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Scholar-politician of Meghalaya, BB Dutta dies

After completing his Masters in Economics, he joined St. Anthony’s College, Shillong as a lecturer in economics after a brief stint at the office of the then Accountant General of Assam.

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Shillong: Renowned scholar, academician and former member of Rajya Sabha from Meghalaya and a distinguished academician, Bidhu Bhushan Dutta passed away in the city on Monday after a brief illness. He was 84.

Having had his early education at Karimganj in Assam, 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 Hiteshwar Saikia, former chief minister of Assam.

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After completing his Masters in Economics, he joined St. Anthony’s College, Shillong as a lecturer in economics after a brief stint at the office of the then Accountant General of Assam.

Dutta’s initiation in politics was in APHLC (All People’s Hill Leadership Conference) of which 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 worked closely with 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 in the state. In 1993, he was nominated Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha as a distinguished academic.

One of his pioneering contributions was the establishment of the Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture, Shillong which stands out as a unique institution emphasizing on the multitude of the culture that represents India.

The Asian Confluence, of which he was the founding chairperson, is another of the institutions founded by late Dutta that works in its own unique ways to reshape the destiny of India’s north east.

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