It was in January 2001 that faith channel Aastha set a landmark of sorts with the live telecast from Allahabad of the 45-day religious mega-event - the Maha Kumbh Mela. There is no comparison in terms of scale but Aastha is currently broadcasting the "Ram Katha" by Sant Morari Bapu live from Mauritius.
Scheduled as a nine day telecast from 18 May, the "katha" (religious discourse in a story format) is being held at Hindu House, Port Louis, Mauritius. The venue of the "katha" has been established with the objective of propagation of Hindu Dharma, says the channel. This broadcast, says an official release, is particularly significant because it is for the first time that any "katha" will be telecast live on a satellite television channel.
An official release states that the show will be viewed by people in 156 countries across the world - in Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia. The telecast will also provide glimpses of Mauritian life, culture and the natural beauty of the island state.
Over 1,000 devotees, mainly from the UK, USA, Europe, East and South Africa and India, are expected to be present for the "katha".
Mauritius was chosen as a venue because nearly 54 per cent of the 1.2 million citizens in the country are of Indian origin, the release says.