Ameen Sayani, The Legendary Indian Radio Producer, Passes Away At 91

Renowned for his contributions to the broadcasting industry, Sayani succumbed to a heart failure on Tuesday night. Here's remembering the icon...

Published On Feb 21, 2024 | Updated On Mar 04, 2024


Radio lovers will feel this loss as their beloved radio maestro Ameen Sayani, the cherished voice behind the iconic Geetmala show, breathed his last on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, at the age of 91. The news of his death was confirmed by his son, Rajil Sayani who said that his father suffered a heart attack on Tuesday itself and despite the many efforts of the doctors at HN Reliance Hospital Mumbai, he could not be saved. 

A heartfelt farewell is planned for Thursday, February 22, with close relatives expected to gather in Mumbai on Wednesday to bid their final goodbyes. Also saying farewell in spirit will be millions of radio listeners because Sayani's impact extends globally, and his work has been celebrated not only in India but also among the Indian diaspora worldwide.

Born on December 2, 1932, in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, Sayani became a household name through his iconic role as the host of Binaca Geetmala, a beloved Hindi music countdown radio show that enjoyed a tremendous run from 1952 to 1994. During this time, the show went through a number of revamps, with Sayani being a constant safe haven for fans. Which is why his versatile and enduring career in radio, spanning several decades, solidified his position as one of the longest-serving and most respected figures in Indian broadcasting. With radio as a medium declining in popularity in recent times, it's only more appropriate now to cherish a stalwart and reminisce the good old days.

Fans of Sayani hold his iconic intro, "Namaskar bhaiyon aur behno, main aapka dost Ameen Sayani bol raha hoon," most dearly. A man of action, Sayani wanted to impact culture and bring about real change with his work. Connecting with nameless and faceless listeners is a Herculean task, yet Sayani in his decades-spanning career was able to achieve it. Not only radio, his impressive resume includes voice acting, scriptwriting, and production. 

In 1952, when All India Radio banned the airing of Bollywood music, Sayani's popularity bolstered as he played familiar and much-loved Hindustani music. His relatable narrations and captivating voice made him a household name. 

An inspiration for many, Sayani lived a full life. His distinct style of presentation played a pivotal role in the success and popularity of his radio programmes. Making a triumphant return with the revival of Binaca Geetmala in 2012, he continued to charm audiences with the same charisma that turned the show into a cultural phenomenon. Recognised for his exceptional contributions, he received numerous accolades, including the prestigious Padma Shri in 2009. Hailing from a family deeply rooted in the entertainment world, with his brother Hamid Sayani as a prominent film journalist, Ameen's legacy is sure to keep inspiring young media professionals. Ameen Sayani stands as a true cultural icon, leaving an obvious gap in the landscape of Indian music and radio.

Photo: /InstagramAmeensayani2020