Tree of Unity : The Most Viewed Video in History

This post is necessary lest we forget where we came from and forget those who should have got a greater spotlight. Having said that, let us move on to the specifics…

Before I get into the history, let me put up the spoiler first “I really believe and would like to challenge all that the Most Viewed Video on Planet is not Gangnam Style but Tree of Unity”.

Never heard about Tree of Unity, well lets begin then.

YouTube is the darling of the online video world and for a good reason. Anyways, it always amazes me to try to make sense of one of their key statistics, which every video creator strives for i.e. to make it to the “The Most Viewed YouTube Videos“. I take the liberty of pasting a snippet of that list. These are some impressive numbers and hats off to those who made it to this list, unwittingly or otherwise. 


The column I am more interested in is the Number of views. Give and take a few, “Gangnam Style” takes top honors with some 1.75 billion views. Fair enough.

We live in a time where every single activity (if possible) online is being tracked and with analytics tools improving by the day, those creating videos today can get these heavy lifting done for them by companies who are fanatical about data.

Now, let us go back to a solid 3+ decades back, where there were no tools to measure the number of views, except for some approximation and gut feel. And that brings me to the point that I am trying to make.

“I really believe and would like to challenge all that the Most Viewed Video on Planet is not Gangam Style but Tree of Unity. “

Here are some visual cues that will make generations of Indians sit up and pay more attention.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Check out the entire video here: Tree of Unity

The reason I believe that this might actually be the most viewed video in history is because of the sheer population of India, which I produce below:


Let us look at some key numbers now:

  • The Tree of Unity was released in 1970.
  • The population graph clearly shows our population around 1970 – 1980 – 1990. I believe around 1991 with the advent of Cable TV, we all stopped watching Doordarshan and hence it is likely that the video started to fade from public memory, around that time. I am not too sure if the generation born in the 1990s and beyond has any clue of this. Maybe they do. And if they do, it will simply add to the numbers.
  • It is not that in 1970, all of India had a Television too. But what I can tell you for sure is that if the neighborhood had a TV set, there would be 20 or more people glued to it, make no mistake about that. Let’s look at some additional data.
  • Television Service was extended to Mumbai and Amritsar in 1972.
  • Up until 1975, only seven Indian cities had a television service.
  • National telecasts were introduced in 1982. And the golden run of Doordarshan begin and lasted I believe for almost 1 decade.

So for 10 years, I think we were subjected to a good dose of “Tree of Unity” video, when the average population of India was hovering around 0.7 billion to 0.8 billion people. I do not know the frequency at which the videos were shown. We could do some assumptions of number of times per week we saw this or the average number of TV sets that could be there and the average people who could be seeing it at time. We could arrive at some numbers but you get the drift.

Do your conservative calculations and you might find that it might be right at the top. And that is exactly what I would like to believe.

And for all of us, who still love this video, here are some highlights:

  • From 1:45 – 2:00 in the video is the epic conversation, which we all tried to mimic and act.
  • At 2:08 in the video is the famous “Cry for Help”
  • At 2:37 is the camaraderie. I suspect we still behave and laugh this way 🙂
  • At 2:45 – 2:56 is the Apple munching with lots of noise “Chom Chom Chom”. We still eat that way 🙂
  • At 2:58 is the folk dance and the shake style that we still engage in.

And finally at 3:35 at the credits. Lets give them a big hand. They deserved so much more.

Maybe the same logic can apply to Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Tom & Jerry videos. Anyways, thanks for reading .. this post was about going back to the “Tree of Unity” days and not some scientific number crunching to earn some brownie points 🙂


One thought on “Tree of Unity : The Most Viewed Video in History

  1. Very good post… Brought back the memories of those old times when we as a family used to get together on a Sunday evening post spiderman and vikram-betal for the hindi movie of the week… we had very few options but boy we were happy…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s