Noted Assamese poet and Sahitya Akademi award winner Hiren Bhattacharyya passed away this morning at a private hospital in the city after prolonged illness.
Bhattacharyya (80), popularly known as 'Hiru Da', passed away at Dispur Hospital at around 11.30 am, hospital sources said.
He was admitted to the hospital for the past few weeks due to lung and urinary infections, the sources said.
Bhattacharya, who leaves behind his wife and a daughter, was one of the most celebrated poets of Assam.
Born at Jorhat in 1932, he has anthologies of poems to his name like 'Roudro
Kamona', 'Tumar Bahi', 'Sugondhi Pokhilaa', 'Moor Dekh', 'Bibhinno Dinor Kobita' and
'Shoichor Pothar Manuh'.
He also penned nursery rhymes for children and many songs and had a number of books to his credit.
Recipient of a number of honours, including the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992, Bhattacharya had also edited several newspapers and magazines in his lifetime.
He was first admitted to the hospital on May 29 and again on July 12 and since then was under ventilator support in the ICU.
Assam Transport Minister Chandan Brahma went to the hospital to pay his last
The state government declared a half-day holiday at all government offices with people from all walks of life making a beeline to poet's residence where the body was kept lying.
The cremation will be carried out tomorrow, family sources said.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi termed his death as a great loss for the state. "Hiru da shone like a bright constellation in the literary and social life of Assam... He created a new era for Assamese poetry," he said.
"It is the end of an era. Hiru da had termed death an art but we never imagined that one day we would lose him," said poet Pranab Sarma.
Renowned singer Zubin Garg said, "Assamese literary field has become an orphan with the passing away of Hiru Da."
"His poems always inspired us," said Asom Gana Parishad working president Atul Bora (Junior).
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