AEGAEUM JOURNAL ISSN NO: 0776-3808
HUMANISM IN BHUPEN HAZARIKA’S SONGS : A CRITICAL REVIEW
Bhupen Gogoi Reseach Scholar Dept. of M.I.L. & L.S. Gauhati University, Assam. Email : [email protected]
Abstract :‘Music is the highest art, and to those who understand, it is the highest worship’- Swami Vivekananda. Bhupen Hazarika was an Indian artist, famously referred to as the uncrowned king of the cultural world of North-East India. He was a humanist. He loved his motherland Assam so much. Hazarika dedicated his whole life to the people of Assam, its vivid culture and natural beauty. He was a poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and flimmaker. Hazarika sung numerous Assamese, Bengali and Hindi songs. Most of his songs are marked by themes of humanity and universal brotherhood. He wanted to create a beautiful society where there will be no bar between people of different castes, colour or religion groups. During his lifetime, he gives us a lot and dedicated himself to establish the essence of humanity and social integrity.
Keywords : Hazarika, humanism, song, Assamese, society, equality, value.
1. Introduction : Music is an integral part of culture. Music has been expanding influences in human life and society. It is certain that, music has been play a major role in Assamese life with and Assamese society for centuries. Hazarika is well known as Indian lyricist, musician, singer, poet and filmmaker. Bhupen Hazarika was bornin Sadiya, Tinsukia District of Assam on 8th September, 1926. His parents Nilakanta Hazarika and Shantipriya Hazarika were originally from Nazira, located in Sivasagar District of Assam. He was exposed to the musical influence of his mother, who exposed him to lullabies and traditional music of Assam. In 1937, at just age of 11 years old, he started his musical journey with the song ‘Kushumbara Putra Sri Sankar Guruye Dharisil Nāmare tān’. Later, Hazarika became famous as an Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician, poet and filmmaker from Assam. His voice was very melodious. When he sings, if it is starts showering nectar from the heaven. So, he is widely known as Sudhakantha (the voice of nectar). Hazarika’s songs based on the themes of communal amity, universal justice and empathy, have became popular among the people of Assam, West Bengal and Bangladesh. He received the National Film Award for Best Music Direction in 1975, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1987, the Padmashri Award in 1977 and the Padmabhushan Award in 2001. Hazarika was awarded with Dada Saheb Phalke Award – the highest award of India for cinema by the Government of India, in 1992 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship - the highest award of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India in 2008. Hazarika’s was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, in 2012 and the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 2019. In the present society, people are standing against the people and have been spoiling the balance of society. In this context, his songs are important. Because his song have a deep sense of humanity.
2. Objectives of the study : The objective of the study as follows : (a) To know something about Bhupen Hazarika. (b) To find out the humanism in the songs of Bhupen Hazarika. (c) To analysis about the impact of the songs of Hazarika in the Assamese society.
3. Significance of the study :
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Bhupen Hazarika had a global personality. He established the Assamese culture in the world stage by his works. He was one of great contemporary philosophers of India. His ideology was mainly humanistic. He wanted to establish the equality among the people. He is known as the legendary singer of man because his songs and maximum other creations are deal with man’s hopes, aspirations and problems. As a social reformer, his songs were expressing very strong protest against the evils of the society. The songs are not only have a respect among all class of the Assamese society, but also played a significance role in educating, awakening and informing them about their own identity, assimilation and harmony. It is very important to study this subject matter keeping in mind the violence, discrimination, crime, illegal system that increasing day to day in our society. Thus, the proposed study which takes most important place in present society and the researchers tried to find out the humanistic view of Hazarika in his work.
4. Area of study : The study will conducted in some selected songs of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. The songs are : (a) Mānuhe Mānuhar Bābe, (b) Brstrna Pārare, (c) Saisavate Dhemālite, (d) Mai Eti Yāyābar, (e) Ākāshi Gangā Bicarā Nāi and (f) Mai Yetiā Ei Jivanar Māyā Eri Guci Jām. The study area is selected purposively. Purposive selection of the area is due to the fact that no studies have been conducted in this area on this topic.
5. Methods of analysis : The study will be done by in an analytical and descriptive way with the help of primary and secondary data. As primary data we have chosen Hazarika’s songs and as secondary data we have chosen related books, journals, articles, soft copies included web pages, pdf files downloaded from websites. The study is fully based on the primary data and the secondary data also used whenever needed.
6. Analysis of the subject matter : Humanism is the most relevant and popular topic in the world this days. The cruel mankind is increasing in day to day life and is frightening the whole world. It is believed that human being are the best among all kinds of beings. But they do not think or help for each other. More people of our society thinks about their own family, property, money etc. but apart from this, there are some people in our society, who have been associated with humanity in crucial time. In this context, Assam Sangeet Surya (the Sun of the music of Assam) Bhupen Hazarika, who’s heart always compassionate with human love, is unique. He has kept his feeling published in his songs in sync with the feeling of the nation and the whole world, due to which he is great musician despite being an Assamese. He used to sing for the poor and suffering people and constantly, think about the well being of the people and society. The philosophy of humanism has reflected through this thoughts of Hazarika. If humans do not think for human and if a human cannot be truly human, then he will surely be a demon. It is meaningless to find humanity in the society of such demons. Dr. Hazarika has sung as : Mānuhe mānuhar bābe Yadihe akano nābhāve Akanir sahānubhutire Bhābiba kuneno kuvā ? samaniyā ... That means, Hazarika has asked the whole society that if human do not think about human, then who will think for human. There’s no one to think. Again he has sung in the same song as : Mānuhe mānuhak beciba khuji Mānuhe mānuhak kiniba khuji Purani itihās doharile Bhul jano nahaba kuvā ? samaniyā …
Durbal mānuhe yadi
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Jivanar kuvāl nadi Pār hai tumāre sāhat Tumi heruvābānu ki ? It means, if we try to buy or sell humanity, won’t we be wrong ? If any weak people will succeed in his life struggle with your help then, what will be your loss ? Through this lines, Hazarika has told that, as human we live in a society. In the society there are different classes based on power, economic and ethics. It is very important to help each other to keep peaceful in a society. In society, if a powerful person helps a poor in their life struggle, then there is no loss of the powerful person, but the poor person will get the strength to live. On this contract, the all round development in that society is not possible. This song is the most popular song in Assam and India also. It has been translated to almost all Indian languages. Hazarika has written this song between 1961-62. During that time Assam was in serious problem such as violence had wreaked Nagaland, Mizoram and parts of Assam and curfew had been imposed to restore peace in the region. Bhupen Hazarika came in contact with Paul Robeson the prominent civil right activist, during his PhD. Research at Columbia University of New York. He wrote the song ‘Brstrna Pārare’ (of the wide shores) inspired by Paul Robeson’s song ‘Ol’ Man River’. In the song ‘Brstrna Pārare’ Hazarika has used many powerful words for the change in the society. Here’s some lines from the song : Naitikatār skhalan dekhiu Mānavatār patan dekhiu Nirlajja alasbhāve buvā kiya ?
Byakti yadi byaktikendik, samasti yadi byaktittarahit Tene shithil samājak nābhāngā kiya ? It means, why do you flow with shamelessly even after witnessing the fall of morality and humanity ? If people are people centred and the society is without personality, then why do not destroy such society ? Through this lines Hazarika wants to say that if the person and society of a civilization filled with selfishness, greed, inhumanity, then it should be destroyed. A river can also build a civilization and destroy it. The largest river of Assam is Brahmaputra. The Assamese society was formed on the both banks of it. Hazarika noticed that the Assamese society was filled with selfishness, greed and inhumanity. So he has requested the river Brahmaputra, the creator of this society, to destroy the all evils of the society and build a new society full of humanity and compassion. Therefore he has called upon the persons responsible to form a new society. Bhupen Hazarika, who constantly thoughts of human, had a new ideal society of equality and classless in his imagination. He has reflected it in various songs. Such a song is ‘Saisavate Dhemālite’. In this song he has sung as : Jiyāi thāki akhan samāj gadhibar mur pan āse Yat sonatkaiyu mānuhar dām alap haleyu beci āse. That means, being alive, Bhupen Hazarika have the promised to build a society, where the value of human are more than gold. Through these lines it is revealed that Hazarika was a socially responsible person. He has observed carefully that, nowadays there’s no humanity among the people in a society. He noticed that the rich and powerful men exploits the poor and weak. People have treated the labour very badly. The upper classes of the society do not even wanted to close up with the lower classes. So he wanted to form a society. In 1970, Hazarika composed a another famous song ‘Mai Eti Yāyābar’. Jajabar or Yāyābar (wander) means one who has no permanent address. Bhupen Hazarika considered himself a jajabar. He has roamed the whole world. Therefore the whole world is like his own home. Hazarika has narrated his travels from Luit (a part of Brahmaputra river in Assam) to Mississippi, Ottawa to Austria-Paris, then Ellura to Chicago in this song. After travelling abroad, Hazarika has seen that people of one category are getting richer from day to day and has been building big to bigger flats or houses. On the other hand, a another category are become poorer and have lost their houses. Seeing these poor and homeless people, the compassionate heart of Hazarika has started a cry and his mind flew as a jajabar :
