Gitanjali Aiyar, English news anchors of Indian television, passed away at 71
Iconic Doordarshan News Anchor Gitanjali Aiyar Passes Away at 71, Leaving Behind a Legacy of Excellence.
Gitanjali was a prominent figure on Doordarshan’s prime-time news at 9 p.m. for several decades. Alongside her contemporaries on the public broadcaster, she brought elegance and dignity to television news in an era before news studios resembled war rooms and news presenters engaged in heated arguments. With precision and skill, she imparted the news, epitomizing a time when educators urged students to enhance their English by attentively listening to Gitanjali, Neethi Ravindran, and Rini Simon. During that time, news anchors maintained a neutral tone.
In those days, teleprompters had not yet made their way into news studios. When they eventually did, they would occasionally encounter technical issues in the middle of live broadcasts. Unfazed by such challenges, Gitanjali was known not only for her impeccable diction but also for her calm and composure.
Gitanjali began her career with All India Radio and joined Doordarshan in 1971. Throughout her tenure with the channel, she received the prestigious Best Anchor award four times. In 1989, she was also honored with the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for Outstanding Women.
Deeply saddened by the passing of Geetanjali Aiyar nee Ambegaonkar. The Taj Group executive was on one of the sober faces of Doordarshan in its heyday; the svelte actor in Sridhar Kshirsagar’s TV drama ‘Khandaan’; and a model for everything from Solidaire to Marmite. pic.twitter.com/JMgK2Oi1Iy
— churumuri (@churumuri) June 7, 2023
Gitanjali’s passion for becoming a newsreader took hold at the young age of six. Excelling in elocution events during her school days, she entered the world of news immediately after graduating from Kolkata’s Loreto College. She also held a diploma from the National School of Drama, which allowed her to venture beyond the realm of news. She gained recognition through her appearance in the popular Doordarshan teleserial, Khandaan, which captivated audiences in the mid-1980s.
At the height of her popularity, Gitanjali even appeared in commercials for Solidaire television and Marmite. The tagline of the Solidare advertisement, “that seldom fails,” resonated with Gitanjali’s composed demeanor, as she never lost her poise during the early days of Doordarshan when technology occasionally faltered.
Following her departure from Doordarshan, she ventured into the realm of corporate communications and assumed the role of a consultant for the Confederation of Indian Industry.She also dedicated her efforts to the Worldwide Fund for Nature.
Gitanjali Aiyar’s contributions to the field of news broadcasting, her eloquence, and her composed presence will be remembered by generations to come. Her passing leaves a void in the industry, but her legacy will continue to inspire aspiring news anchors.