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Bhupen Hazarika

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Title: Bhupen Hazarika  
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Subject: List of songs by Lata Mangeshkar, Jyoti Chitraban Film and Television Institute, Rudaali, List of awards and winners for films from Assam, 32nd National Film Awards
Collection: 1926 Births, 2011 Deaths, 20Th-Century Indian Musicians, Asom Sahitya Sabha Presidents, Assamese Playback Singers, Assamese-Language Film Directors, Banaras Hindu University Alumni, Best Music Direction National Film Award Winners, Bollywood Playback Singers, Cotton College, Guwahati Alumni, Dadasaheb Phalke Award Recipients, Deaths from Multiple Organ Failure, Indian Cinematographers, Indian Film Directors, Indian Film Score Composers, Indian Male Singers, Musicians from Assam, People from Tinsukia District, Recipients of the Padma Bhushan, Recipients of the Padma Vibhushan, Recipients of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Recipients of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship
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Bhupen Hazarika

Bhupen Hazarika
অসম ৰত্ন ড.ভূপেন হাজৰিকা
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika
অসম ৰত্ন ড.ভূপেন হাজৰিকা
Born (1926-09-08)8 September 1926
Sadiya, Assam, British India
Died 5 November 2011(2011-11-05) (aged 85)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India[1]
Nationality Indian
Occupation Musician, singer, poet, filmmaker, lyricist
Years active 1939-2011
Notable work(s) Rudaali
Darmiyaan: In Between
Gaja Gamini
Political party
Bharatiya Janata Party
Movement Indian Peoples Theater Association
Spouse(s) Priyamvada Patel
Children Tej Bhupen Hazarika (b. 1952)
Awards Padma Vibhushan (2012) [Posthumously]
Padma Shri (1977)
Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1992)
Padma Bhushan (2001)
Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (2008)
অসম ৰত্ন ( Asom Ratna ) (2009)
Muktijoddha Padak (2011) [posthumously]

Bhupen Hazarika (Assamese: ভূপেন হাজৰিকা) (1926–2011) was an Indian lyricist, musician, singer, poet and film-maker from Assam. His songs, written and sung mainly in the Assamese language by himself, are marked by humanity and universal brotherhood and have been translated and sung in many languages, most notably in Bengali and Hindi. His songs, based on the themes of communal amity, universal justice and empathy, have become popular among the people of Assam, besides West Bengal and Bangladesh. He is also acknowledged to have introduced the culture and folk music of Assam and Northeast India to Hindi cinema at the national level. He received the National Film Award for Best Music Direction in 1975. Recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987), Padmashri (1997), and Padmabhushan (2001), Hazarika was awarded with Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1992), India's highest award in cinema, by the Government of India and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (2008), the highest award of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's The National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama. He was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award, in 2012.[2] Hazarika also held the position of the Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi from December 1998 to December 2003.[3]


  • Biography 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Education and career 1.2
    • IPTA years 1.3
    • Professional life 1.4
    • Later life 1.5
    • Death 1.6
  • Legacy and influences 2
  • Awards and honors 3
  • Filmography 4
  • Notes 5
  • External links 6
  • Gallery 7


Early life

Hazarika was born on 8 September 1926 to Nilakanta and Shantipriya Hazarika in Srimanta Sankardeva and Sri Sri Madhabdeva), taught by his mother at a public function. In 1936, Bhupen Hazarika accompanied them to Kolkata where he recorded his first song at the Aurora Studio for the Selona Company.[4] His association with the icons of Assamese Culture at Tezpur was the beginning of his artistic growth and credentials. Subsequently, Hazarika sang two songs in Agarwala's film Indramalati (1939): Kaxote Kolosi Loi and Biswo Bijoyi Naujawan at the age of 12. He wrote his first song, Agnijugor Firingoti Moi at the age of 13[6] and he was well on his way to becoming a lyricist, composer and singer.

Education and career

He studied at Sonaram High School at Guwahati, Dhubri Government High School[4] and matriculated from Tezpur High School in 1940. He completed his Intermediate Arts from Cotton College in 1942, and his BA (1944) and MA (1946) in Political Science from Banaras Hindu University. For a brief period he worked at All India Radio, Guwahati when he won a scholarship from Columbia University and set sail for New York in 1949. There he earned a PhD (1952) on his thesis "Proposals for Preparing India's Basic Education to use Audio-Visual Techniques in Adult Education".

In New York Bhupen Hazarika befriended Paul Robeson, a prominent civil rights activist, who influenced him in[6] his song Bistirno parore which is based on the imagery and theme of Robeson's Ol' Man River. This song is translated in various Indian languages, including Bengali and Hindi (by the artist himself), and is still popular. Being inspired from some other foreign ones, he also composed several other songs in Indian languages. He was exposed to the Spiritual, and the multi-lingual version of We are in the Same Boat Brother became a regular feature in his stage performance. At Columbia University, he met Priyamvada Patel, whom he married in 1950. Tez Hazarika, their only child, was born in 1952,[7] and he returned to India in 1953.

