Dibrugarh: Dr. Nagen Saikia, former president of Axam Xahitya Xabha and a much acclaimed Assamese writer, was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour of Sahitya Akademi, at a glittering event held at Lal Chand Kanoi Auditorium, DHSK College, recently in the presence of noted dignitaries.
The award was presented to him by the president of the Sahitya Akademi, Dr. Chandrashekhar Kambar. In his acceptance speech, Dr Saikia thanked Sahitya Akademi for conferring its greatest honour upon him. At the same time, he categorically stated that he did not write for awards or honours, but for his commitment to express his thoughts and experiences to the readers. He said, “Out of a good number of thinkers of Assam, Sankardeva of Medieval Assam, Lakshminath Bezbaroa of 19th century and Jyotiprasad Agarwala of 20th century had left an indelible print in my mind.”
Dr Saikia is one of the most prominent short story writers, poets, and essayists of the State. A thinker and activist in the socio-cultural domain, he was also a member of Rajya Sabha from 1986 to 1992. Dr Saikia joined the Department of Assamese of Dibrugarh University in 1972 as a lecturer, and retired as Professor as Professor of the prestigious Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa Chair of Dibrugarh University in 2003, thus completing his journey as a teacher. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1997 for his short story collection Andharat Nizar Mukh. His Mita-Bhas has also been translated into Hindi, English, Bengali and Nepali. Dr Saikia also compiled and edited the Bangla-Asamiya Abhidhan for Sahitya Akademi. He is a life member of Comparative Literature Association of India (CLAI) and Indian Parliamentary Group.
Later, a discussion titled Sangbaad took place which was participated by president of Axam Xahitya Xabha and noted writer, Dr Dhrubajyoti Borah; former director of Performing Arts Department of Dibrugarh University and an accomplished poetess, Korobi Deka Hazarika; former Professor of English, Tezpur Central University, as well as an eminent Assamese and English writer, Madan Sharma and noted writer, Dr. Pabitra Pran Mahanta Hazarika did a critical analysis of Dr Saikia’s Mita-Bhas, while Sharma gave a detailed account of some of the stories of Dr Saikia. Mahanta offered an overall analysis of the works of Dr Saikia.