Bhabendra Nath Saikia

Last updated

Bhabendra Nath Saikia
Born20 February 1932
Died13 August 2003
Guwahati, Assam, India
Alma mater Cotton College, Presidency College
OccupationTeacher, filmmaker, writer
Spouse(s)Preeti Saikia
Awards See below

Bhabendra Nath Saikia (20 February 1932 – 13 August 2003) was a novelist, short-story writer and film director from Assam, India. He won many literary awards, including Sahitya Academy (1976), and was also recognised with the Padma Shri. [1]



Bhabendra Nath Saikia was born on 20 February 1932 at Nagaon town. He passed his matriculation examination in 1948 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. [2]

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. [2]


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


  • Sandhya Raag (Rajat Kamal award, 1977; screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1978) [2]
  • Anirban [অনির্বান] (Rajat Kamal award, 1981)
  • Agnisnaan [অগ্নিস্নান] (Rajat Kamal award, 1985)
  • Kolahal [কোলাহল](Rajat Kamal award, 1988)
  • Sarothi [সাৰথি](Rajat Kamal award, 1992)
  • Abartan [আৱর্তন](Rajat Kamal award, 1994)
  • ltihaas [ইতিহাস](Rajat Kamal award, 1996)



Short story collections


Children's books

Collection of essays


Humor books


Awards and legacy


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).

Related Research Articles

Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra Art museum in Assam, India

Srimanta Sankaradev Kalakshetra commonly Kalakshetra is a cultural institution in the Panjabari area of Guwahati, Assam, India, named after the medieval poet-playwright and reformer Srimanta Sankardev. It includes a cultural museum, library and various facilities for preserving, demonstrating and performing cultural items, besides a children's park. In addition to being Northeast India's largest cultural congregation, the Kalakshetra is also a major tourist spot in Guwahati. Built in the 1990s, the artistic excellence of Assam and rest of the north-eastern region is displayed here. There are eateries, places of worship, emporiums and open-air theatres within the sprawling Kalakshetra premises.

Utpal Datta

Utpal Datta is a National Film Award-winning film critic. He has been associated with Bismoi, an entertainment Assamese magazine; Rangghar, a cultural monthly; and Roopkar, a cultural monthly. He later joined the All India Radio Guwahati, where his book 24 Frames (2008), an anthology of articles on Indian cinema, was released as a radio program.

Assamese literature Literature in Assamese language

Assamese literature is the entire corpus of poetry, novels, short stories, plays, documents and other writings in the Assamese language. It also includes the literary works in the older forms of the language during its evolution to the contemporary form and its cultural heritage and tradition. The literary heritage of the Assamese language can be traced back to the c. 9-10th century in the Charyapada, where the earliest elements of the language can be discerned.

Gauhati University University in Assam, India

Gauhati University also known as GU is a collegiate public state university located in Guwahati, Assam, India. It was established in 26th January 1948 under the provisions of an Act enacted by the Assam Legislative Assembly. It is the oldest university in Northeast India.

Krishna Kanta Handique

Krishna Kanta Handique was a Sanskrit scholar, an Indologist and philanthropist from Assam. He was a recipient of the civilian honour of the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan

Homen Borgohain Indian writer

Homen Borgohain was an Assamese author and journalist. He was awarded the 1978 Sahitya Akademi Award in Assamese language for his novel Pita Putra. He was also the President of Assam Sahitya Sabha from 2001 to 2002.

Bhabananda Deka Indian writer

Prof Bhabananda Deka was a pioneer Assam economist and author who conducted novel research on the economy of the far eastern part of India. He was also a leading Indian-Assamese litterateur of the famed 'Awahon-Ramdhenu Era' of Assamese literature during the mid-20th century. He was the author of a total of 115 English and Assamese books including textbooks on a range of fifteen subjects including economics, ancient Assamese literature, philosophy, education, religion, mythology, archaeology, tribal study, poetry, drama, memoirs, civics, political science, biographies; he also edited books and journals. He also authored a variety of research papers and articles about the state of Assam, a state in the north-eastern part of India. He pioneered the writing of books on Economics in Assamese. His Assamese book Axomor Arthaneeti was the first ever research-based comprehensive book on Assam Economics, which was published for the first time in 1963. He was conferred with the honorary title of 'Asom Ratna' -- 'Jewel of Assam' by the intellectuals of Assam on 19 August 2007 at a public meet held under the presidency of Prof. (Dr) Satyendra Narayan Goswami.

Arun Sarma

Arun Sarma was a writer of Assam. Arun Sarma was one of Assam's contemporary playwrights and is particularly known for his unconventional plays with some elements of drama. Besides drama, he also authored over six novels detailing the Assamese way of life. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2010 in recognition of his contributions to Assamese literature. He has also been awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1998 for the novel Ashirbadar Rong. He has won the Asam Sahitya Sabha's Best Playwright Award for two consecutive years and also has the rare distinction of having won the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2003 for his contributions to drama and the Sahitya Akademi award in 1998 for literature. He was also the recipient of the Assam Valley Literary Award in 2005.

Rita Chowdhury Indian writer

Rita Chowdhury is an Indian poet, novelist and Sahitya Akademi Award recipient for her work in Assamese literature. She has been an associate professor at Cotton College, Guwahati, in the Political Science Department since 2001. She began her career as lecturer at Diphu Government College, Karbi Anglong in 1989. She is currently the Director of National Book Trust, India. She is also the wife of Chandra Mohan Patowary.

Ghanakanta Bora

'Bayanacharya' Shri Ghanakanta Bora Muktiyar is one of the most eminent exponents and gurus of Sattriya dance, a major classical dance tradition of Assam, India. He is also a renowned instrumentalist, choreographer and author. He has won the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2001.

Mahim Bora

Mahim Bora was an Indian writer and educationist from Assam. He was elected as a president of the Assam Sahitya Sabha held in 1989 at Doomdooma. He was awarded most notably the Padma Shri in 2011, the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2001 and the Assam Valley Literary Award in 1998. Assam Sahitya Sabha conferred its highest honorary title Sahityacharyya on him in 2007.

Pabitra Kumar Deka was a progressive writer, columnist, publisher and editor of monthly magazine, film critic and script writer of the State of Assam in India. He is the winner of the Best Film Critic Award in 1988 from the Eastern India Motion Picture Association. The Government of Assam has instituted the State Best Film Critic Award in the name of Pabitra Kumar Deka Award from 2010 after his death.

Birendra Nath Datta

Birendra Nath Datta is an Indian academician, a linguist, a researcher of folklore, a singer and lyricists of Assam. In his career, he mainly worked as a professor in different colleges of Assam. He also wrote scholarly books. In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, in the "Literature and Education" field and in 2010 he received the Jagaddhatri-Harmohan Das Literary award. Datta was elected as the president of Asom Sahitya Sabha for North Lakhimpur Session, 2003 and Hojai Session, 2004

Nagen Saikia Indian writer

Nagen Saikia is an Indian writer. He was formerly a professor of Dibrugarh University. Saikia had also been a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1986-1992 and was the vice-chairman of the Upper House from 1990-1992. Saikia started his career as a teacher and went on to serve in different reputed institutions in various categories. He also delivered lectures on various topics about Assamese literature, including in the US and England. He has published numerous literary essays, short stories, novels, books and articles, to his credit. Saikia was conferred with the Sahitya Akademi award in 1997 for his short stories collection Andharat Nizar Mukh and was honoured by the Mohan Chandra Sahitya Sabha in 1980 for Chinta aru Charcha. He was conferred the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour conferred by the Sahitya Akademi on the most distinguished Indian writers.

Professor Maheswar Neog was an Indian academic who specialised in the cultural history of the North East India especially Assam, besides being an Assamese-language scholar and poet. An editorial in the Assam Times called him "a versatile scholar and visionary thinker with encyclopedic range." He remained Jawaharlal Nehru Professor at Gauhati University and later Saint Sankaradeva Professor at Punjabi University.

Lakshmi Nandan Bora

Lakshmi Nandan Bora is an Indian novelist and short story writer in the Assamese language, known for over 60 books he has authored, including award winning novels, Patal Bhairavi and Kayakalpa. A recipient of Sahitya Academy Award and Saraswati Samman, Bora was honoured by the Government of India in 2015 with Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award.

Jatin Goswami

Jatin Goswami is an Indian dancer and choreographer, known as one of the prominent exponents of the classical dance form of Sattriya. He is the founder director of Sattriya Akademi, Guwahati, a sitting member of its Advisory Committee, and a former member of the General Council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. He is also the founder of Alok Shilpi Sangha, a dance academy and Pragjyoti Kala Parishad, a cultural organization, and is a recipient of the 2004 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2008, for his contributions to Sattriya dance.

Dhirendra Nath Bezboruah is an Indian journalist, writer and the founder editor of The Sentinel, a Guwahati-based English language daily. Born in 1933 in the Jorhat district of the northeast Indian state of Assam, he started his career as a lecturer, after completing his post graduate studies at Reading University, UK. When The Sentinel daily was established in 1983, he was selected as the founder editor, a post he held for a number of years. He was associated with the Media Trust, Assam and was the working president of its celebration committee in 1992. The many books he has published from Assamese into English includes The Cavern and Other Stories, a short story anthology written by Bhabendra Nath Saikia. He received the B. D. Goenka Award for Journalism in 1997 and the Nachiketa Samman of Panchjanya weekly in 2001. He is also recipient of Katha Award for translation. The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2016, for his contributions to literature.

Sobha Brahma was an Indian painter and sculptor. He lived and worked in Guwahati. He graduated from the Kalabhavana Visva-Bharati University Shantiniketan West-Bengal. Brahma developed a unique individual style that mixed traditional folk and modern Indian art.

Guwahati International Film Festival

The Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) is an annual film festival held in Guwahati, Assam, India.The State Government-owned Jyoti Chitraban Society organised the festival in association with the Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Regional Government Film and Television Institute. The first ever Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) to be held in northeast India, which will be inaugurated on 28 October 2017 by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. The Assam government supported festival began on 28 October with screening of the Oscar winning ‘The Salesman’, directed by Asghar Farhadi and produced by a joint collaboration of Iran and France.


  1. "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. 1 2 3 4 "The man and his magic". The Hindu. 16 August 2012.