Dr. Bhupen Hazarika
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika (1926 – 2011) is a multi-faceted artist from Assam. As a singer, he was known for his wonderfully crisp voice and flawless diction; as a lyricist, he was known for poetic compositions and parables that touch on a wide range of themes—ranging from the erotic to social and political commentary; and as a composer for his use of folk music with a touch of the contemporary. He had also participated, first as a child artist, and later as a director, in the nascent Assamese film industry. Dr. Bhupen Hazarika is an immensely popular personality, touching on reverence, in the state of Assam, West Bengal as well as in neighbouring Bangladesh.
Bhupen Hazarika was born on September 8, 1926 in Nazira, Assam. A child prodigy, he wrote and sang his first song at the age of 10 and worked for the second Assamese talkie, Indramalati, in 1939, when he was 12 years old. He completed his Intermediate Arts from Cotton College, Guwahati, Assam in 1942, and went on to Banaras Hindu University to complete his B.A. in 1944 and his M.A. in Political Science in 1946. He earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York, USA in 1954, submitting a dissertation titled “Proposals for preparing India’s basic education to use audio-visual techniques in adult education”.
Bhupen Hazarika is ranked amongst the leading film makers of India.
He has produced and directed, composed music and sang for the Assamese language films ‘Era Batar Sur’ in 1956, ‘Shakuntala’ in 1960, ‘Pratidhwani’ in 1964, ‘Lotighoti’ in 1967, ‘Chick Mick Bijuli’ in 1971, ‘Mon Projapati’ in 1978, ‘Swikarokti’ in 1986, ‘Siraj’ in 1988. He also directed, composed music and sang for ‘Mahut Bandhure’ in 1958. He produced, directed, and composed music for Arunachal Pradesh’s first Hindi feature film in colour ‘Mera Dharam Meri Maa’ in 1977. He directed a colour documentary for the Arunachal Pradesh Government on Tribal folk songs and dances entitled ‘For Whom The Sun Shines’ in 1974.
He produced and directed a documentary ‘Emuthi Saular Kahini’ based on the co- operative movement for the Govt. of Assam entirely in the format of lyrics. He produced and directed a half-hour documentary for Calcutta Doordarshan Kendra in 1977 on the folk songs and dances of north east India entitled ‘Through Melody and Rhythm’. He produced and composed music for the internationally famous award winning Hindi feature film ‘Ek Pal’ in 1986, directed by Kalpana Lajmi. He produced and composed the music for the extremely popular television serial ‘Lohit Kinare’ directed by Kalpana Lajmi, based on famous short stories of Assam for the prime time National Network in 1988. He has been the Executive Producer, Music Composer for the award winning film in Hindi ‘Rudaali’.
In 1992, Bhupen Hazarika was awarded the ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Award’ for lifetime achievements in cinema.
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika passed away on November 5, 2011. He was undergoing treatment in Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute in Mumbai. The cause of his death is multi-organ failure. Dr. Hazarika was cremated on November 9, 2011 in Guwahati.
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