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Bhabendra Nath Saikia
Born20 February 1932
Died13 August 2003
Guwahati, Assam, India
Education
Alma materCotton College, Presidency College
OccupationTeacher, filmmaker, writer
Spouse(s)Preeti Saikia
AwardsSee below

Bhabendra Nath Saikia (20 February 1932 – 13 August 2003) was a novelist, short-story writer, Editor and a Film director from Assam, India.[1] Dr. Saikia received his doctorate in physics from the University of London.[2] He began his career as a reader in the Department of Physics, University of Guwahati. He later played an important role in the publication of college level textbooks in Assamese language during his tenure as the Secretary of the Co-ordination Committee for production of textbooks in regional languages.[1][3]

He was the founding editor of the Assamese language weekly Prantik and the children's magazine Safura. He has written plays for radio and Mobile theatre. He is the director and Screenplay writer for all the Eight Assamese language films. He received the Rajat Kamal Award from the Government of India for seven of these films.

He won many literary awards, including Sahitya Academy (1976), and was also recognised with the Padma Shri in 2001. He was awarded the 'Assam Valley Literature Award' in 1990.

Biography

Bhabendra Nath Saikia was born on 20 February 1932 at Nagaon town. He passed his matriculation examination in 1948 from Nagaon Government Boy's Higher Secondary School (where he was founder editor of school magazine 'UDAY')and the Intermediate examination in Science in 1950, both with first division marks. He passed BSc Examination in 1952 with honours in Physics from the Cotton College of Gauhati University. He received a post graduate degree in Physics from the Presidency College of Calcutta University. He obtained his PhD in physics from the University of London in 1961[citation needed]. He also obtained a Diploma from the Imperial College of Science & Technology, London, in 1961. He later worked as reader in Physics at the Gauhati University. He became a member of Sangeet Natak Akademi, India.

Saikia edited the Prantik (প্ৰান্তিক), an Assamese monthly magazine, and a children's magazine named Xaphura (সঁফুৰা), both in the Assamese language. He was also the president of the Jyoti Chitraban which was for a long time the only film studio in Assam. He had the unique distinction of having won the National Awards for each of his seven Assamese films. For his services to the literature, culture and cinema of Assam, Saikia was awarded the Padma Shri in 2001.[4]

Having spent his childhood in poverty, Saikia established the Aarohan Trust in Guwahati using the money he received from the Assam Valley Literary Award to provide free training to poor children interested in art, theatre and music. Saikia died on 13 August 2003 in Guwahati and is survived by his wife Preeti Saikia and two daughters. The Assam Government has named a road in Guwahati and a state award in his honour.[4]

Works

He is recognised as one of the top-ranking writers of Assam. Many stories have been translated into English, Bengali, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, Gujarati etc. He had also written a large number of plays for All India Radio (AIR). The plays Kolahal, Durbhiksha and Itihaas were taken up by the AIR as national plays. Kolahal was selected for broadcast from foreign centres. He has been associated actively with the stage as a playwright and director. He has written many plays for the Mobile Theatre of Assam, and a number of one-act plays.

He directed eight feature films, which have been screened at International Film Festivals held at various places such as Cannes, Madras, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Bangalore, Calcutta, Karlovy Vary (Czechoslovakia), Nantes (France), Valladolid (Spain), Algiers (Algeria), Pyong Yong (North Korea), Sydney, Munich, Montreal and Toronto. Has also directed one episode of a Doordarshan series on Rabindranath Tagore's stories in Hindi. Seven out of Saikia's eight films have been selected for Indian Panorama Section of the International Film Festival of India. • He received the Sahitya Akademi (India) Award in 1976, the Rajat Kamal Award of the Government of India for the film Sandhyarag in 1978, Anirban in 1981, Agnisnan in 1985, Kolahal in 1988, Sarothi in 1992, Abartan in 1994 and for Itihaas in 1996. He was adjudged as one of the "Twenty one Great Assamese Persons of the twentieth century" in a literary weekly news magazine of Assam.

Sringkhal (The Quiver), an Assamese film based on a short story written by Bhabendra Nath Saikia, was released on 17 October 2014. Directed by Prabin Hazarika, Sringkhal was co-produced by the Assam State Film (Finance and Development) Corporation Limited with Preeti Saikia, Partha Pratim Bora, Sangeeta Saikia, Dipendra Patowary and Prabin Hazarika.

He was actively involved with famous Assamese Mobile Theater industry, most notably with Abahan Theater.

Feature films

Assamese

Hindi

Novels

Short story collections

Plays

Children's books

Collection of essays

Autobiographies

Humor books

Magazines

Awards and legacy

Leadership

Saikia was a Member of Sangeet Natak Akademi; Member of the Executive and General Council of Sahitya Akademi; Member, Indian National Council for co-operation with UNESCO; Member, Academic Council, Gauhati University; President of Jyoti Chitraban (Film Studio) Society; Member, Advisory Body, All India Radio, Guwahati; Chairman, Assam State Film (Finance and Development) Corporation Ltd; Member., Governing Body, North East Zone Cultural Centre, Dimapur; Member, Governing Body, East Zone Cultural Centre, Kolkata; Member of Court of the Gauhati University, Assam; Member, Society of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, Member, Board of Trustees, National Book Trust of India.

He also worked extensively in the creation, proposal, construction, and planning of the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati, Assam, which is now a sprawling cultural center, one of its kind, and a tourist attraction for the state of Assam. He served as the first Vice-President of the Kalakshetra, under the governor of Assam as the President. This center was built in the memory of Assamese cultural legend Srimanta Sankardev (1449–1568).

References

  1. ^ a b "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2013)" (PDF). Govt. of India, Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  2. ^ Saikia, Bhabendra Nath (1961). "The structure, aggregation and melting of metal and other films condensed from vapor". Imperial College London. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Bhabendra Nath Saikia". India Online. 20 June 2022. Retrieved 20 June 2022.He was the pioneering motive behind the publication of college level textbooks in Assamese language during his tenure as the Secretary of the Co-ordination Committee for production of textbooks in regional languages.
  4. ^ a b c d "The man and his magic". The Hindu. 16 August 2012.
  • Saikia, Bhabendra Nath. Bhabendra Nath Saikiaar Naatya Xombhaar; (Plays by Bhabendra Nath Saikia). Guwahati: Jyoti Prokashan.