Most of us are addicted to news so much that it doesn’t feel content if we haven’t got our daily dose of this drug. Those with serious issues consume news from multiple sources and even have disparate types like Business news, National or International news. India being a nation with population of more than a billion is inherently a market for news sharks to feed upon. DD News or DD National, a division of Doordarshan, India’s National broadcaster holds a pre-eminent position in a market where several private news agencies have mushroomed into the space.
If we carefully oversee these media houses, it’s not difficult to notice certain commonalities among them. For e.g. these private agencies are either directly or indirectly influenced by any national or regional political outfit and act as their mouthpiece. Also, majority of them revolve around 2-3 anchors/reporters who are also projected as the face of that news agency. Whether its Arnab Goswami of Times Now, Rajdeep Sardesai of India Today or Barkha Dutt of NDTV each and every one of them has been severely criticized for tampering with news to benefit a certain political outfit to which they may owe their allegiance to.
Doordarshan News or DD News too had its fair share of such celebrity anchors. But, being a government agency, it never cared much to retain the talent which it groomed over the years. Numerous such news anchors/reporters left the agency from time to time in search of greener pastures and made a name for themselves. Here are a few news anchors or journalists from Doordarshan who went on to become famous.
1) Smita Patil – Queen of Parallel Cinema
The name needs no introduction. Being one of the finest stage and film actresses of her time, Patil had her first tryst with camera at a DD News center in Mumbai. She was a television newscaster and later became bollywood’s sensation with her deeply moving roles in the parallel cinema like Manthan, Bhumika, Aakrosh etc. She was slated to be the next big thing in Indian cinema due to her phenomenal performances which also earned her two National Film awards and a Filmfare.
Smita Patil married another Bollywood star Raj Babbar. Her death at an early age of 31 due to child birth complications left the whole country stunned.
2) Prannoy Roy- Founder of NDTV, started his career on DD News
Prannoy Lal Roy is another famous name in News and Media fraternity. Roy started his career with DD News as an anchor covering general elections and the world news. Being a PhD from Delhi School of Economics (DSE), he was also appointed as an economic advisor to the Ministry of Finance (MoF).
But, it was his decision to start NDTV (New Delhi TV) with wife Radhika Roy which changed his fortunes dramatically. The channel gained popularity and being the Co-Chairperson, Prannoy Roy came into limelight. Roy still covers general or state assembly elections for the channel.
3) Vinod Dua – Election man of India
Dua appeared on National television with his show Yuva Manch in 1974. He anchored several other programs like Aap Ke liye till 1984. His big break came when he was asked to cover general elections of 1984 alongside Prannoy Roy. His face became recognizable and Dua later appeared for several channels to present their special coverage of elections.
Vinod Dua was more a like a freelancer taking up individual assignments with news channels without settling for a permanent position. He associated himself with NDTV for a series “Zaika India Ka”, which brought him further fame and recognition. Currently, Dua is associated with IBN7 for daily news analysis and special sessions like budget and election analysis.
4) Jayanthi Natarajan – The lady politician
A prominent woman politician from Tamilnadu, Jayanthi Natarajan started her career as a news reader for DD News Madras (now Chennai). But, being from a family with political background, she joined politics and became MP for Rajya Sabha thrice. She joined TMC (Tamil Manila Congress) owing to her ideological differences with PM Narsimha Rao. But, the party merged back with Congress few years later.
Natarajan held the post of Minister of State for Environment and Forests under UPA government. But, she resigned from the position citing differences with party high command (read Sonia and Rahul Gandhi) over her stance on stalling of some projects.
5) Deepak Chourasia – The controversy king
Deepak received his diploma in journalism from IIMC. After graduating, he joined DD News as a consulting editor. But, the stint with Doordarshan was very brief and he switched to Aaj Tak a year later. Aaj Tak became the leading Hindi news network in the country.
Deepak Chourasia also worked with networks like STAR and ABP News before joining India News as the editor-in-chief. He had his share of controversies and defamation suits for reporting false or fabricated news.
6) Shammi Narang – The voice-over artist
He is an ex-anchor of DD News who certainly raised the standards of news-casting in India. Narang held a post graduate degree in Engineering from the prestigious IIT Delhi. But, he auditioned for Doordarshan and was selected amongst 100,000 candidates. He became the face of DD News during 1970-80s but later left Doordarshan due to its crashing TRPs.
Since then, Narang has started training budding news anchors, did dubbing roles in movies like Batman and Robin, V for Vendetta etc. He is the male voice which we hear in Delhi Metro on a regular basis. The deep baritone and courtesy of his voice has certainly made him memorable.