Thursday, March 25, 2010

Assam govt accepts MLAs’ proposal Push for Bhupen Bharat Ratna

Guwahati, March 3: In the eighties, Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar touched the feet of another living legend Bhupen Hazarika before performing at a show in Nagaon.

AGP legislator Girindra Kumar Baruah, who had then just started his career as a college teacher, recalled this gesture in the state Assembly today while moving a zero hour proposal for conferring Bharat Ratna — the country’s highest civilian award — on the multifaceted Hazarika.
“The gesture only reflected the esteem in which Hazarika is held, his contributions and his standing in the world. His creations are universal. His is a fit case for such an honour. The government should take all appropriate steps to get the honour conferred on him during his lifetime unlike Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi who got the award posthumously,” Baruah said to drive home his point.

Lata Mangeshkar received Bharat Ratna in 2001.
Baruah, in fact, picked up from where Bhupen Borah, the first-time Congress MLA from Bihpuria, had left off. Borah set the tone for why the state government and Assembly need to act to get the award conferred on the 1926-born Hazarika while moving the proposal.

Besides passionately recalling Hazarika’s creations, Borah presented two books on Hazarika to the Speaker to make his case strong.
“After going through the books you will know why he deserves the award. He is simply unparalleled. I appeal to the government to take necessary steps in this regard,” he said.
Hazarika has received the highest cultural award — the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1992 for lifetime contribution, besides the national award as music composer in 1977.

The singer-composer is also the recipient of Assam Ratna, among others.

Baruah and Borah’s arguments had the desired impact on the government with parliamentary affairs minister Bharat Narah promptly announcing that the government has accepted the duo’s proposals and it would move the Centre in this regard for conferring Bharat Ratna on the cultural icon.