Former Rajya Sabha member and noted academician from Meghalaya Dr Bidhu Bhusan Dutta, popularly known as BB Dutta, passed away on Monday at a private hospital in Shillong.
He was 84.
Born on July 1, 1937, Dutta received his early education at Karimganj in Assam’s Barak Valley.
Dutta graduated with honours in Economics from St. Edmund’s College in Shillong.
His wife had passed away a few years ago.
He is survived by a daughter and son Sabyasachi Dutta, who is serving as the Executive Director at Asian Confluence, which was founded by BB Dutta.
After completing his Masters in Economics, Dutta joined St. Anthony’s College in Shillong as a Lecturer in the Economics department after a brief stint at the office of the then Accountant General of Assam.
Dutta served as a Professor at St. Anthony’s College in Shillong.
He established the Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture in Shillong.
Dutta penned a number of books.
Eventually, he joined Congress and became the general secretary of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee.
He also became the general secretary of the North East India Congress Coordination Committee.
Dr Dutta closely worked with former Assam chief minister Hiteshwar Saikia and other prominent politicians of the Northeast including Williamson A. Sangma, SC Jamir, Hokishe Sema, Purno A. Sangma, PR Kyndiah and others.
He was actively involved in the movement preceding the formation of Meghalaya.
He has distinguished himself as an academician, scholar, teacher, politician and a veteran social activist.
As the founder general secretary of the North East Pradesh Congress Co-ordination Committee, he left an indelible mark in the political ethos of the northeastern region, by strengthening nationalist political forces in the region.
In 1993, he was nominated by the President of India to the Rajya Sabha as its member during which he became a respected and powerful voice for the strategic issues that confront the North Eastern Region.
In 2001, he resigned from the Congress party and devoted himself to building institutions of excellence in the Northeast.
Dr. Dutta was the founder chairman and managing trustee of Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture, Shillong, a premier institution that focuses on spreading the timeless wisdom of the Indian Spiritual Master Sri Aurobindo in the region.
He was also the founder chairman of Divya Jeevan Foundation and its mega project ‘The Asian Confluence’.
Dutta was also a founder member of the Shillong Academy Higher Secondary School and the Women’s College Shillong and was a founder secretary of Education India.
He also served for a long time as a member of the State Planning Board of Meghalaya and State Planning Board of Assam.
Dutta was presently the chairman of Rashtriya Jagriti Sansthan and a member of the Editorial Board of its prestigious monthly magazine ‘The South Asia Politics’.