Veteran Assamese Actor Indra Bania passed away in a private hospital in Guwahati on Wednesday night following brief illness. He was 73.
He came in to the limelight for the award winning Assamese movie Halodhiya Choraye Baodhan Khai by Jahnu Barua, where he played the lead role of the farmer Raseswar Bora. That movie won the Swarna-kamal for the best film in 1988. Later, Bania was chosen for the Silver Leopard Best Actor’s award for the same movie at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland. Incidentally, he is so far the only Indian actor to have won that award.
Indra Bania had acted in more than 40 Assamese films in a film career spanning over four decades which includes Agnisnaan, Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence, Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence, Haladhar, Aai Kot Nai, Kadambary, etc. In 2007 Bania also played the lead role in Aneisha Sharma ’s ‘Freedom at the Edge’ – a documentary on Machang Lalung, a poor tribal from Silchang in Assam who was confined in a prison for 54 years without any trial.
Born at Dhalpur village in North Lakhimpur on December 24, 1942, Bania has been a household name in the State in the field of drama since the 1960s. A regular artiste with All India Radio, Guwahati since 1964, Bania’s histrionics is fondly remembered for his unforgettable performance in the two acclaimed plays Govardhan Charit and Moinar Sangbad.
He was honoured with Natasurya Phani Sarma Award in the state in 2010 for his contribution to Assamese film and theatre.