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Tributes pour in for legendary radio presenter Ameen Sayani

Updated on: 21 February,2024 03:12 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Radio presenter Ameen Sayani suffered a heart attack on Tuesday evening and was rushed to a hospital in South Mumbai, where he passed away.

Tributes pour in for legendary radio presenter Ameen Sayani

Ameen Sayani/ PTI

The death of legendary radio presenter Ameen Sayani at the age of 91 has elicited tributes from various quarters, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and several film personalities recalling his iconic contributions, particularly as the voice behind "Binaca Geetmala," an iconic radio programme.

Sayani suffered a heart attack on Tuesday evening and was rushed to a hospital in South Mumbai, where he passed away. His son, Rajil Sayani, confirmed the news, stating that Sayani's voice resonated with millions of Indians through his weekly show on Radio Ceylon from 1952 to 1988 and later on All India Radio's Vividh Bharati until 1994.

Expressing his condolences, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commended Sayani's "golden voice" and his role in revolutionising Indian broadcasting. While, Union Home Minister Amit Shah noted Sayani's enormous contribution to radio and referred to his legacy as eternal. 

"Shri Ameen Sayani Ji’s golden voice on the airwaves had a charm and warmth that endeared him to people across generations. Through his work, he played an important role in revolutionising Indian broadcasting and nurtured a very special bond with his listeners. Saddened by his passing away. Condolences to his family, admirers and all radio lovers. May his soul rest in peace," PM Modi wrote. 

"Pained to know that Shri Ameen Sayani Ji the voice of the radio is no more. Sayani Ji leaves a void behind that will be difficult to fill. His golden legacy makes him immortal. My sincerest condolences to his near and dear ones and millions of admirers. Om Shanti," Amit Shah wrote. 

Other leaders expressed their sorrow over Sayani's passing, pointing out his impact on Indian radio and his enduring influence on listeners over the years included Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, TMC leader Derek O'Brien, and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

"He had an equally sweet voice as the songs. Pained to hear about the demise of one of the greatest radio presenters Ameen Sayani ji. He produced more than 50,000 radio programs & around 19,000 radio jingles. We all have such fond memories associated with him & his voice since our childhood. We have grown up with it. He was a great human being too. My humble tributes to Him and deepest condolences to his family & crores of music lovers," Fadnavis wrote in his social media post. 

Sayani, who was born in 1932 into a bilingual family in Bombay, started his broadcasting career at an early age and hosted more than 50,000 episodes in 42 years. His well-known salutation, "Namaste behno aur bhaiyo, main aapka dost Ameen Sayani bol raha hoon," became a radio catchphrase in India and stirred up fond memories in listeners.

Sayani started his radio career in 1952 as the host of "Binaca Geetmala," which was supported by the toothpaste brand. The show ran for four decades, becoming one of the most well-liked and longest-running radio programmes in Indian history.

Millions of Indians held a special place in their hearts for him because of his unique voice and captivating manner, which won over listeners from all over the nation. Future broadcasting and entertainment generations will continue to draw inspiration from Sayani's legacy as a pioneer in Indian radio.

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