Sunday, January 11, 2009

Akademi Ratna award to Bhupen Hazarika

Legendary singer Dr Bhupen Hazarika has been conferred the Akademi Ratna award for the year 2008 by the Sangeet Natak Akademi this year.

Akademi source informed over phone from New Delhi that the selection committee had decided to award the octagenarian singer for his contribution to Indian music.

Dr Hazarika, now maintaining a semi-retired life at Mumbai, had already been conferred with the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award.


A multifaceted genius, Dr Hazarika is a poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and film-maker of the very highest repute. Dr Hazarika was born in 1926, in Sadiya, Assam. An academically prolific person, he did his Inter (Arts) in Guwahati in 1942, and went to Banaras Hindu University to complete his graduation in 1944 and post graduation in Political Science in 1946.

Soon after, he left for New York, US, where he lived for five years and received his doctorate (PhD) in Mass Communication from Columbia University.

He also received the Lisle Fellowship from Chicago University, US to study the use of educational project development through cinema.

Bhupen Hazarika is ranked amongst the leading film makers of the nation.
He is probably the only living pioneer who is solely responsible for placing the fledging Assamese cinema on the all India and on the world cinema map. He has been the only person in the past 40 years to propagate the better cinema movement and has integrated all the seven north-eastern states, including tribal culture, through the medium of cinema. Dr Hazarika is the only living pioneer of Assam's film industry in the Northeast, and has been therefore hailed as the uncrowned king of North-Eastern India's cultural world. His remarkable popularity brought him to the legislative Assembly as an Independent member between 1967 to 1972, where he was responsible for installing the first state owned film studio of its kind ever, in India in Guwahati, Assam.
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