Dr. Surjya Kanta Hazarika is a litterateur, an eminent scholar, author, publisher, playwright, lyricist, composer, cultural activist, feature film and documentary maker, social worker and philanthropist. He was born on 31st May, 1956 in Dibrugarh in a cultured family. His father was Chandrakanta Hazarika and mother was Labanya Hazarika. Chandrakanta Hazarika was a teacher by profession but he had also established a publication house named “Bani Mandir” in 1949 which became an elite publication house of Assam within a short span of time. Surjya Kanta Hazarika was the eldest of his sons and the second among the seven children – three sons and four daughters.After finishing his school education in Dibrugarh and Digboi, he got enrolled for Pre-University Classes at Gauhati Commerce College, Guwahati in 1973-74. But after one year he had to go to Dibrugarh to look after family publication business and completed his PU from DHSK Commerce College in Dibrugarh. In 1978 he completed B. Com. from the same college. He got M. Com. degree from Dibrugarh University in 1980. After this he started pursuing Ph.D. in Gauhati University but could not finish it because of being too pre-occupied with newspaper publication activities. However, in 2016 he started pursuing Ph.D. again from Mahapurush Srimanta Sankaradeva University, Nagaon. Initially, he started his research under the guidance of Dr. Pradip Hazarika but after his untimely death he resumed his research work under Dr. Karabi Deka Hazarika and finished it in 2021. His research topic was ‘Publication of Assam related books in the 19th century: A survey.‘ This thesis has been published as a book and is a valuable treasure of information for those who study the history of Assamese language and literature.
From an early age Surjya Kanta Hazarika started to write. When he was in ninth standard, he wrote about a Delhi trip in a popular weekly newspaper Asom Bani. His first book ‘Siku Aaha Nana Katha’ (Let’s Learn Many Things) was published in 1975 when he was just twenty. From an early age he edited several magazines including the college magazines. He had edited a handwritten magazine ‘Jyotirupa’ in 1976.
Right from the time when he was in his early twenties Surjya Kanta Hazarika has been actively taking forward his family legacy of book publication and printing. Contributing immensely to Assamese book publishing industry and literature in general, he had established Chandrakanta Press Pvt. Ltd. in Guwahati in 1987. He had shifted his base to Guwahati two years earlier in 1985. He had a big dream of publishing a daily news paper. On 1st January 1988 he started publishing an Assamese News Paper named ‘Natun Dainik’. ‘Natun Dainik’ had soon become a very popular news paper under the editorship of Chandra Prasad Saikia, Jatindra Kumar Borgohain and Dr. Rohini Kumar Barua(a retired IAS) and later Surjya Kanta Hazarika himself took the editorship of the newspaper in 1993-94 and 1997-99.
As a publisher of news papers, Surjya Kanta Hazarika had introduced a few revolutionary concepts in Assamese news paper industry. He had introduced ‘Sandhya Batori’, an evening newspaper in 1989. ‘Chitra Sangbad’ a niche news paper dedicated to cinema and cultural acitivities in 1990 and a sports news paper ‘Khel Sangbad’ in 1992. Khel Sangbad was published under his own editorship. Apart from these four newspapers, he brought out a fortnightly newspaper named ‘Bahniman’ from Dibrugarh. He had also published another magazine named ‘Pratidhwani’ with Dr. Bhupen Hazarika as the editor and himself as the Associate Editor.
Surjya Kanta Hazarika was only twenty when his association with ‘Asam Sahitya Sabha’ started. Since then he has been an active member of the ‘Asam Sahitya Sabha’. In 1980 he had taken the responsibility of Assistant Secretary of Dibrugarh Sahitya Sabha. He had also edited the news paper ‘Asam Sahitya Sabha Sangbad’ published by the Asam Sahitya Sabha in 1993. He was the editor of ‘Asam Sahitya Sabha Patrika(Viswakosh Edition)’ in 2003. In 1993-94, 2001-03, 2010-12, 2012-14 he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Asam Sahitya Sabha.
