Epic Icons, one of the most popular shows on Epic TV, will be featuring Assam’s one of the greatest litterateur-cum-filmmaker late Bhabendra Nath Saikia.

However, in the rarest of goof-ups the channel has identified the late filmmaker as Bengali and not Assamese!

In a tweet, the channel wrote, “#EPICIcon #BhabendraNathSaikia has written a remarkable collection of essays and children’s books in Bengali. He was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Padma Shri for his contribution to literature.”


Senior journalist and filmmaker Utpal Borpujari, lashing out at the misleading tweet, wrote, “There is an Assam beyond Bengal and there is a language called Assamese that isn’t Bengali.”

“We Assamese love Bengali literature and cinema but it doesn’t mean you can appropriate one of the greatest Assamese writer-filmmakers as Bengali,” Borpujari further wrote.


Born on February 20, 1932, in Nagaon town, Bhabendra Nath Saikia was an Assamese novelist, short-story writer and film director.

He won many literary awards, including Sahitya Academy (1976), and was also recognised with the Padma Shri.

He was the editor of Assamese monthly magazine Prantik and a children’s magazine named Xaphura.

A number of Saikia’s stories have been translated into English, Bengali, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, and Gujarati.

Saikia directed eight feature films, which have been screened at International Film Festivals held at various places such as Cannes, Madras, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Bangalore, Calcutta, Karlovy Vary (Czechoslovakia) etc.

Seven out of Saikia’s eight films have been selected for Indian Panorama Section of the International Film Festival of India.

He received the Sahitya Akademi (India) Award in 1976, the Rajat Kamal Award for the film Sandhyarag in 1978, Anirban in 1981, Agnisnan in 1985, Kolahal in 1988, Sarothi in 1992, Abartan in 1994 and for Itihaas in 1996.

Saikia was adjudged as one of the “Twenty one Great Assamese Persons of the twentieth century”.

Saikia died on August 13, 2003.


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