Doordarshan’s popular English news anchor Gitanjali passes away: Who was Gitanjali Aiyar?
New Delhi (DT)- Gitanjali Aiyar, who was among the first English newsreaders on Indian television and had a three-decade career with DD, died of a cerebral haemorrhage on Wednesday afternoon.
Gitanjali Aiyar, one of the country’s most talented news anchors, died on June 07 in Delhi. The 71-year-old had been sick for a while. Gitanjali was a prominent face of Doordarshan’s prime-time news for decades at 9 pm. She, like many of her contemporaries on the public broadcaster, brought grace and dignity to television news before news studios became war rooms and news presenters began engaging in shouting competitions.
Gitanjali read the news thoroughly. She belongs to a time when professors encouraged students to listen to Gitanjali, Neethi Ravindran, and Rini Simon to enhance their English, and anchors kept a neutral tone.
Back then, teleprompters had yet to make their way into newsrooms, and when they did, they frequently broke down in the middle of a live broadcast. Gitanjali was noted not just for her impeccable accent but also for her composure and tranquilly.
News & Broadcast Minister Anurag Thakur tweets ; Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Gitanjali Aiyar, one of the first and finest English news anchors on Doordarshan and All India Radio.
A trailblazer & pioneer, she brought credibility, professionalism, and a distinct voice to every news report, leaving an indelible mark in the journalism and broadcasting industries.
My heartfelt condolences go out to her family and loved ones during this difficult time
Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Gitanjali Aiyar, one of the first and finest English news anchors on Doordarshan and All India Radio.
A trailblazer & pioneer, she brought credibility, professionalism, and a distinct voice to every news report, leaving an indelible… pic.twitter.com/MvaR7kgLmB
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) June 7, 2023
Who was Gitanjali Aiyar?
Aiyar, began her career in the TV news industry, when she joined Doordarshan in 1976 after completing her graduation from Kolkata’s Loreto College in ’71.
She was also a student of the National School of Drama. It enabled her to expand her wings beyond the new landscape. She appeared in Khandaan, a prominent Doordarshan teleserial that was popular in the mid-1980s.
Aiyar’s career in news began with her joining All India Radio’s English news section immediately after her graduation. Aiyar, one of the most well-known faces on television from her generation, won the best anchor award four times in a row.
She was so popular at one point that she was included in advertising for Solidaire television and Marmite. After leaving Doordarshan, she also experimented with corporate communications with the Taj and Oberoi group of hotels, working as a consultant for the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature.