Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Best song of the millennium

SHILLONG: Eminent musician Bhupen Hazarika's famous Bengali composition Manush manusheri janya (man is for mankind) was selected as the 'best song of the millennium' by the BBC Bengali service.

This was announced by the singer himself, a Dadasaheb Phalke awardee, on Friday. He said he got a telephone call to this effect on the first January this year from BBC.

Hazarika, who was in Shillong to inaugurate a Rotary conference, also enthralled the audience with his rendition of the song first in Nagamese followed by Assamese and lastly in Bengali.

Recalling his experience, the eminent musician said he composed the song during the turbulence period in 1964 when Nagaland, Manipur and parts of Assam were burning.

The 77-year-old musician said he had been called by the then Assam Chief Minister B P Cheliha to go to Kohima to quell the mob violence as politicians 'failed' to bring peace.

"Although it is very difficult to translate Thowing to Nagamese but the effect was such that the curfew was lifted the next day," Hazarika, a culture icon of this region, said reminiscing.

When asked by political dignitaries what his 'trick' was, Hazarika smilingly said "It is affection disseminated by the music" which was behind this.

Hazarika's renditions of favourite numbers like Bistirno dupare , ami ek jajabor and dil hum hum kare did the talking in today's show where he was scheduled to deliver his inaugural speech as hundreds of rotarians listened to him with rapt attention

Source : The Times of India , Feb 6 , 2004

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