Friday, February 17, 2012

Source : Niyomiya Barta -16 Feb,2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bhupen Hazarika: Musician, poet, film director and social activist

Bhupen Hazarika was Assam's most famous product not to come off a tea plantation.
In a life as a film industry all-rounder, vocalist-composer, journalist and cultural activist, his name became synonymous with Assam. The aptest comparison is Rabindranath Tagore and Bengal; Hazarika's legacy, like Tagore's in his region, is imprinted on the popular and intellectual Assamese and Bangla imagination.
 
Hazarika, the eldest of 10, was born in 1926 in Sadiya, then the British Raj's furthermost North-eastern frontier station. In 1935 the Assamese poet Jyoti Prasad Agarwala made Assam's first film, an historical drama called Joymoti. Already writing songs by the age of 10, Hazarika acted and sang his own composition in Agarwala's second film, Indramalati (1939). "The melody he inherited was from my mother, Santipriya, although our father was well acquainted with the kirtan and other holy verses," his sister Sudakshina Sarma said.
 
Academically gifted, he went to Banaras Hindu University, where he obtained a BA and MA in political science. He then worked as a producer for All India Radio's Guwahati station before obtaining a scholarship to study in New York; he received a PhD in mass communication from Columbia University. Absorbing Greenwich Village's music scene, he sang with Paul Robeson and was briefly jailed for participating in civil rights demonstrations.
 
He applied his American studies well. His re-contextualisation of the Mississippi in "O Ganga Tum..." flaunted melodic lifts from "Ol' Man River". In 1972 and 1973 he sang at East Berlin's Festival of Political Songs. His extensive song output ranged from escapist fare sung by Lata Mangeshkar and his sister Sudakshina to political songs – and was a beacon of how to fuse folk traditions with classical or popular forms. His "Manush Manusher Jonno" ["Humans are for humanity"] came second only to Tagore's national anthem "Amar Sonar Bangla" ["My country of gold"] in a recent Bangladeshi poll.
 
Returning home married and with a son, he rose to directing film, first in Assamese then in Bengali. Assamese cinema book-ended his directorial credits, from Era Bator Sur (1956) to Siraj (1988). He also contributed music to entertainment and documentary films and TV programmes in Assamese, Bengali and Hindi. In 1992 the Government of India conferred on him the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, its highest prize for contributions to Indian cinema.
 
As a social activist he straddled causes. During the Assam Movement protests between 1979 and 1985, he wrote and sang songs that others sang in the streets. Spearheaded by the All Assam Students' Union, this mass populist movement railed against illegal immigrants and their alleged involvement in voting scams – and whipped up xenophobia. He also took up the cause of the indigenous peoples, known in Indian parlance as "Tribals", and their cultures. This included directing For Whom the Sun Shines (1974), a documentary about Tribal folk music and dance. He was fĂȘted with many of the subcontinent's most prestigious awards.
 
Hazarika led an unconventional life by Indian standards. Aged 45, he met the 17-year-old Kalpana Lajmi, the niece of the film director, producer and actor Guru Dutt; Kalpana's mother, the artist Lalitha Lajmi, was Dutt's sister. A year later they were living together. Still stung by his first marriage's failure, they entered into what amounted to a no-marriage pact. Their personal and professional lives remained entwined until the end, with Hazarika contributing music to a series of her "parallel cinema" films, many socially engaged, many addressing women's issues, including Ek Pal (1986), Darmiyaan (1996) and Kyon (2003). After his stroke, she effectively put her career on hold from 2007.
 
Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika, composer, poet, film director and actor, journalist and social activist: born Sadiya, Lakhimpur district, Assam and Eastern Bengal (now Tinsukia district, Assam) 8 September 1926; married Priyamvada Patel (one son); partner to Kalpana Lajmi; died Mumbai 5 November 2011.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

One Rare Photograph




Tej Hazarika proposes a new trust to safeguard and propagate Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s legacy

Dear Fans and Followers of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika,

End of December 2011 the following draft proposal for a new trust for my father's legacy was presented to the Govt. of Assam. Since my departure from Assam on November 26th I had been in touch with my family and associates drafting the same proposal, the gist of which I am now making public. While work in the field proceeds unabated, still absent is a universally accepted trust for Dr. Bhupen Hazarika.

