Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Renowned Radio Presenter Ameen Sayani Passes Away at 91

Born into a family deeply rooted in broadcasting, Ameen Sayani's journey to radio superstardom began with his brother Hamid Sayani, a broadcaster at All India Radio (AIR).

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February 21, 2024 : Ameen Sayani, a familiar voice to millions of radio listeners across India, breathed his last on Tuesday, February 20, at the age of 91. Sayani, famously known for his iconic show Binaca Geetmala, succumbed to a cardiac arrest in Mumbai, leaving behind a legacy cherished by many.

The Journey of a Radio Icon

Born into a family deeply rooted in broadcasting, Ameen Sayani’s journey to radio superstardom began with his brother Hamid Sayani, a broadcaster at All India Radio (AIR). Ameen initially worked as an English-language presenter at AIR Bombay. However, fate had something grander in store for him.

In 1952, when Hindi film songs faced a ban on AIR due to governmental policies, Ameen found his calling across the border in Radio Ceylon. There, he hosted the iconic show Geetmala, sponsored by the Swedish toothpaste brand Binaca. Ameen’s melodious voice, coupled with his endearing address to listeners as ‘sisters and brothers’, catapulted him to immense popularity. The show later transitioned back to AIR’s Vivid Bharati service, capturing the hearts of millions until its eventual discontinuation in 1994.

A Legacy Beyond Geetmala

Ameen Sayani’s influence extended far beyond Binaca Geetmala. Over his illustrious career, he hosted over 58,000 radio programs and lent his voice to 19,000 radio spots and jingles. Notably, he took over the iconic Bournvita Quiz Contest in 1975, captivating audiences with his charisma and knowledge.

In recent years, Saregama paid homage to Ameen’s contributions with a compilation titled Ameen Sayani Presents Geetmala Ki Chhaon Mein, featuring highlights from the show’s history and interviews with legends of the Hindi film industry.

Tributes Pour In

Following the news of his demise, tributes flooded in from all corners. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged Ameen’s pivotal role in revolutionizing Indian broadcasting, expressing his condolences to the family and listeners. India’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur lauded Ameen’s magical voice, which resonated deeply with audiences across generations.

In his passing, Ameen Sayani leaves behind an indelible mark on Indian radio, his voice immortalized in the memories of millions who tuned in to hear his enchanting melodies.

May his soul rest in peace.

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