Today is the 12th death anniversary of the late music maestro, the legendary Dr Bhupen Hazarika, fondly called Sudhakantha, one of the most revered music artists of the country.
Popularly known as the Bard of Brahmaputra, Hazarika was born on September 8, 1926, in the Sadiya town of Assam.
The Bharat Ratna recipient passed away on November 5, 2011 at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai due to old age ailments at the age of 85. On Sunday, people across the state of Assam paid their homage to the Bharat Ratna.
Political personalities across the nation remembered the legendary singer on his death anniversary.
Union Minister of State (Ind. Charge) Science & Technology, Jitendra Singh took to his official ‘X’ handle and wrote, “The Bard of #Brahmaputra, with his baritone voice, created ripples across the globe and became the Cultural Ambassador of #Northeast India for the whole world. Humble tribute to Bharat Ratna, #BhupenHazarika on his death anniversary.”
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting paying tribute to the music maestro shared a 48 second video on ‘X’ platform, “Tribute to the legendary music maestro and #BharatRatna awardee #BhupenHazarika on his death anniversary. He mesmerised the world with his magical voice. His melodious compositions continue to resonate in millions of hearts across the nation.”
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also wrote on ‘X’, “महान संगीतज्ञ, गीतकार व गायक, संगीत जगत के अमूल्य निधि, 'भारत रत्न' भूपेन हजारिका की कालजयी रचनाएं मनोरंजन के साथ ही सामाजिक परिवर्तन का भी माध्यम हैं। आज उनकी पुण्यतिथि पर उन्हें विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि! (The timeless works of the great musician, lyricist and singer, invaluable treasure of the music world, 'Bharat Ratna' Bhupen Hazarika are not only entertainment but also a medium of social change. A humble tribute to him on his death anniversary today!)”
“The 'Bard of Brahmaputra' Dr. #BhupenHazarika is India’s greatest unifier and the man behind taking glorious Assamese culture to the world. Sudhakantha's unparallaled legacy is our heritage. Let us build the Assam of his dreams by bringing everyone on the same boat on the lines of 'Manuhe Manuhor Babe Humble tributes to the legend on his Punyatithi,” said Assam Minister Bimal Borah.
Some facts about the Bard of Brahmaputra:
1. Hazarika was born into a family of artists and was the eldest among his 10 siblings.
2. He received his singing skills from his mother who introduced him to Assamese folk music.
3. With music surrounding him since his early childhood days, it was no surprise that Hazarika turned out to be a musical prodigy and created his first original piece of art at the age of 13.
4. Hazarika wrote his first song when he was a teenager and attracted the attention of noted Assamese lyricist Jyotiprasad Agarwala and artist Bishnu Prasad Rabha. With professional and artistic guidance, Hazarika’s talent only grew better.
5. Hazarika earned his BA degree in 1944 and MA degree in political science in 1946 from the Banaras Hindu University.
6. He went on to receive his doctoral degree in Columbia University, New York, United States in 1952, before he pursued his musical career.
7. Studying in New York in the early 50s, Hazarika befriended Paul Robeson, a renowned civil rights activist, whose influence inspired him to compose the famous song Bistirno Parore, based on the imagery and theme of Robeson’s Ol’ Man River which highlighted the rampant racial discrimination in the country. The song became one of the defining moments of Hazarika’s career and is still considered as one of his epical compositions, which has been translated in various Indian languages.
8. Hazarika expanded his creative career and also directed award-winning Assamese films like Shakuntala Sur (1961) and Pratidhwani (1964).
9. Hazarika also worked in Hindi cinema, some of his major contributions include composing music for films such as Arop, Ek Pal, and Rudaali.
10. He was awarded the Best Music Director National Award for Rudaali in 1993 and held the position of chairman at the Sangeet Natak Akademi from 1998 to 2003.