Iconic Indian Radio star Ameen Sayani dies at 91 after heart attack

RNS: Iconic Indian radio presenter Ameen Sayani, known for his captivating baritone voice and unique conversational style, passed away on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack. He was 91.

His son Rajil Sayani informed that his father had suffered a heart attack on Tuesday night. Despite efforts by doctors at HN Reliance Hospital in Mumbai, he could not be saved and was pronounced dead.

“A generation of radio listeners across the Indian subcontinent will remember Ameen Sayani for the iconic catchline which he used to introduce his shows: ‘Namaskar bhaiyon aur behno, main aapka dost Ameen Sayani bol raha hoon (Greetings, brothers and sisters, this is your friend Ameen Sayani speaking),’ ” the report said.

Ameen Sayani broke the stereotype of radio presenters with his unique way of interacting with listeners, keeping them glued to their sets. He gained immense popularity across the Indian subcontinent with his Binaca Geetmala program on Radio Ceylon, which aired from 1952 to 1994.

The program, a 30-minute showcase of hits, is still revered as one of Indian radio’s iconic shows. After its tenure on Radio Ceylon, the show moved to All India Radio’s Vividh Bharti.

Since 1951, Ameen Sayani had produced and hosted over 54,000 radio programs and 19,000 spots/jingles. Born in 1932, he also assisted his mother, Kulsum Sayani, in editing, publishing, and printing a fortnightly journal for neo-literates, Rahber (1940 to 1960), published in Devnagri (Hindi), Urdu, and Gujarati scripts in the simple “Hindustani” language promoted by Mahatma Gandhi.

Ameen Sayani’s introduction to All India Radio, Bombay, was through his brother Hamid Sayani.

Indian President Droupadi Murmu remarked that an era had ended with Ameen Sayani’s passing. Indian PM Narendra Modi mourned his death, acknowledging his significant role in revolutionizing Indian broadcasting.

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