The employees of Natun Dainik, an influential Assamese daily newspaper of yesteryears will remember Chandra Prasad Saikia (popularly known among his follower journalists as CPS), its founder editor and award winning author in a function to be held in Guwahati Press Club on August 8 next. The journalists, who were involved with the newspaper during the tenure of Padma Bhusan CP Saikia as its editor, have taken the initiative to commemorate the illustrious journalist on his 7th death anniversary.
Published from Chandarakanta Press Pvt Ltd in Guwahati, Natun Dainik was pioneer in adopting latest printing technology and vivid content with illustrated supplement pages on various relevant issues. The newspaper used PTS printing method for the first time in northeast India and enjoyed extra ordinary influence on its millions of readers. Assam, which has a history of over 160 years of journalism (first Assamese journal Arunodoi was published in 1846 by the American zmissionaries), witnessed the publication of first Assamese daily newspaper (Dainik Batori, edited by Bagmibar Nilamani Phukan and published by Shiva Prasad Barooah) in 1935, where Natun Dainik heralded a new wave of modern journalism since its inception on 1st January 1988. A freedom fighter, novelist, journalist and commentator, CP Saikia (1927-2006 ) was honoured with prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel Maharathi (where the author reinterpreted the role of great warrior Karna of the Mahabharata) and also adorned the prestigious chair of Asom Sahitya Sabha.
CP Saikia is also credited for initiating the Book Fair movement in Assam in 1984. As the Secretary of Assam Publication Board, he edited Prakash, an outstanding Assamese literary magazine. Under his able leadership, the Board published a number of invaluable books like Hasti Vidyarnava, Kautilyar Arthashastra, Prachya Shasanawali, Sattriya Nritya etc. Stood firm against the terrorism in the turbulent days of Nineties with his strong editorials, CP Saikia with his extraordinary personality, enriched with a great sense of humour, still casts influence on a generation of journalists in Assam.
“We would like to pay our heartiest tribute to our very own CPS. He was such an amazing editor, who taught us to pursue authentic journalism with self-pride and independence,” said Biman Chandra Hazarika, the president of CP Saikia Memorial Committee adding, “We expect every one, who was associated with Natun Dainik during his editorship, to join the program and express sincere gratitude to a unique personality like CP Saikia.”