Friday, November 18, 2011

Music legend leaves this world

Source :

Guwahati, Nov 5: Legendary music composer, singer and film maker Dr Bhupen Hazarika passed away at a private hospital in Mumbai today, bringing down curtains on an illustrious career spanning almost six decades.

Having celebrated his 85th birthday on a hospital bed at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital in Mumbai in September this year, Dr Hazarika’s condition had deteriorated over time.

In the final days, both his kidneys had failed and doctors were not able to carry out dialysis since this week.

He breathed his last at 1639 hours this afternoon.

Family, fans and mourners gathered at his Nizarapar house in the city as the news of Dr Hazarika’s demise flashed across television channels.

Mourners also gathered in front of a life-size statue of Dr Hazarika at Dighalipukhuri in the city.

People spontaneously lit earthen lamps and candles in front of houses and shops, praying for peace of the departed soul.

Family members said his body is likely to be flown to Guwahati tomorrow and will be laid in state at the Judges’ Field in the city for two days to enable all to pay their last respects.

It is not clear whether Dr Hazarika’s only son Tez, who stays inNew York, will reach in time for the last rites.

AssamGovernor JB Patnaik and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi have deeply condoled the demise of Dr Hazarika.

Gogoi, in a message fromNew Delhi, said Dr Hazarika’s demise has left a big void in the lives of the people of the state.

He instructed state Cultural Affairs minister Pranati Phukan and Cultural department secretary Santanu Thakur to leave for Mumbai tomorrow and arrange to bring Dr Hazarika’s mortal remains to the state with full state honours.

A musical genius and perhaps the greatest living ballad singer in the country, Dr Hazarika’s compositions transcended all boundaries of place and time as his songs remains immortal even decades later.

He had been the recipient of several awards, including the Padma Bhusan in 2001 and the Dada Saheb Phalke award in 1993.

Having recorded his first song at the age of 12 for the second Assamese talkie in 1939, Dr Hazarika had lent his voice to Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan ‘Vaishnava Jana Ko’ for the Hindi film ‘Gandhi to Hitler’, which released earlier this year.

Dr Hazarika was also a well-known writer and served as the president of the Asom Sahiyta Sabha, the state’s apex literary body.

Born on September 8, 1926, in eastern Assam’s Sadiya, Bhupenda (as he was popularly called) did his Inter (Arts) from Cotton College in Guwahati in 1942, and went on to Banaras Hindu University to complete his graduation in 1944 and his post-graduation in Political Science in 1946.

He moved toNew York,USA, for further studies, earning a Ph.D fromColombiaUniversity.

Dr Hazarika also received the Lisle Fellowship fromChicago University,USAto study the use of educational project development through cinema.

He continued to pine for his homeland while undergoing treatment at Mumbai and did not lose hope of returning to Assam. (UNI)

Meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society (APLS) has expressed its deep sense of shock at the passing away of Dr Bhupen Hazarika, the cultural icon of North East India, whose many songs reflected the true natural beauty of Arunachal Pradesh.

With his death, Arunachal has lost one of its greatest admirers, said APLS president Sahitya Akademy awardee YD Thongchi and general secretary Tokong Pertin. The APLS members convey their condolences to the bereaved family and pray for the eternal peace of the departed soul.

Arunachal’s cultural icon Bengia Hemata, who had arranged Bhupenda’s visit to Itanagar when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared Arunachal a Union Territory on 20th January 1972 to sing his self-composed ‘Hamara Arunachal’, also deeply mourned his death. Hemanta sang the Nyishi version of the song which was recorded by HMV.

A close acquaintance of Bhupenda, septuagenarian B K Ghosh Dastidar, who had the privilege to work with the singer during his early days, said “I have lost a personal friend.”

PM, Arunachal CM mourn

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today expressed sorrow over the demise of veteran musician and singer Bhupen Hazarika who passed away in a private hospital in Mumbai after a prolonged illness.

“It is with great sorrow that I learnt of the passing away of Dr Hazarika,” Dr Singh said in a statement.

In Dr Hazarika’s sad demise,Indiahas lost one of its most gifted artistes. His extraordinary talent encompassed not only music and literature but also cinema acting and direction, he said.

“His contribution greatly enriched our cultural landscape and his influence on Assamese art and culture was particularly profound. The reverence with which Dr Hazarika was looked up to and the innumerable awards that he received are a tribute to his dazzling brilliance and creativity, and his love for the people,” Dr Singh added.

Meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki today expressed shock over the death of North East’s iconic figure Dr Bhupen Hazarika. Dr Hazarika died this afternoon at a Mumbai hospital after a prolonged illness. He was 85 and was under treatment since June 29.

Tuki, who is inNew Delhi, said that the news has come as a dampener and devoid of words to express the loss.

“In him we have lost an icon of the region and a great friend, philosopher and guide of Arunachal Pradesh,” he said in a message this evening.

“Bhupenda will always be remembered for his emotional attachment with Arunachal Pradesh and his long association with the state in its cultural evolution. His songs like the Siangor Galong…of 1961 and the Tirap himantor…of 1966 created an emotional bondage between the tribes of Arunachal and people ofAssam. His music became a bridge between the people of the hills and the plains.”

Tuki also recalled the songs late Hazarika sang in Nyishi dialect with renowned local singer Bengia Hemanta. These, he said, are jewels of contemporary regional music that paved the way for development of the local music industry.

Late Bhupen Hazarika produced, directed, and composed the music for the state’s first Hindi feature film in colour – Meri Maa Mera Dharam - in 1977. He also directed a colour documentary for the Arunachal Pradesh Government on tribal folk songs and dances titled For Whom The Sun Shines in 1974. In 1977 the Arunachal Pradesh government awarded him a Gold Medal for his outstanding contribution towards tribal welfare and upliftment of tribal culture through cinema and music.

In his message, Tuki added that late Bhupen Hazarika was a multifaceted genius, poet, composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and film-maker of the highest repute.

“In right words he is hailed as the uncrowned king of North-Eastern India’s cultural world. He has left behind a void in the North East that will be impossible to fill in hundred years,” Tuki said.

Nanni Dai mourns Dr Hazarika’s death

The widow of famous writer- late Lummer Dai, Nanni Dai has expressed her profound grief over the passing away of Dr Bhupen Hazarika.

Recalling the illustrious figure’s contribution towards bolstering the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh ties, she said, “We can never forget Bhupenda’s role in bridging the gap between the two neighbouring states through his soulful music. He had made an indelible mark on the people of Arunachal for cementing its ties with Assam and bringing a sense of peaceful coexistence and harmony between the two States courtesy his unforgettable songs.”

While recalling the relations between his husband, late Lummer Dai and Dr Bhupen Hazarika, Nanni Dai said, “My husband was once telephonically called by Bhupenda to Guwahati to join the felicitation function which was arranged in honour of his getting Dada Saheb Phalke Award. He joined in Bhupenda’s felicitation and was seen seated in the audience by the man of the hour. Instantly, Dr Hazarika called luminous Lummer to join him at the dais. Such magnanimous and big-hearted was the man.”