Retired Broadcaster Dies During Live Indian TV Interview

Rita Jitendra passed away during morning show appearance

Rita Jitendra

Rita Jitendra, who was described by the Indian Telegraph as a “broadcasting legend,” died earlier this week during a live morning show TV interview. The academic, writer, author and artist was 81.

“She was telling us a few interesting things about her life and was looking absolutely normal,” the anchor of the show, Zahid Mukhtar, told the Telegraph. “But suddenly she stopped talking and began having hiccups. We had to cut the interview (and switch to) a documentary to attend to her and take her to hospital.”

Jitendra was declared dead upon arrival by doctors at Srinagar’s SMHS hospital. Her cause of death was cardiac arrest and choking. An irregular heartbeat may have played a role in her passing.

“She had a great association with television and her last words were on how she had started doing the dramas,” Mukhtar said.

Among her notable accomplishments, Jitendra was the first female secretary of the J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. She was known as a great advocate for women’s rights.

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh remembered his friend on Twitter:

The video of Jitendra’s final and fateful interview has been widely posted online. Readers can find it here, though we must warn you, it may be upsetting to watch.