Dr. Bhupen Hazarika – A well-known name in the Assamese society. He was a living legend. Bhupen Hazarika was born on September 8, 1926 in Sadiya Balung gaon. His father was Nilakanta Hazarika and his mother was Shantipriya Hazarika. Bhupen Hazarika was the eldest of ten children in the family. There was a cultural atmosphere from an early age in his home. Bhupen Hazarika’s father Nilkanta Hazarika was a teacher. From an early age, he always warned Bhupen Hazarika and many other children to pronounce every word clearly.
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika started his primary education at Bharalumukh Primary School, Guwahati. After that he passed the entrance examination from Tezpur Government Higher Secondary School. After passing the entrance examination, he enrolled in Cotton College and from there he passed Intermediate in Arts. Then studied at Benaras Hindu University and graduated in 1944 with a degree in philosophy. He received his Master degree in Political Science from Banaras Hindu University in 1946. Bhupen Hazarika then went to research at Columbia University in the United States in 1952 on the subject ‘Role of Mass Communication in India’s Adult Education’ and got Phd on the same.
At the heart of Bhupen Hazarika’s musical journey and his cultural journey was the cultural atmosphere of his home from where all the brothers and sisters made a contribution to Assamese culture. Bhupen Hazarika’s introspective honey sweet nectarine voice makes everyone tremble. Bhupen Hazarika came with her father to sing at a meeting of Cotton Collegiate High School in Guwahati on October 30, 1930. Literary scholar Laxminath Bezbaruwa was the chief guest at that meeting. Bezbarua was overjoyed to hear Bhupen Hazarika sing “Ki Sate Hiyare” and Bezbarua kissed Bhupen Hazarika with admiration and compared Hazarika with “Master Madan” who was a famous singer from Kolkata.
Bhupen Hazarika’s cultural talent was developed in Tezpur, a cultural city in Assam. Bhupen Hazarika had to go to Tezpur for the transfer of his father. Bhupen Hazarika met Jyoti-Vishnu-Fani in Tezpur and this is where his colorful cultural life begins.
In 1936, Bhupen Hazarika was taken to the “His Master’s Voice” studio in Calcutta to record songs by Jyoti Prasad Agarwala and Bishnu Prasad Rabha. Bhupen Hazarika also recorded two songs composed by Bishnuprasad Rabha, “Kasate Kalchi Lai” and “Ulahte Nachi Bagi Hali Byakul”.
In 1937, at the age of 11, Bhupen Hazarika composed a song of his own, entitled “Kusumbar Putra Sreesankar Guruve Dharisil Namore Tan”. Bhupen Hazarika was first seen on the screen in 1939 and that movie was Indramalati of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala. In this Indramalati film, Bhupen Hazarika played the role of a cattle boy and sang the song titled “Vishwa Vijayi Navajowan”.
Bhupen Hazarika returned to the Assamese film industry in 1948. This year, he has directed music for the first time in the movie “Sati Beula”. He acted in the film “Chiraj” directed by Bishnu Prasad Rava and also co-directed music with Shivaprasad Bhattacharya.
For the first time in 1956, Directed a film entitled ‘Era Bator Sur’. In 1958, He directed the only Bengali film of his life titled “Mahut Bondhu Re”. In 1961, directed the first Assamese partial color film, Shakuntala. He also directed a Hindi film and that was Arunachal Pradesh’s first film “Mera Dharam Meri Maa”. Again directed a telefilm named “Miri Jiyari”. He also directed several documentaries in Assamese and English. That are: For Whom the Sun Shines (1974), The Story of Emuthi Chaul (1974), Roopkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala and Jayamati (1976), Through Melody and Rhythm (1977), Along the River Brahmaputra (1981), Glimpses of the misti east(1996).
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika directed music for the first time in 1973 in the Hindi film ‘Aroop’ directed by Atmaram. In 1957, and directed music for the first time in the Bengali film ‘Jeevan Trishna’.
Other Assamese films music directed by Bhupen Hazarika are: Piyali Phukan (1955), Dhumuha (1957), Kencha Soon (1959), Puwati Nishar Sapoon (1959), Maniram Dewan (1963), Bhagya (1963), Pratidwani (1964), Lati Ghati (1966), Chameli Memchab(1975), Khoj(1975), Kanchghar(1975), Palasar Rang(1976), Banahangsha(1977), Banjui(1978), Okon(1980), Aparupa(1983), Angikar (1985), Yuge Yuge Sangram (1986), Sankalpa (1986), Maa (1986), Pratishodh (1987), Chiraj (1988), Pani (1990), Miri Jiyari (1990), Priyajan (1993), Ashanta Prahar (1994), Sati Radhika (2004).
Other Assamese films directed by Bhupen Hazarika are: Pratidhwani (1964), Lati-Ghati (1966), Chikmik Bijuli (1969), Man Prajapati (1979), Chiraj (1988).
Hindi films music directed by Bhupen Hazarika are: Apeksha (1984), Ek Pal (1986), Rudali (1992), Darmiya (1997), Mil Gaya Manzil Tuje (1997), Chaz (1997), Daman (2000) and Gajgamini (2001), Kyu (2003), Chingar (2006).
Bengali films music directed by Bhupen Hazarika are: Kari O Kamal (1957), Jonakir Alok (1958), Dui Bechera (1976), Ekhane Pinjar (1971), Dampati (1976), Mahua (1977), Simona Periye (1976), Nagini Kanyar Kahini (1979), Kali Sindoor (1984), Komal Andhar (1984).
