Prof. Bhabananda Deka - a Custodian of Sankari Culture

Bhabananda Deka with his wife and writer Nalini Prava Deka
Prof Bhabananda Deka - is a multi-faceted writer and poet from Assam, a state in the north-eastern part of India. He wrote more than hundred Books, Text Books on Economics and Political Science and Articles. As a writer, he was affluent in Assamese literature and was known for his crisp flawless diction in both Assamese and English language. His prose and parables touch on a wide range of themes ranging from the social to cultural and political commentary. He was an Economist and was one of the first Assamese to form 'Asomiya Sahitya Samaj' in Delhi along with Parikshit Hazarika and Upendra Nath Goswami in 1968. They were subservient in the introduction of Assamese Language in MIL Department of Delhi University (DU) by convincing the then UGC chairman D.S. Kothari in this regard.

Prof Bhabananda Deka was born to Late Baliram Pathak and Late Sayatri Bala Pathak on August 19, 1929 at Byaskuchi Satra, Barpeta sub division of undivided Kamrup District, Assam. He passed his matriculation from Barpeta Government High School with 1st Division and distinction in three subjects. He later joined Cotton College and completed his graduation in Economics in 1954 and did his post graduation in Economics from Gauhati University in 1957. While at Cotton College, he was also selected as the General Secretary of the Students Union.

Right after passing his post graduation, he worked for North Guwahati Girls High School for two months and later joined Kamrup Academy High School as a teacher. While he was in the first year of his post graduation, Prof. Deka worked for Assam Pradesh Congres Committee as an Economist. After his post graduation, he went to his hometown and worked for Bhattadeb Milan Samiti as a secretary and was instrumental behind the building of the first Library (Bhattadev Puthivoral) in Byaskuchi. He was the Founder Principal of Bapuji College in Sorthebari. He also worked with Arya Vidyapeeth College as a Professor for sometime.

On 1st September, 1958 Prof. Bhabananda Deka joined Pragjyotish College in the Economics Department as a Professor under the Principal Late Tirthanath Sharma. The college was only four years old then. That was when he met some of the prominent scholars like Late Haliram Deka, Late Sarbananda Rai, Prof. Gurusaran Medhi, Madhu Ojha, Prof Binoy Ghosh etc.. In 1964 he got married to Assamese writer and poet Nalini Prava Deka. While he was working for Pragjyotish College, he took leave for a year and worked as a Senior Research Officer in the Language Unit of Union Public Service Commission, Delhi. He was retired as Pricipal of Pragjyotish College in 1992.

He was very much Influenced by Sankari Culture in his life time and was known for his active participation in setting up Belbari Satra (Vaisnavite Monastery) in Barpeta District. He has written hundreds of Aricles and Books on Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardeva and Sankari Culture. Before his death on 4th December, 2006, he traslated the Kirtan Ghosa (Poetic works of Srimanta Sankardeva) from Assamese to English. He was a dynamic member of Asom Sahitya Sabha and was made President of Kamrup Sahitya Sabha in 1982.

Prof. Bhabananda Deka was known for his Gandhian philosophy and humbleness. He was always one to keep a low profile. He died of old age on 4 December, 2006, at his residence in Pub Sarania, Guwahati, Assam.