‘Legendary’ AIR Newsreader Barun Haldar Passes Away at 87

Former All India Radio (AIR) newsreader Barun Haldar breathed his last in Kolkata late on Wednesday, 4 July, at the age of 87.

Family sources cited by AIR said he had been in poor health for some time.

President Ram Nath Kovind took to Twitter to express grief over Haldar's passing away, calling him a "well-known voice from the golden age of radio and a familiar name for followers of AIR news bulletins."

Haldar had served as presenter of Western Music in AIR Kolkata before becoming an English newsreader at AIR Delhi.

In 1990, Haldar retired as AIR's newsreader. His daughter, who lives in Canada, would be coming to Kolkata for the last rites ceremony, the AIR report said.

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Haldar has often been cited as one of pioneering newscasters on radio.

A piece published in Scroll on 18 February this year says, "Newscasters such as Roshan Menon, Devki Nandan Pandey, Lotika Ratnam, Surojit Sen, Pamela Singh, Barun Haldar, Indu Wahi and Rajendra Aggarwal, over the years, became household names, capturing their listeners' attention with their authoritative and nuanced reading style. When they spoke – whether it was their commentaries on the 1965 India-Pakistan war or during important sporting tournaments – India listened with rapt attention."

Another piece in The Indian Express published in 2016 portrayed Haldar as one among the "legendary newsreaders, who were all household names".

"They commanded authority and respect with their precise diction and pronunciation, their excellent radio voices, their news sense, their professionalism," the piece said.

(With inputs from AIR, Scroll and The Indian Express.)

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