Bhupen Hazarika sang and directed music in other languages. That are – Sat Maiya Ki Mahima (Bhojpuri), Ring Aung Tong (Karbi, 1987), Jiuni Chimang (Boro, 1987).
Contribution in the field of literature ::
Most of the songs sang by Dr. Bhupen Hazarika were written by himself. And the literary elegance of the language of his songs fascinates everyone. Every song of Bhupen Hazarika is a valuable creation of literature.
- He also edited magazines. Magazines he has edited are – Gati, Bindu, Amar Pratinidhi and Pratidhwani.
- He has written many valuable and well-written essays in both Assamese and English. Those articles are included in certain collections.
- He has written many poems and every song of Bhupen Hazarika is a beautiful poem.
- His unwritten autobiography is titled “Moi eti Jajabor”. His prose is also as sweet and melodious as Bhupen Hazarika’s songs.
- He has written a book for children named “Bhupen Mamar O, Aa, Ko, Kho”.
Political Bhupen Hazarika ::
Bhupenda also explored the path of politics. He was elected as the MLA of the Nowboicha constituency from 1967 to 1972 as an independent candidate. He had also contested the Lok Sabha election but was defeated.
Marriage Life ::
Bhupenda married Priyambada Patel in 1950 and they had a son in 1952. However, Bhupenda and Priyambada Patel’s relationship has not lasted for a long time and ended with divorce in 1962.
Bhupenda was a world artist not only an Assamese. With his talent he was able to conquer the world and fascinate the world. He has been honored with various awards for his contribution to the field of literature and culture in the country. He was able to lift Assam and assamese culture in the context of the world and was able to win various honors and awards.
The various awards and honors received by Dr. Bhupen Hazarika are-
◆ Won the President’s Medal for Shakuntala, Pratidhwani and Lotti-Ghati.
◆ In 1973, attended the Berlin International Youth Festival and won a gold medal by performing music there.
◆ Won the Best Music Director of the Year award at the National Film Festival in 1975 for his film Chameli Mem chaab.
◆ Won the Gold Medal from the Government of Arunachal Pradesh for making the film “Mera Dharam Meri Maa” in 1976.
◆ In 1977, he won the Best Music Director award for his film “Dampatti” from the Bengali Film Awards Committee of West Bengal.
◆ In 1977, Won the fourth highest honor in India, the Padmashree.
◆ In 1978, Won the Best Music Director award from Bangladesh Film Industries for his music performance in the film “Simana Periye”.
◆ In 1979, Won the Best Folk Music Award for his play “Mahuva Sundari”.
◆ In 1987, Received the “Srimanta Sankardev Award”.
◆ In 1987, Won the Sangeet Natak Academy Award.
◆ In 1992, Awarded the highest honor of Indian cinema by Dada Chaheb Phalke.
◆ In 1993, Became the President of the Sivasagar Session of the Assam Sahitya Sabha.
◆ In 2001, Received the Padma Bhushan, the third highest honor of the Government of India.
◆ In 2008, Won the highest honor of the Sangeet Natak Academy, the Academy Fellowship.
◆ In 2009, Received the Assam Ratna from the Government of Assam.
◆ In the year 2009, Inaugurated his own statue made by All Assam Students’ Union.
◆ In 2011, Received the highest freedom fighter award of Bangladesh.
◆ In 2012, Posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest honor of the Government of India.
◆ In the year 2019, Received the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.
Bhupen Hazarika is known by various titles. He has many titles. For a world artist like him, these titles are rare.
- In 1968, given the title of “Sudhakantha” by Anand Chandra Barua at the Bangsigopal Natya Mandir in Majuli.
- He was also conferred the title of “Sahityacharya” by the Assam Sahitya Sabha.
- Awarded the title of “Sangeet Churamani” by the Assam Satra Mahasabha.
- Also known by various titles like Sangeet Surya, Vishwaratna etc.
Bhupen Hazarika died on November 5, 2011 at Kokilaben Ambani Hospital in Mumbai on November 5 after about four months of treatment. After his death, his body was laid to rest at George Field in Guwahati. He was paid his last respects by millions of devotees and on November 9, the funeral ceremony of Bhupen Hazarika was arranged in Guwahati University, Jalukbari. His only son, Tej Hazarika, performed the funeral.
He has composed thousands of songs ranging from “Kusumbar Putra Sreesankar Guruve” to “Bortoman Prithibir Bhishan Akhukh”. From Indramalati’s “Vishwa Vijayi Nava Jowan” to Gandhi to Hitler’s “Vaishnava Jana”, Bhupen Hazarika sang thousands of songs of different languages. Bhupen Hazarika was the heartbeat of the Assamese people. He sang innumerable evergreen songs like “Moi eti Jajabor”, “Bistirna Parore”, “Asom amar rupohi”, “Swaheed Pronamu Tumak”, “Buku hom hom kore”, “Manuhe manuhor babe”. Bhupen Hazarika’s creation will be nectar and immortal as long as Assam and Assamese exist. In his language, Bhupen Hazarika was not just a name, he was the lifeline of the Assamese nation.
Bhupen Hazarika traveled to different parts of the world with a nomadic mind and composed many songs after seeing and hearing different situations. He is still wandering in the minds and souls of Assamese like a nomad who will never end.