GUWAHATI, Oct 22 - Veteran journalist and the Chief Editor of the Assamese weekly Sadin, Tilak Hazarika passed away at the GNRC Hospital late last night. He was 95 and had been ailing for some time.
Hazarika, who was admitted to the GNRC on September 19 following a brain stroke, had since been undergoing treatment at the ICU. A GNRC official said that Hazarika breathed his last at 12.50 last night after a cardiac arrest. He had high blood pressure and respiratory complications as well.
Born at Koliabor on October 3, 1921, Hazarika was a towering figure in the sphere of journalism in the State. He started his career as Sub-editor in Natun Asomiya in 1949 and eight years later joined Asam Bani, the weekly published by The Assam Tribune group, as Assistant Editor. He went on to serve as its Editor from 1980 to 1987. He joined Sadin in 1989 as its founder Chief Editor and remained in that post till his death.
Hazarika, who was respected for his adherence to value-based journalism and uncompromising stand on issues concerning the State, was an accomplished writer as well. He penned a number of literary works that include Adda (1958), Koto Kahini (1960), Ityadi (1984), Xihote Amaak Gaan Gabo Nidiye (1999), and Abelir Saa (2000).
He received the Sahitya Akademi award for his translation work Phanishwar Nath Renur Shreshtha Kahini in 1996. He was also a recipient of the Asam Sahitya Sabha Lakshminath Phukan Award in 2001.
Hazarika�s writings stand out for his unique language and style that touches the innermost recesses of the human soul.
Hazarika�s last rites were performed with State honours at the Navagraha crematorium around 11 am today. It drew a wide audience of his admirers and relatives, journalists, litterateurs, artistes and people from different walks of life.
Earlier, his body was taken to the offices of the Guwahati Press Club, Asomiya Pratidin and The Assam Tribune where people paid homage to the departed soul.
Recalling his association with Hazarika, Editor of Asam Bani Dilip Chandan said that he was a pioneering figure who added innovation to the State�s journalistic spheres. �He spent a long 30 years in Asam Bani and it was a period of immense significance for the State�s socio-political life. A man of impeccable integrity, he gave a new dynamism to journalism which was in a stage of transition. He started new trends, including political journalism,� he said.
Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi were among those who have condoled the death of the veteran journalist.
Various organisations and political parties have mourned his death.
Socio-cultural body Jyotirupa, in a condolence message, termed his death as a great loss for the State�s socio-cultural life besides journalism. �He was a legend whose intellect and genius encompassed many a sphere, including journalism. A promoter of value-based journalism, he was unwavering when it came to safeguarding the State�s interests,� it said.
Those who have condoled Hazarika�s death include the Asam Sahitya Sabha, All Assam Students� Union, Assam Pradesh BJP, Assam Congress, All India United Democratic Front, Bar Council of India, Indian People�s Theatre Association, Journalists� Association of Assam, Assam Tribune Employees� Union, among others.