Opinion

Sayani & Fali, away from navel-gazers



India lost two legends this week. On Tuesday, radio host Ameen ‘Binaca Geetmala‘ Sayani died at 91. A day later, it was lawyer Fali Sam Nariman‘s turn to go to the Great Courtroom in the Sky at 95. Sayani’s career spanned multilingual broadcasting, with his iconic music radio show, ‘Binaca Geetmala’ – running uninterruptedly from 1952 to 1994 – becoming a cultural phenom across South Asia before podcasts, YouTube or even the internet was invented. Nariman, Supreme Court senior advocate legend till the end, was known for his understanding of constitutional law and as a fierce advocate for civil liberties and secularism.

With such illustrious lives and careers spanning decades, one would think their admirers would focus on their lives and achievements while writing tributes on social media. But in this world of professional navel-gazing, think again.

If you read many of these posts, it would seem the news isn’t about the loss of two monumental figures, it’s about those posting. Death becomes yet another opportunity to showcase one’s ‘connections’, tom-tom their personal brush, however peripheral, with greats.

A fleeting handshake, a photo-op, a brief encounter that somehow, in the retelling, becomes the key reason of these posts. So, in this corner of this page, here’s an unadulterated salute to Ameen and Fali.



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