Dr Bhupen Hazarika was the legendary music maestro, widely known as Sudhakantha was a music producer, composer, lyricist from Assam. An inspiration to many young musicians of the state, he was an intellect that created waves in the political scenario with his songs and is loved by all even today.
He was honoured with National Award, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and above all, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously this year, which is the highest civilian award of India.
On Bhupen Da’s birth anniversary, here’s looking at lesser-known facts about this multi-faceted genius
- Hazarika wrote his first song at the mere age of 10.
- Later, when he was 12-years-old, he worked in the second Assamese talkie, Indramalati.
- Bhupen Hazarika completed his matriculation from Tezpur High School in 1940. He went on to complete his Masters in Political Science from Banaras Hindu University in the year 1946.
- He worked for a brief period at the All India Radio(AIR), Guwahati where he won a scholarship from Columbia University, New York. There he earned his PhD in the year 1952 on his thesis ‘Proposals for Preparing India’s Basic Education to use Audio-Visual Techniques in Adult Education’.
- While he was at Columbia University, he met Paul Robeson, a prominent civil rights activist who inspired him a lot to write the song Bistirno parore.
- After his PhD, he returned to India and became a teacher at the Gauhati University. But after a few years, he left the teaching job and went to Kolkata where he established himself as a successful music director and singer.
- Bhupen da has lent his magical voice for many Hindi films which include, Daman, Rudaali, Mil Gayee Manzil Mujhe, Darmiyaan, Saaz, Gajagamini and Kyon.
- He also made several award-winning Assamese films such as Shakuntala, Pratidhwani to name a few.
- Hazarika is considered to have influenced the infamous Jivanmukhi geet of West Bengal which was started by Kabir Suman in the 1990s.
- He also composed music for films from Bangladesh too which got international acclaim.