Guwahati, Sept 27: A prominent politician of yesteryears in the region, Dr Bidhu Bhusan Dutta, a former Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and a distinguished academician of Shillong, breathed his last today at the age of 84 years.
Having his early education at Karimganj, then a subdivision of Cachar district of Assam, Dr Dutta joined St. Edmund’s College, Shillong and graduated with honours in Economics. Amongst some of his illustrious classmates while studying in St Edmund’s college was Sri Hiteshwar Saikia, Former Chief Minister of Assam with whom he almost had a familial bonding till last.
After completing his Masters in Economics, he joined St. Anthony’s College as a Lecturer in Economics after a brief stint at the office of the then Accountant General of Assam etc.
A lively bright scholar in his formative years, his initiation in politics was in APHLC of whom he was an Assistant General Secretary and was actively involved in the movement preceding the formation of the State of Meghalaya. Eventually, he joined Congress (I) and became the General Secretary of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee.
In later years, he rose to become the General Secretary of the North East India Congress Coordination Committee and had the privilege of working closely with a many political stalwarts of the region that includes Capt. Williamson A Sangma, S. C. Jamir, Hokishe Sema, Purno A. Sangma, P. R. Kyndiah, to name only a few amongst others. Despite his party affiliation, he was an endearing personality who maintained a cordial relation with everyone across the political spectrum.
Though in eighty’s, he became deeply involved in politics, he continued with his teaching assignments at St. Anthony’s College, Shillong and even earned his Doctoral degree from Gauhati University under the supervision of Professor K. Alam. His works on Banking in Meghalaya is one of the first of its kind of work in the state and was received with the attention it so richly deserved. Dr Dutta has also been co-author of a number of books some of which standout as pioneering works in the relevant field.
In early ninety, he decided to call it a day to his teaching assignment at St. Anthony’s College, Shillong. In 1993, he was nominated Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha as a distinguished academic. He has always remained associated with scores of academic institutes in various capacities and has always been encouraging for any efforts that he felt can contribute to the betterment of education in the state of Meghalaya in particular and everywhere else in general. Amongst many of the institutes that immensely benefited from his support, guidance are Shillong Academy, Women’s College Higher Secondary School and Women’s College, Shillong.
Apart from academic institutions, he was associated and took lead role in many of social and Philanthropic institutions in the state of Meghalaya and beyond. One of his pioneering contributions was establishment of the Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture, Shillong which stands out as a unique institution emphasising on the multitude of the culture that represents India. Asian Confluence, of which he was the founding Chairperson, is another of the institutions founded by him that works in its own unique ways to reshape the destiny of India’s north east.
In his loss, the people of Shillong in particular and region in general has lost an indomitable spirit that till the last has aspired to undertake newer ventures such as establishing a university for liberal education and the likes.