His famous songs include (in Assamese):

  1. Bistirno Parore
  2. Moi Eti Jajabor
  3. Ganga Mor Maa
  4. Bimurto Mur Nixati Jen
  5. Manuhe Manuhor Babey
  6. Snehe Aamar Xoto Shrabonor
  7. Gupute Gupute Kimaan Khelim
  8. Buku Hom Hom Kore

IPTA years

Hazarika began close association with the leftist Indian People's Theatre Association soon after returning from the USA in 1953[6] and became the Secretary of the Reception Committee of the Third All Assam Conference of IPTA, held in Guwahati in 1955.

Professional life

After completing his MA he briefly worked at the All India Radio station at Guwahati[7] before embarking for his doctoral studies at Columbia University. His thesis "DEMYSTIFYING DR. BHUPEN HAZARIKA: envisioning education for India", edited by Tej Hazarika and published by Cool Grove Press will be available in the US in days.

Soon after completing his education, he became a teacher at the Gauhati University.[6] But after a few years, he left the job and went to Kolkata where he established himself as a successful music director and singer. During that period, Hazarika made several award winning Assamese films such as Shakuntala, Pratidhwani, etc. and composed evergreen music for many Assamese films. He was also considered as a new trend setter in Bengali music. The famous musical genre of West Bengal, the Jivanmukhi geet started by Kabir Suman in 1990's is thought to be influenced by Dr. Hazarika. Bhupen Hazarika composed music for films from Bangladesh too which got international acclaim.

He was elected the President of the Asam Sahitya Sabha in 1993.[8] In 1967, Dr. Hazarika got elected as a member of Assam Assembly from Nauboicha constituency.

Later life

He was introduced to Kalpana Lajmi in the late 1980s by Hem Barooah,[9] financier of the film Ek Pal (' at the Internet Movie Database) (1986). Subsequently, Lajmi began assisting him professionally and personally till the end of his life.[10][11][12]

In the period after the release of Ek Pal (1986) until his death, Bhupen Hazarika mainly concentrated on Hindi films, most of which were directed by Kalpana Lajmi. Ek Pal (1986), Rudaali (1993) and Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence (2001) are major films this period. Many of his earlier songs were re-written in Hindi and used as played-back songs in these films. These songs tried to cater to the Hindi film milieu and their social activist lyrics were browbeaten into the lowest common denominator.[13]

He served as an MLA (Independent) during 1967-72 in the Assam Legislative Assembly from Nauboicha Constituency.[14]

He contested as a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from the Guwahati constituency, persuaded by Chandan Mitra via Kalpana Lajmi[15] which he lost to the INC candidate Kirip Chaliha.


Hazarika was hospitalized in the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute in

Some relevant photographs
People outside Hazarika's home on 7 November 2011
People outside Hazarika's home on 7 November 2011 
Hazarika lying in repose in Judge field, Guwahati. 8 November 2011
Hazarika lying in repose in Judge field, Guwahati, 8 November 2011 
Paltan Bazar, Guwahati, December 2011, one of many centres commemorating Lt. Dr. Bhupen Hazarika 
Hazarika lying in repose in Judge field, Guwahati
Hazarika lying in repose in Judge field, Guwahati, 8 November 2011 


  • Lyrics of 700+ Bhupendra Sangeets
  • Official website
  • Bhupen Hazarika at the Internet Movie Database
  • Digital Archive of Bhupen Hazarika

External links

  1. ^ "Acclaimed singer Bhupen Hazarika dies at 85".  
  2. ^ "Padma Awards". pib. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Dr. Bhupen Hazarika - the Legend of Assam
  4. ^ a b c d e "As ashes merge into rivers". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 12 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "BBC News - Celebrated Indian singer Bhupen Hazarika dies". 5 November 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Sushanta Talukdar, Brahmaputra Balladeer, The Hindu, 10 November 2011
  7. ^ a b Asjad Nazir, Bhupen Hazarika obituary, The Guardian, 6 November 2011
  8. ^ "Presidents of Asam Sahitya Sabha since 1917". Asam Sahitya Sabha. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Hemendra Prasad Barooah, Fond memories of a schoolmate, The Telegraph, 9 November 2011
  10. ^ "Rituparna Chatterjee's Blog : Kalpana Lajmi-Bhupen Hazarika: A 40-year-old love story". 5 November 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ "Kalpana Lajmi inconsolable after Bhupen Hazarika's death". 6 November 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  13. ^ Debraj Mookerjee, Bhupen Da done in by the popular, The Pioneer, 12 November 2011
  14. ^ "Assam Legislative Assembly". Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  15. ^ Chandan Mitra, The boatman's missing melody, The Pioneer, 12 November 2011
  16. ^ "Hazarika's death plunges Kolkata into gloom". 6 November 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Music Legend Bhupen Hazarika passes away". Bollywood Life. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  19. ^ "Bhupen Hazarika is no more.". Indiavision news. 5 November 2011. 
  20. ^ "Celebrated Indian singer Bhupen Hazarika dies". BBC News. 5 November 2011. 
  21. ^ "Lakhs aend Bhupen Hazarika's funeral". indiatv. Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  22. ^ Smitha (29 December 2011). "Bollywood pays tribute to Bhupen Hazarika - Oneindia Entertainment". Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  23. ^ Dr. Bhupen Hazarika and his attachment with Meghalaya,
  24. ^ Mobarak Ali, RK Mission Road, Gopibagh, Dhaka (11 November 2011). "Manush Manusher Jonno …". Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  25. ^ "Dr. Bhupen Hazarika official biography". Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "9th National Film Awards".  
  27. ^ "NFA archives".  
  28. ^ "Arunachal Pradesh mourns Hazarika's death".  
  29. ^ "Hazarika's statue unveiled". Chennai, India: The Hindu Group. 15 February 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  30. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954-2009)".  


