Renowned professor dies mid-sentence on live television; shocked producers thought she was "acting"
Academic Rita Jitendra suffered a massive cardiac arrest while she was on the talk show 'Good Morning J&K'
Popular Indian academic Rita Jitendra passed away mid-sentence on live television on Monday. The 81-year-old professor, who previously worked at the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages as a secretary, was a frequent guest on television shows. However, on Monday, in the middle of her appearancen the talk show called 'Good Morning J&K', Jitendra's interview was cut short as she tragicaolly passed away mid-sentence on live TV.
Jitendra was in the middle of a discussion when her head fell backwards, mouth opened, and eyes rolled shut, the New York Post reports. The well-known professor appeared to have suffered a cardiac arrest mid-interview, leaving everyone including the show's anchor Zahid Muktar at a loss of words.
leading educationist & writer, Prof Dr Rita Jitendra on Monday died in the studios of Doordarshan Kendra Sgr while speaking in a live broadcast of Good Morning #kashmir program.#SwamiVivekananda #QuaideAzam#DamsFund#Muharram#ThankYouChef#TuesdayThoughts#UTurnIn2Days pic.twitter.com/4vMkFGeMnv— akilkhan (@akil1khan) September 11, 2018
"She was telling us a few interesting things about her life and was looking absolutely normal," Muktar later told the Indian Telegraph, recalling the disturbing moment his chat show guest died. "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."
"When she collapsed, we thought she was acting... It took us a few moments to realise something was seriously wrong. We tried to revive her. Producers, our assistants, everyone tried to revive her. But she did not respond. She was rushed to a hospital where she was declared brought dead," Muktar was quoted as saying.
Prasar Bharati family mourns the sad demise of veteran Broadcaster and Writer Professor Rita Jitendra. She breathed her last today in Srinagar while participating in a live show on DD Kashir. pic.twitter.com/GDA3a7qsZF— Prasar Bharati (@prasarbharati) September 10, 2018
Ironically enough, the entire incident unfolded on the same day when Jitendra had apparently discussed her death, telling a male friend how she wants to die while working - just like former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam. "She told him that Dr Kalam had died while working. That is how she met her end too. She breathed her last in the studio itself," recalled Hazifa Muzaffar, former secretary of J&K's women’s commission and Jitendra's host in the North Indian city of Srinagar.
Although Jitendra was immediately taken to the hospital, she was pronounced dead on arrival. According to Dr Saleem Tak, "the cardiac arrest may have taken place due to heart arrhythmia, which is an abnormal heart beating."
Condolences to Professor Rita Jitendra's family on her death earlier today during LIVE TV broadcast. Saw the tragic footage & read details, why no CPR was done? why no AED present in the studios?— Kashif N Chaudhry (@KashifMD) September 13, 2018
Would be great if India/Pakistan can emphasize learning CPR across schools.
"It's shocking for us as this is the first incident in the Doordarshan history when any guest died in a live program," added 'Good Morning J&K' producer Tanveer Mir. "As part of the TV profession, we managed to run the whole programme to keep the broadcast uninterrupted. But we are very saddened with this incident and we pray for the departed soul."