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Guwahati : Eminent Assamese scholar, linguist, singer, and Padma Shri, Birendra Nath Datta, breathed his last at a private hospital in Guwahati on October 23, leaving behind a rich legacy of contributions to literature and education. Born in 1935 in Nagaon, Assam, Datta began his illustrious academic career as a lecturer at B Borooah College in 1957. His passion for education led him to serve as the Principal of various esteemed institutions, including Pramathesh Barua College in Gauripur, Goalpara College, and Pandu College.
Having obtained his Ph.D. in folklore from Gauhati University in 1974, Datta established himself as a prolific writer, authoring several scholarly books on folklore, culture, and literature. His noteworthy achievements were further recognized with the prestigious Padma Shri award in the field of ‘Literature and Education’ in 2009, and the Jagaddhatri Harmohan Das Sahitya Puraskar in 2010. Datta also made significant contributions to the Assam Sahitya Sabha, serving as its President in 2003 and 2004.
In addition to his academic prowess, Datta was a gifted vocalist and songwriter, leaving an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of Assam with his popular Assamese songs. His remarkable contributions to literature, education, and the arts have left an enduring impact, solidifying his position as a revered figure in Assamese cultural history.