Year Film Credited as
Playback singer Composer Director Producer Writer Actor
1939 Indramalati Yes
1948 Siraj Yes
1955 Pioli Phukan Yes
1956 Era Bator Sur Yes Yes
1958 Mahut Bandhu Re Yes
1961 Shakuntala Sur Yes Yes
1964 Pratidhwani Yes
1964 Ka Swariti Yes
1966 Lati-Ghati Yes
1969 Chik Mik Bijuli Yes
1973 Titash Ekti Nadir Naam Yes
1973 Aarop Yes
1974 For Whom the Sun Shines Yes
1975 Chameli Memsaab Yes Yes
1976 Roop Konwar Jyoti Parsad Aru Joymoti Yes
1976 Mera Dharam Meri Maa Yes Yes
1977 Through Melody and Rhythm Yes
1977 Shimana Perye Yes
1979 Mon-Prajapati Yes
1979 Debdas Yes
1982 Aparoopa Yes
1986 Swikarokti Yes
1986 Ek Pal Yes Yes Yes Yes
1988 Siraj Yes Yes
1993 Rudaali Yes Yes
1993 Pratimurti Yes
1997 Do Rahain Yes
1997 Darmiyaan: In Between Yes Yes
1998 Saaz Yes
2000 Gaja Gamini Yes Yes
2001 Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence Yes Yes
2003 Kyon? Yes
2006 Chingaari Yes Yes
2011 Gandhi to Hitler Yes


Bhupen Hazarika Museum inside Shankardev Kalakshetra, Guwahati, Assam
  • Award for the Best Feature Film in Assamese (Shakuntala; Directed by Bhupen Hazarika) in the 9th National Film Awards (1961)[26]
  • The Best Music Director National Award for "Chameli Memsaab" (Chameli Memsaab; music by Bhupen Hazarika) in the 23rd National Film Awards (1975)[27]
  • Padma Shri - the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India (1977)
  • Gold medal from the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh for "outstanding contribution towards tribal welfare, and uplift of tribal culture through cinema and music." (1979)[28]
  • All India Critic Association Award for best performing folk artist (1979)
  • In 1979 and 1980 he won the Ritwik Ghatak Award as best music director for two theatre plays, Mohua Sundari, and Nagini Kanyar Kahini
  • Bengal Journalist's Association Indira Gandhi Smriti Puraskar in (1987)
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987)
  • Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1992)
  • Best Music Director National Award for Rudaali in 1993.
  • First Indian to win Best Music for the film Rudaali at the Asia Pacific International Film Festival in Japan (1993)
  • Padma Bhushan - the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India (2001)
  • Honorary Degree from Tezpur University (2001)
  • 10th Kalakar Award for Lifetime Achievement in the year 2002, Kolkata.
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (2008)
  • Asom Ratna - the highest civilian award in the State of Assam, India (2009)
  • In February 2009, the All Assam Students Union erected a life size statue of Hazarika on the banks of Digholi Pukhuri in Guwahati.[29]
  • Muktijoddha Padak - Awarded as a "Friend of the Freedom Struggle" award by Bangladesh Government (posthumously, 2011)
  • Asom Sahitya Sabha has honoured him with the title "Biswa Ratna".
  • Padma Vibhushan - second highest civilian award in the Republic of India (2012)[30]
  • A postage stamp, bearing his face, was released by India Post to honour him on 3 May 2013.
Bhupen Hazarika Statue

Awards and honors

As a singer, Hazarika was known for his baritone voice and diction; as a lyricist, he was known for poetic compositions and parables which touched on themes ranging from romance to social and political commentary; and as a composer, for his use of folk music.[23] In a poll conducted in Bangladesh, his song, Manush Manusher Jonno (Humans are for humanity)' was chosen to be the second most favourite number after the National anthem of Bangladesh.[24] Some of his most famous compositions were adaptations of American Black Spiritual that he had learned from Paul Robeson, whom he had befriended during his years in New York City in the early 1950s.[25] His famous song "Bistirno Parore" is heavily influenced by Ol' Man River sung by Paul Robeson.

Hazarika (right) with Hartmut König (left) at the Berlin Festival of Political Songs in 1972

Legacy and influences

[22][21]. His funeral was attended by an estimated half a million people.Gauhati University in a plot of land donated by Brahmaputra river His body lay in state at Judges Field in Guwahati and cremated on 9 November 2011 near the [20][19][18]

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