Dr. Surjya Kanta Hazarika has published thousands of valuable books under the banner of ‘Bani Mandir’ and ‘S. H. Educational Trust’. He has also encouraged many new authors. He himself has written and edited many valuable books. In order to preserve the legacy of Assamese literature he has also reprinted many age-old books which are considered immensely valuable.
Dr. Surjya Kanta Hazarika has been associated with many prestigious organisations in various capacities including the All Assam Book Sellers & Publishers’ Association, as the President for the period of 2005-06 & 2006-07. He is also the adviser of All Assam Printers’ Association. During this time he took many steps to promote Assamese publishing industry at the national and international level.
One of the most valuable works of Dr. Surjya Kanta Hazarika is the transcription of Multi-faceted Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s autobiography ‘Moi Eti Jajabor’.
As a lyricist/composer, Dr. Surjya Kanta Hazarika has contributed significantly to the world of Assamese music. In 1987 he became an approved lyricist of All India Radio, Dibrugarh. Later All India Radio, Guwahati had also recognized him as an approved lyricist. He has written and composed songs for various audio albums, TV serials, movies and documentaries. ‘Brikodar Baruar Biya’, ‘Tore More Alokore Jatra’, ‘Ananya Prantar’, ‘Bahuttor Majot Ekotto’, ‘Ghar Sangsar’, ‘Merpak’, ‘Roopkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwala’, ‘Rupantarar Silpi Jyotiprasad’ , ‘Jyotiprasad: A Legend of the Northeast (English)’ etc. are some of the TV serials for which he wrote songs. He has produced several audio albums. Most significant among these are – ‘Shrabya Safura’, ‘Asta Mukuta (Dr. Surjya Kanta Hazarika’s lyrics and Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s composition & vocals), ‘Borluit’, ‘Jyoti Prasad’, ‘Harinam Loboloi (devotional)’, ‘Dholor Sewe Sewe (Bihu)’, ‘Adhyatmik Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’ and ‘O Mur Aponar Desh’.
Dr. Surjya Kanta Hazarika has produced & directed many TV serials, documentaries and has acted in several serials, movies, plays etc. Assamese TV serial ‘Brikodar Baruar Biya’, produced and directed by Dr. Hazarika was one of the most super hit and iconic Assamese TV serials of all times. It was telecast by Doordarshan Kendra, Guwahati. Apart from this, he directed and prduced 9 other TV Serials namely Nirmal Bhakat, Ananya Prantar, Noi Boi Jai, Tore More Alokore Jatra, Maharathi, Dhanya Nara Tanu Bhal, The North East Today, The North East Round-up etc., 18 documentaries namely Chira Senehi Mor Bhasa Janani, Namghare Namghare, Shrimanta Sankardev aru Brindaboni Vastra, Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbarua, Rupantoror Shilpi Jyotiprashad, Bihangam Drishtit Bishnu Prashad Rabha, Bihangam Drishtit Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika : a living legend, Asom Ratna Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Bahuttar Majot Ekotto, Jawahar Rojgar Yojana, Grammunayan: Mahila aru Shishu, Jyotiprashad: a legend for the North East, Kalaguru Bishnu Prashad Rabha, Mother and Child Healthcare, Places of Tourist Attraction in Assam, In search of a Lost City of Pragjyotishpur , 1 telefilm named Mitrashya Chakushya in Hindi and has assisted in the direction of a TV serial named ‘Bor Luitor Pare Pare’. Apart from that he has also acted in several TV serials, radio and stage plays as well as movies.
He produced and directed a full-length feature film name ‘Shrimanta Sankaradeva’ depicting the life and works of Shrimanta Sankaradeva, a 15th century Assamese Vaishnavite saint, social reformer and cultural icon.
Dr. Surjya Kanta Hazarika has also been recognized with many prestigious awards including the ‘Padmashri’ in 2008.