Rita Jitendra was appearing on breakfast talk show Good Morning J&K on Monday.
Ms Jitendra, an influential Indian academic, appeared to lose consciousness mid-sentence as she chatted with host Zahid Mukhtar.
He told the Indian Telegraph: “She was telling us a few interesting things about her life and was looking absolutely normal.
“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.”
The 81-year-old was rushed to a nearby hospital – but was pronounced dead on arrival.
She had recently retired from the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art.
“Rita had a great association with television and her last words were on how she had started doing the dramas.”
The producer of the programme, Tanveer Mir, explained Jitendra had choked suddenly and collapsed.
Good Morning J&K
(Pic: Good Morning J&K)
He said: ”It’s shocking for us as this is the first incident in the Doordarshan history when any guest died in a live program.
“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.”