GUWAHATI, Sept 2 - Celebrated poet and literary critic Nalinidhar Bhattacharya passed away at the GNRC Hospitals in the city early this morning.
He was 94, and had been suffering from kidney problem and pneumonia with sepsis. He was admitted to the GNRC on Wednesday night in a critical condition. His demise came at 4 am today, a GNRC official said.
Among the most well-known Assamese poets, Bhattacharya had remained a chronicler of his times for over six decades � penning in the process poignant accounts of a society caught in a web of degeneration. A humanist to the core, the poet gives ample reflection of his progressive traits in his poetry.
Born at Meleng Kathgaon near the famous Dhekiakhowa Barnamghar in Jorhat district on December 4, 1921, Bhattacharya did his schooling at Safrai near Sonari and Kakojan, and graduated from JB College, Jorhat in 1945. He did his MA in 1948 as a private candidate. He was the elder brother of eminent litterateur Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya, the first Jnanpith awardee from Assam.
A teacher of Assamese literature, Bhattacharya first taught at Kakojan High School in Jorhat, followed by a stint in St Anthony�s College, Shillong, and finally in Arya Vidyapeeth College in Guwahati.
Bhattacharya received a number of awards including Soviet Land Nehru Award (for his work Dui Purush in 1983), Bharatiya Bhasha (Indian Language) Parishad Award (for Kabitar Katha), Saganlal Jain Award (for Noni Asone Gharat in 2001), Sahitya Akademi Award (for Mahat Aitijya in 2002), Assam Valley Literary Award (2006), Papori Kabi Ganesh Gogoi Award, Mrinalini Devi Award, �Sahityacharya� honour by the Asam Sahitya Sabha (2010), Amulya Kumar Chakravarty Translation Award, etc.
Author of four anthologies � Ei Kuwolite (1979), Serasalir Malita (1983), Kabitar Katha (1985), and Mahat Aitijya (1999) � Bhattacharya was an accomplished translator as testified to by his works Dui Purush (1981), Eeswari Talar Kahini (1995), Dr Zhivago (2000) and Prasin Kalor Sanskriti Aru Sabhyata. Many of his literary essays and translated works have been published in literary journals.
Bhattacharya edited several volumes which include Bishnu Rabha: Jivan Aru Kriti (1985), Munin Barkatakir Prasanga Alosana (1996), Bidai Phulor Din (2001) and Dinbor Soloni Nohol (2003). He was also an accomplished lyricist.
A saint-like personality who maintained a low profile, Bhattacharya had always remained in the forefront of the fight against communal and violent forces. He has also served as the president of Diphu Asam Sahitya Sabha Kabi Sanmilan.
His last rites were performed at Nabagraha crematorium with state honour. Before cremation, his body was taken from GNRC Hospitals to his Rupnagar residence, and then to Arya Vidyapeeth College and the Asam Sahitya Sabha city office where people in large numbers paid their homage to the maestro.
He leaves behind two daughters and two sons.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has condoled the death of Bhattacharya, terming it as an irreparable loss to the State. He also conveyed his sympathy to the bereaved family members. Asam Sahitya Sabha president Dr Dhrubajyoti Borah has also mourned his death and said that the State had lost a great poet, a noble soul and a humanist.
The All Assam Students� Union, Assam Pradesh BJP, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, CPM, SUCI, CPI(M-L), former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, MP Bhubaneswar Kalita, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti have also condoled the death of the poet.