NALBARI: Eminent Assamese litterateur Sashi Sarma died here of age-related ailments at 89, family sources said on Wednesday.
He died on Tuesday night, they said, adding that he is survived by his wife and three daughters. His son had predeceased him.
Sarma also an academic, intellectual and a living example of Hindu-Muslim unity in Assam had authored nearly 100 books.
His writings ranged from that on the 15th-century Assamese Vaishnavite saint-scholar and social-religious reformer Srimanta Sankardeva to Maxim Gorky and the age-old religious brotherhood in the state.
The last book of the retired professor of Nalbari College was titled 'Antim Jatra' which was released last year.
The Nalbari Deputy Commissioner Bharat Bhusan Dev Choudhury placed the national tricolour on Sarma's mortal remains and a 21-gun salute was given to his body.
Sarma had received the Soviet Nehru Award in 1968 and the Sitanath Brahma Chowdhury Award.
As per Sarma's wish to donate his body for medical research, his mortal remains were taken in a procession from Nalbari and handed over to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital on Wednesday.
His eyes were donated to the Sri Sankardeva Netralaya hospital.
The writer has donated his residential house here to the CPI(M), party sources said.
During the final journey, Sarma's body was taken to Nalbari college, All Assam Students Union (AASU) office, CPI(M) office and the state's apex literary body Assam Sahitya Sabha office here and Guwahati for last respect.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP state unit president Ranjeet Dass, AASU leaders, besides social-cultural, political organisations, including Assam Sahitya Sabha, have condoled his demise.
Describing Sarma's death as an irreparable loss to Assam, the chief minister said his contributions to society through his books and writings will remain immortal.
Assam Sahitya Sabha president Dr Paramananda Rajbangshi and secretary Padma Rajkhowa in a joint condolence message said the state lost a scholar and thinker who always was concerned about the social condition of people.
"Sarma wrote nearly 100 books on varied subjects. This shows his intellectual stature. But beyond this, he was a living example of Hindu-Muslim unity of our state," said Sitanath Lahkar, the filmmaker of the only documentary on Sarma's life.