Grand Old Man Of Indian Radio Ameen Sayani Dies At 91

Rajil Sayani, son of the iconic radio presenter, confirmed the death, “The doctors at the hospital attended him but couldn’t save him and he was declared dead.”

The funeral arrangements for Sayani will be scheduled for Thursday, as the family awaits the arrival of some relatives in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The legendary radio personality hailed from a family where literature held great importance. His mother ran a newsletter called Rehbar, and his brother was the distinguished English broadcaster Hamid Sayani. Ameen Sayani commenced his career with Radio Ceylon in 1952.

“Namaskar bhaiyon aur behno, main aapka dost Ameen Sayani bol raha hoon,” became an immediate hit due to his unique approach of addressing the audience with ‘Behno aur Bhaiyo’ instead of the conventional ‘Bhaiyo aur Behno.’

His distinctive presentation quickly garnered attention when All India Radio banned the airing of Bollywood songs. Additionally, it provided a platform for promoting accessible Hindustani, striking a chord with people across the nation.

Starting as a 30-minute program, Binaca Geetmala became a sensation in 1952 and persisted for over five years. Undergoing several name alterations, including Binaca Geetmala, Hit Parade, and Cibaca Geetmala.

In addition to hosting Binaca Geetmala and Bournvita Quiz Contest, Sayani also produced and hosted radio programs such as S Kumars Ka Filmi Muqaddama, Filmi Mulaqaat, Saridon Ke Saathi, Shalimar Superlac Jodi, Maratha Darbar, and Sangeet kay Sitaron ki Mehfil. Sayani is said to have recorded more than 50,000 radio shows..

He also produced a 13-episode radio series featuring plays based on real-life stories of individuals struggling with the challenges of HIV/AIDS. The series incorporated interviews with prominent doctors and social workers.

Remembering the good old times, Sayani once said in an interview, “I wanted each listener to feel that I was talking to them and it immediately struck a chord. It, surprisingly, even revolutionised radio presentation. I didn’t expect it to become a phenomenon in the coming years. They were such fantastic times. It was my romance with Radio Ceylon.”

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