Dr. Bhupen Hazarika...
A multifaceted genius, he is a good poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and film-maker of the very highest repute. He is the only living pioneer of Assam.s film industry in the Northeast, and has been therefore, rightly hailed as the uncrowned king of North-Eastern India's cultural world.
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika has been known to create a great impression on both Assamese and Indian cinema, literature and music. He has immense repute, touching on reverence in his native Assam, the other north-east states and the neighbouring state of West Bengal. He had created memorable national award winning Assamese films in the otherwise nascent Assamese film industry which somewhat revived it. His notable contributions to literature also made him the president of the Asom Sahitya Sabha. In music his balladic voice coupled with the themes of social consciousness as well as love have made his songs immortal. He is considered as one of he greatest contributor to Assamese culture after Sankardev and Jyoti Prasad Agarwala.
Bhupen Hazarika was born in Sadiya, Assam. A child prodigy, he sang his first song in the second Assamese film, Agarwala's Indramalati(Biswa Bijoy No Jowan), in 1939 when he was 12 years old.
He completed his Intermediate Arts from Cotton College in 1942, and went on to Banaras Hindu University to complete his B.A. in 1944 and his M.A. in Political Science in 1946. He earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York in 1952, submitting a dissertation titled "Proposals for Preparing India's Basic Education to Use Audio-Visual Techniques in Adult Education". Few know that, during his time at Columbia University, Hazarika was a friend of Paul Robeson, the great black American singer, actor and civil rights activist. Robeson’s passionate crusade for social justice and black pride has permeated Bhupenda’s own worldview. Inspired greatly by Robeson’s powerful rendition of the song “Ole Man River”, Hazarika created his own moving ode to the Brahmaputra.
Achievement in Cinema
Bhupen Hazarika has rendered music, written lyrics and sung for numerous Assamese, Bengali and Hindi films from 1930s to the 1990s. Bhupen Hazarika has scored music and sung for the highest number of Assamese films made in the past 40 years. He is ranked amongst the leading film makers of the nation.
He has rendered music, written lyrics and sung for numerous Assamese 'Era Batar Sur' in 1956, 'Shakuntala' in 1960, 'Pratidhwani' in 1964, 'Lotighoti' in 1967, 'Chick Mick Bijuli' in 1971, 'Mon Projapati' in 1978, 'Swikarokti' in 1986, 'Siraj' in 1988., Bengali and Hindi films from 1930s to the 1990s. Bhupen Hazarika has scored music and sung for the highest number of Assamese films made in the past 40 years.He also directed, and composed music for Arunachal Pradesh's first Hindi feature film in colour 'mera Dharam Meri Maa' in 1977. He directed a colour documentary for the Arunachal Pradesh Government on Tribal folk songs and dances entitled 'For Whom The Sun Shines' in 1974.
His remarkable popularity brought him to the legislative Assembly as an Independent member between 1967 to 1972, where he was solely responsible for installing the first state owned film studio of its kind ever, in India in Guwahati, Assam. He has also headed the Assam Sahitya Sabha, the literary bastion of the Brahmaputra valley's dominant civilisation.
He has directed music in outstanding Bengali films, such as 'Jiban Trishna', 'Jonakir Alo', 'Mahut Bandhure', 'Kari o Komal', 'Asamapta', 'Ekhane Pinjar', 'Dampati', 'Chameli Memsaab', 'Dui', 'Bechara', and Hindi films like 'Arop', 'Ek Pal', and 'Rudaali'starring Dimple Kapadia, Raj Babbar, Amjad Khan and Rakhi. He has in 1995 given music for Sai Paranjype's Hindi feature film 'Papiha' and Bimal Dutt's Hindi feature film 'Pratimurti'.In 1996 he has composed music for Plus Channel's Hindi feature film 'mil Gayee Manzil Mujhe' directed by Lekh Tandon starring Meenakshi Sheshadri.In 1996 he has also composed for Plus Channel's Hindi feature film 'Saaz' directed by Sai Paranjype starring Shabana Azmi.In 1996 he has composed music for Pan Pictures Hindi feature film 'Darmiyaan' starring Kiron Kher and Tabu directed and written by Kalpana Lajmi.In 1998 he has composed music for Hindi feature film 'Gajagamini' Written and Directed by eminent painter Mr. M. F. Hussain.
In 1994, he was awarded the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, the highest award in India for contribution to films. He has won the President's National Award for the best filmmaker thrice: for 'Shakuntala', 'Pratidhwani', and 'Loti Ghoti' in 1960, 1964 and 1967 respectively. He won the Arunachal Pradesh Government's Gold Medal in 1977 for his outstanding contribution towards Tribal Welfare, and Upliftment of Tribal Culture through cinema and music. He also won the National Award as best music composer in India in 1977 for the Assamese film 'Chameli Memsaab'.
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