN Gadgil during that time, also stated in the cabinet that such a series could threaten India's secularism. Ramanand Sagar and his son, Prem Sagar had to visit the Doordarshan's headquarters, i.e. Mandi House, for many such trivial things, and they were also called to Delhi for the same. However, Ramanand was also determined to convey the series to the people in every possible way. In his father's biography, An Epic Life: Ramanand Sagar, Prem mentioned that if the government had not allowed it to be telecasted on Doordarshan, Ramanand was ready to make it in the form of video cassettes. 

However, much later, Arun also joined hands with Congress. He also contested in the election on behalf of the same party in the late 80s against V.P. Singh. However, Arun lost since voters voted in his favour but mentioned “Jai Sri Ram” on the ballot papers. Some netizens also mentioned that since Arun played the iconic character on-screen, he didn't get the same recognition in the party that denied Lord Ram's existence in the apex court.

Afterwards, on March 18, 2021, Arun Govil joined the Bharatiya Janata Party days before the assembly polls began in West Bengal and three other states. As per multiple reports, Arun mentioned that BJP would give him the platform to showcase the superhit 1987 series, Ramayan.

Arun is now running a production company

Currently, Arun Govil is running a TV company together with Sunil Lahiri, who has played the role of 'Laxman' in Ramayan. His production company makes programs for the Doordarshan channel, and the TV series, Mashal was also produced under his production.

Arun Govil's net worth 

arun govil

As per the latest reports, Arun Govil's total net worth is 5 million USD, which upon converting to Indian currency, amounts to Rs. 41 crores.

What do you think about these lesser-known facts? Let us know! 

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