Did Government of Assam dishonour Tej Hazarika and Bharata Ratna by not approaching him officially for the safekeeping of the medallion and the citation?
Tez Hazarika gave a hint of that in an official email he had dispatched from Canada following the eruption of the controversy about the whereabouts of the medallion. He clearly said that he was in Assam for 6days but no one officially approached him for the subject.
On the other hand many of the family members of Bhupen Hazarika, specially Manisha Hazarika felt that Tej should have come to Shankardeva Kalkshetra and deposited the same.
This once again brought open the long-standing internal feud of the family with few outsiders also chipped in to make the issue murkier.
Tej had initially announced that it would be kept for posterity for all Bhupen da lovers but he left for Canada when no one from Assam Government officially approached with the subject.
Meanwhile, an FIR was lodged with the Dispur police alleging that the whereabouts of the certificate and the medallion awarded posthumously to Dr Bhupen Hazarika as part of Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of the country, were not known.
The FIR was lodged by TV journalist Lenin Saurav Saikia after unconfirmed reports suggested that Dr Hazarika’s son Tej Hazarika, who had received the Bharat Ratna award on behalf of his father, had reportedly gone back to Canada carrying the certificate and the medallion along with him.
This drew sharp reactions from various quarters, for, Dr Hazarika had himself expressed that all his awards and intellectual properties be kept in the museum named after him at the Sankardev Kalakshetra.
“People of Assam had been demanding Bharat Ratna for the maestro for years until the government decided to confer it on him earlier this year. Dr Hazarika himself wanted his awards and intellectual properties to be kept in the museum in the Kalakshetra. As an Assamese, we all have the right to know where actually the award is. Till today, we have not had the glimpse of the award. It is very unfortunate for the people of Assam,” said Lenin Saurav Borah while talking to media.
On the other hand, Tej said, ” this time I was in Assam for 6 days with my family and never heard of Assam Government. So the award is with me and once approached officially we can decide on an appropriate, secure place for public viewing” said Mr Hazarika.
In fact Tez’s cousin Dawar Hazarika said that he received a call from CM’s office inquiring whether, on the night of August 14, Mr Tez Hazarika could join CM Sarbabanda Sonowal for dinner. But when informed that he had prior engagements, there was no other formal communication for the medallion and citation safekeeping.
The Bharat Ratna was received by Tej Hazarika on August 8 after which he came to Guwahati.
Manisha Hazarika, sister-in-law of Dr Hazarika, when contacted said, “People, especially the fans and admirers of Dr Hazarika, are asking us as to when they would be able to have a glimpse of the award. We, the family members, have no clue. The Bharat Ratna is a reflection of people’s love for Dr Hazarika and they have the right to know about it.”