Debate Competition Held At Kaliabor Press Club On Tilak Hazarika's Death Anniversary

Initiating proceedings, the Principal of Kaliabor College, Dr. Hiranya Kumar Chaliha and the daughter of Tilak Hazarika, Smt Manjari Borah lighted the ceremonial lamp.
Mrs. Manjari Borah paying tributes to father and founding editor of Sadin, Tilak Hazarika
Mrs. Manjari Borah paying tributes to father and founding editor of Sadin, Tilak Hazarika

A debate competition was organised by Kaliabor Press Club in Assam on Saturday to commemorate the death anniversary of Tilak Hazarika, founding editor of Sadin weekly newspaper.

Initiating proceedings, the Principal of Kaliabor College, Dr. Hiranya Kumar Chaliha and the daughter of Tilak Hazarika, Smt Manjari Borah lighted the ceremonial lamp.

Speaking on the occasion, Manjari Borah said, “One of the regrets that my father left for heavenly abode with, was that the newer generations have forgotten their roots and are sticking more to social media. Journalism and current affairs are largely overlooked by the present generation. Most of their time is taken up by television and mobile phones and they rarely spend time reading newspapers or books.”

Mrs. Borah went on, “Seeing the participation of so many students here on the occasion has given me the feeling that my father has been proved wrong. In our childhood, father had always pushed us to take part in debate competitions.”

“Father had always taught us that while speaking or writing, we should not use a very difficult language. Our views should always be expressed in simpler words so that it is accessible to the common people,” she added.

Born on October 3, 1921, at Silghat Sonari village in Koliabor, Tilak Hazarika was a highly respected journalist in Assam and was hailed as a "giant" of the industry. A scribe of repute, an editor of commitment, and an author with humor, Tilak Hazarika's life revolved around pen and paper, but most importantly, the contemporary issues of Assam.

Hazarika started his career with a stint as a teacher in Kuwaritol High school. He also participated in the freedom movement. In 1949, he joined 'Natun Asomiya' under eminent poet Debokanta Baruah as a sub-editor, from where his journalistic career took off. He was elevated to the post of editor in 1951. Later, he joined 'Asom Bani', published by the Assam Tribune group in 1957 as an editor.

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Finally, he joined 'Sadin' of the Sadin-Pratidin group, which started its publication in 1989 under his chief editorship and continued serving till his death (28 years). During Assam Andolan (Assam movement), the role of newspaper was pivotal and Hazarika, who was in support of the movement, garnered respect and accolades for his influential column, 'Prasangik'.

His command over the Assamese language and his thought process earned him admiration from everyone. Print was his first love and his adherence to value-based journalism was widely respected. He was always adventurous, but content with what he had. He was modest but brave in his humble surroundings.

Tilak Hazarika was considered as the spirit and soul of 'Sadin-Pratidin' group. He was into journalism for more than six decades and set a trend in the field of journalism in Assam. Many senior journalists have also learned under his umbrella.

He was fearless in his journalism, a freedom fighter, and a social crusader.

His literary work includes Adda (1958), Koto Kahini (1960), Ityadi (1984), Sihote Amak Gaan Gabo Nidiye (1999) and Abelir Sha (2000). In 1996, he was conferred the Sahitya Akademi for his translation work 'Phanishwar Nath Renur Shrestha Kahini.

On October 22, 2016, Tilak Hazarika passed away following a cerebral stroke. He was admitted to Guwahati's GNRC Hospital for over a month. He was 96.

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