MS Prabhakara

Guwahati: Veteran journalist and author M.S. Prabhakara passed away at his residence in Karnataka’s Kolar on Thursday. He was 87.

Born in Kolar in 1936, Prabhakara completed his Master’s degree in English Language and Literature from Central College, Bengaluru.

He was unmarried and as per his wishes, his body has been donated to M S Ramaiah Hospital in Bengaluru by his extended family.

Prabhakara spent almost four decades in Assam as an English teacher at Guwahati University and as a journalist.

He taught for four years in Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Dharwad before joining Gauhati University in 1962.

He extensively covered the Northeast as a journalist with The Hindu and Frontline. The veteran journalist was also associated with the Economic and Political Weekly ( 1975-83) as its assistant editor before he joined The Hindu in 1983 as the newspaper’s Special Correspondent from the Northeast.

In June 1994, the eminent journalist went to Johannesburg as The Hindu‘s Special Correspondent and wrote extensively on the politics of Southern Africa. He returned to Guwahati in 2002, when he retired.

Prabhakara was considered an expert on the Northeast, who extensively highlighted insurgency and ethnic problems of the region through his writings.

His important book on Northeast, Looking Back into the Future, examines questions of identity, ethnicity, sovereignty, and insurgency in northeastern India, and especially in Assam and its neighborhood.

Words and Ideas, a collection of literary essays, published in 2007 by Guwahati-based publishing house Anwesha, is his another important book. He also shot into prominence as a Kannada writer with his collection Ondu Tola Punugu Mattu Itara Kathegalu. He was better known by his penname Kamaroopi in Kannada literary circles.

Prabhakara’s novel Kuduremotte (1971), which got the Karnataka Sahitya Academy award, was made into a film by G.V. Iyer.

In 2014, the Assamese version of the novel was published with the title Ghorar Dima.

In 2011, Prabhakara was honored with the Siva Prasad Barooah National Award, by the Kamal Kumari Foundation.

Post-retirement, he had divided his time between Guwahati, Bangalore and Kolar before he permanently moved to his native place in 2013.

Mahesh Deka is Executive Editor of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: