Bhupen Hazarika - Know In Detail!
Bhupen Hazarika, has been posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna along with former President Pranab Mukherjee and social activist Nanaji Deshmukh. Bhupen Hazarika was a singer, poet, lyricist and film maker who was widely admired not only in native Assam but across the country. Read this article to know all about Bhupen Hazarika. You can also download this article as PDF for future reference.
Bhupen Hazarika Early Life
Bhupen Hazarika was born in Sadiya, Assam, British India, to Nilakanta Hazarika and Shantipriya Hazarika on September 8, 1926 . When he was a child, his family shifted several times before settling in Tezpur. In Tezpur his musical talent was spotted by Jyotiprasad Agarwala, a noted Assamese lyricist, and Bishnu Prasad Rabha, a renowned Assamese artist. In 1936, he traveled with his mentors to Kolkata where he recorded his very first song at the Aurora Studio for the Selona Company.
He received his education from Sonaram High School in Guwahati, Dhubri Government High School in Dhubri, Tezpur High School and the Cotton College.
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He then attended Banaras Hindu University where he completed his graduation and post-graduation, obtaining his BA in Political Science in 1944 and MA in Political Science in 1946. He got enrolled at the Columbia University, New York, in 1949, on a scholarship and earned his doctoral degree in 1952 on his thesis "Proposals for Preparing India's Basic Education to use Audio-Visual Techniques in Adult Education".
Bhupen Hazarika Career & Major Works
When he was at Columbia University, Bhupen Hazarika was influenced by Paul Robeson, a civil rights activist. He has composed a few songs in Indian languages. He also served as the Secretary of the Reception Committee of the Third All Assam Conference of IPTA in 1955. He took a job as a teacher at the Gauhati University but left the job after few years and shifted to Kolkata. Later, he became a director and made numerous award winning Assamese films such as ‘Shakuntala Sur’ (1961) and ‘Pratidhwani’ (1964).
He also directed films, including ‘Lati-Ghati’ (1966), ‘Chik Mik Bijuli’ (1969), ‘For Whom the Sun Shines’ (1974) and ‘Mera Dharam Meri Maa’ (1976).
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He was also a composer and created timeless music for many Assamese films and Bangla movies such as ‘Aarop’ (1973), ‘Chameli Memsaab’ (1975) and ‘Shimana Perye’ (1977). Bhupen Hazarika was also a prominent Assamese and Hindi playback singer and his mesmerizing voice lent to movies such as ‘Era Bator Sur’ (1956), ‘Shakuntala Sur’ (1961), ‘Titash Ekti Nadir Naam’ (1973) and ‘Rudaali’ (1993). Some of his more recent works in films include ‘Darmiyaan: In Between’ (1997), ‘Gaja Gamini’ (2000) and ‘Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence’ (2001). ‘Gandhi to Hitler’ (2011) was his last film as a playback singer.
Bhupen Hazarika Awards & Honours
Bhupen Hazarika has received much recognition for his work. Following are the awards and honors, Bhupen Hazarika has been presented with:
Year Awards & Honors 1977 Awarded with the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, Padma Shri. 1979 He won the Arunachal Pradesh Government's Gold Medal for his outstanding contribution towards Tribal Welfare and Upliftment of Tribal Culture through cinema
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1987 He was honored with the ‘Sangeet Natak Akademi Award’, the highest recognition or Award in India given to practicing artists. 1992 He also received the prestigious ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Award’, the highest award in cinema in India. 2001 He was conferred the 'Padma Bhushan', the third highest civilian honor in the Republic of India. 2009 He received the highest civilian award in the State of Assam, the Asom Ratna. 2012 He was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award in the Republic of India. 2019 He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.
Due to multi-organ failure, Bhupen Hazarika died on November 5, 2011, in Mumbai, India. His body was cremated in a plot of land donated by Gauhati University near the Brahmaputra River.
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