‘Sahitya Akademi’ award winning Assamese litterateur Nalinidhar Bhattacharya passed away here on Friday due to old-age ailments, family sources said.
The 95-year-old poet was admitted to a local nursing home on Wednesday after he complained of breathing problems and breathed his last on Friday morning.
Elder brother of Assam’s first ‘Jnanpith’ award winner Birendra Bhattacharya, he was born in 1921 and made his mark as a poet with five anthologies of Assamese poems Ali Kuwoli (1979), Charshalir Malita (1983), Aahot Xapun (1983), Noni Asone Ghorot and Biday Phulor Din (2002) – to his credit.
He was also a prolific essayist with five collections – Mul Aru Phul, Bezbaruah Aur Adhuniktar Dharana, Kabitar Katha, Kabita Aru Nepathya and Mahat Aithyjo – under his belt.
He had also translated ‘Dr Zhivago’, a famous novel by Boris Pasternak, along with three other books into Assamese.
Bhattacharya began his professional life as a lecturer in Assamese at St Anthony’s College in Shillong and later joined the ‘Arya Vidyapeeth College’ in Guwahati from where he retired in 1983.
He was awarded the ‘Sahitya Akademi Award’ in 2002 for his collection of literary works ‘Mahat Oitijhya’ and is also the recipient of Soviet Land Nehru Award, ‘Bharatiya Bhasa Parishad Award’ and ‘Assam Valley Literary Award’ along with various honours.
He had also served as the President of Diphu Asom Sahitya Sabha Kabi Sammelan.
The Asam Sahita Sabha had honoured him with the title of ‘Sahityacharya’ in 2010.
The last rites of the eminent poet were performed at the Nabagraha crematorium on Friday afternoon.