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Mai Eti Yāyābar Dharār dihinge dipānge lavaru nibicāri nijā ghar. Generally, most traveler or wanderer (yāyābar) are aimless. Whatever gets in his life, he spends his life with it and goes away. But Hazarika was not like them. He had a great goal and purpose. He saw a lots of heart-rending scenes. … Grhahin nara-nāri … Bahu deshe deshe grha dās dekhi cintita hau bar Manar mānuh bahutei dekhu gharatei haice par. Seeing homeless people, home-worker and those who became a unknown in his own home, Hazarika felt very sad. Therefore he used to think about eradicating the evils in the society through songs and wished to form a equality and classless society. Instead it, he did not ask for anythig. He only wished for a sweet speech. He has described it in an another song ‘Ākāshi Gangā Bicarā Nāi’. Ākāshi Gangā Bicarā Nāi Nāi bicarā swarna alamkār Nisthur jivanar sangrāmat Bicāru maramar māt akhār. That means, Hazarika neither wanted the akashi ganga (heaven) nor the gold ornaments. In the struggle for life, he expected only a sweet speech from the people. Hazarika has mentioned his last wish in one of his song. Mai Yetiā Ei Jivanar Māyā Eri Guci Jām Āshā karu mur citār kākhat tumār sahāri pām Nālāge mur suvarani sabhā, nālāge micā nām Tumār etupi cakulu pālei mai pām mur dām. Through these lines Hazarika has told that, when he will leave this world, he hope that people will be near his funeral pyre. He do not want his condolence meeting or spreading of his virtue. Only a drop of people’s tears will feel him the value of his life. At the last moment of his life, what Hazarika had expected from his followers was fulfilled. Along with Assam, many people of India and all over the world love and respect Bhupen Hazarika. It came true in the time of his death. More than lakhs of people had gathered to see Hazarika for the last time. Many followers from outside India, had mourning messages in his death.
7. Findings : After studying Bhupen Hazarika’s songs, we came to these findings : (a) In Hazarika’s songs, the resolve to build a society and the freedom of the world human has been published. (b) The problems of society and caste is the basis of his songs. (c) Hazarika’s song reflects the liberation of consciousness of the proletariat. (d) Hazarika agrees on the need to create an revolution when there is need to bring about a good change in society. That’s why his songs are inspiring and social reformatory. (e) The dream of the society of the classless and equality planned by Hazarika, is clear in his songs. (f) The voice of optimism is heard in Hazarika’s songs. (g) Humanity or human love is the most outstanding feature of Hazarika’s songs, which has reflected through his maximum songs. (h) Hazarika had not really take any step to solve the problems which he had introduced through his songs.
8. Conclusion : Humanists are always try to established a society of equality and classless by removing the evils of the society. They always think about the people of the society. Bhupen Hazarika is one of them. He only believed in humanity. Hazarika thinks that, if the humanity is not developed, then a society
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cannot be progress only by money and wealth. For Hazarika, the whole world is like his motherland. Hence the scene of various provinces of the world is seen in his songs. If the future generation will be able to understand the reformable consciousness of Hazarika, then a good humanity will be born, who will be able to formed the society of his dream. Being an Assamese, Hazarika never sang only for the Assamese. But his songs carries the practices of the human love of the whole world. He used to think for everyone, not only for a particular class, or particular religion or particular region. That’s why he is a great humanist. Therefore it is our responsibility to protect the great works of Hazarika and should help to get a place in the great works of the world. Finally, the research done by us is not the only and completed research. ‘‘Humanism in Bhupen Hazarika’s songs’’ is a vast subject in research. There is every possibility of study in this subject in future also.
References : Books : 1. Goswami, Janardan. Bhupen Hazarika : Uranta Mone Jar Naname Hengar. First Edition. Guwahati : Bhabani Print & publication. 2011. Print. 2. Goswami, Loknath. Bandita Bhupen Da, Nindita Bhupen Da. Guwahati : Aakbak. 2009. Print. 3. Dutta, Dilip Kumar. Bhupen Hazarikar Geet aru Jivan Rath. Kalkata : Sri Bhumi Publishing Co. 2002. Print. 4. Baruah, Santanu Kausik. Tathya Kushat Bhupen Hazarika. Guwahati : Jyoti Prakashan. 2011. Print. 5. Hazarika, Bhupen. Bahniman Luitar Padyar Pare. Second Edition. Guwahati : S. H. Shaikshik Nyas. 2010. Print. 6. Hazarika, Surya. Dr. Bhupen Hazarikar Geet Samagra. Third Edition. Guwahati : Bani Mandir. 2010. Print. 7. Kalita, Madan Chandra. Samasamayik Bharatiya Darsan. First Edition. Nalbari. 2001. Print. 8. Sarma, S. J. (Ed.). An Analytical Estimate of Bhupen Hazarika’s Songs. Guwahati : Chandra Prakashan. 2012. Print.
Magazines and Journals : 1. Hazarika, Jyoti Rekha (Ed.). Axom Sahitya Sabha Patrika. Jorhat : Axom Sahitya Sabha. Sisty Six Year. Third Issue. 2011-12. Print. 2. Saikia, Chandra Prashad (Ed.). Prakash. Guwahati : Asom Prakashan Parishad. January, 1982. Print.
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