*This public statement is not a tool to pressurize anyone, including the Govt. of Assam, to accept my idea; I am releasing this due to the requests and demands of a number of people in Assam who are evidently concerned about the legacy of Bhupenda.*

Cremating my father was a profound blessing. Like his song, I find myself on a confluence of oceans. I feel accepted even as something is expected of me. I opt to honor the motherland through my service. After all I was born in India and for the knowledge of all who do not know, I have been working here through various foundations for many years now. So I regret any disturbance I may have caused people while they grieved. However when I made my views public, I was only reflecting the public's perception and concern about the representation. It surfaced questions and triggered a necessary forum for previously repressed feelings and positions. Honesty and transparency should be key elements supporting his legacy. I have my personal history with my father, my mother, his siblings, and his partner. I had no choice but to make known my deep reservations and to announce the formation of a new popular trust.Read More ......

Sudhakontho Bhupen Hazarika Foundation
- Objectives & Proposal

Friday, February 10, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bhupen Hazarika’s album released

The Assam Tribune , 06 February 2012

NORTH GUWAHATI, Feb 5 – A music album covering the songs sung by ‘Amritoshyo Putra’ Dr Bhupen Hazarika, at the Judge’s Field, Guwahati, on April 13, 2002 as live programme conceived, directed and produced by Promod Saikia, heritage North East, village Madhupur, College Nagar, North Guwahati, was released for the public recently.

In the album, a rare joint photos of the music mastro and Promod Saikia, of All India Radio, has been presented. The uncommon photograph of the late Sudhakantha was taken by wing commander PL Barooah of Indian Air Force (son of Raibahadur Kanak Lal Barooah) in New Delhi in the year 1966.

In the live programme covered in the album ‘Kavi Samrat’, late Nava Kanta Barooah, was invited to the died by the celebrated singer Dr Hazarika in presenting the song ‘Niyarare phool, apah fulil, apah Seoil.....’ written by the poet in memory of his late second daughter.

An autobiographical account of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Tribute to Bhupen Hazarika

The Hindustan Times , 30 Jan 2011

Vicckey Goswami and three of Bollywood's prominent singers, Shankar Mahadevan, Shaan, Kailash Kher have come together to pay a musical tribute to late Bhupen Hazarika. The veteran singer, composer and film director passed away in November last year due to an organ failure at Andheri's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital.

Says Viccckey, “When I began thinking of writing this song, I knew it had to be on a high note. What better way to start composing a song on this great man, who influenced millions. Moreover, when I met him and found him unwell, I was convinced to have this tribute.”

The eponymous song has been has been composed, produced and sung by Vicckey, who hails from Hazrika's home state, Assam. Says Vicckey, “I was a close friend of Hazrika. I have witnessed many of his rehearsals at home. He was the one who inspired me to take up music and dedicate my life to it.”

Though Vicckey has sung most of the song, Mahadevan, Kher and Shaan have contributed substantially in it. Adds Vicckey, “Shaan, Shankar, Kailash and me are friends and have worked together in the past. I knew they were absolutely perfect to contribute to this effort.” The seven-minute and 20 seconds long track is in four languages. Shankar and Kailash have sung in Hindi, Shaan in Bengali while Vicckey has crooned in English and Assamese.

Vicckey had formerly worked as a music director on the Salman Khan film, Tere Naam (2003). He is currently working on an
independent English album, which is scheduled to release soon. “The album is topical, lyrically as well as romantically. This style is a new genre and I am coining it as ‘folk-funk’ .”

The Song in Youtube :