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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Salma Sultan : " Namaskaar . Ye hai doordarshan samachaar aur me hoon Salma Sultana !



Some of the female news readers seemed to have an endless wardrobe of ethnic saris and earrings. Their attire, the style of dressing, a particular item that they always had on them was a hot topic in many a discussion, with even wagers being placed about a particular color of dress being donned an what not. Salma Sultan’s trademark was a rose worn low in her hair. “It wasn’t meant to be a style statement. I loved roses and we just did our bit to look good onscreen”. The Doordarshan director initially found it a little out of place stating that it was the news and not a place to parade style and fashion. She complied by not wearing the rose the next day. “But when I appeared a few times without the rose, there was a flood of protest letters. All of them wanted the rose back,” she recalls. Amusedly she also recounts about a harassed husband once pleading with her through mail, not to turn up in a new sari every day. “My wife makes similar demands that I cannot meet,” he wrote.

Salma Sultan worked as an anchor in Doordarshan for 30 years from 1967 till 1997. She was famous for her signature rose tucked under her left ear in her hair,and draping the border of her sari around her neck in a unique style. And one fine day she disclosed the reason; “I did not have so many blouses to match with each sari so I created a style to hide them.” This style has appealed to thousands of middle aged women across India who have since taken up to imitate that Salma Sultan gave the first news of assassination of Indira Gandhi on Doordarshan’s evening news on 31 October 1984, more than 10 hours after she was shot.Born to scholar and secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture mohammed Asghar Ansari and homemaker mother Salma, she has an elder sister Maimoona Sultan (4 time Congress MP from Bhopal). She joined Doordarshan when she was 23. Schooling from Sultanpur, Madhya Pradesh, graduation in Bhopal, post graduation in English from the Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi.

After her retirement, she moved to directing serials on social topics for Doordarshan under her production house Lensview Private Limited. Her serials Panchtantra Se, Suno Kahani, Swar Mere Tumhare and Jalte Sawal have been highly acclaimed. Suno Kahani was a serial based on issues concerning the youth and Jalta Sawaal focused on women-oriented issues like dowry, prostitution, infertility and rape.Salma has won many accolades, recognitions and awards for accomplishments. In 2012, she was crowned as the 'Women of Substance' at the Kelvinator GR8! Women Awards, 2012

Contributed by :- Shri. Mitul Kansal,kansalmitul@gmail.com

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