Happy birthday, Bhupen Hazarika! Google doodle on September 8, 2022, to celebrate the 96th birthday of Indian playback singer, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. He is an acclaimed Assamese-Indian singer, lyricist, poet, actor and filmmaker and filmmaker who created music for hundreds of films.
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s songs were written and sung mainly in the Assamese language himself, are marked by humanity and universal brotherhood and have been translated and sung in many languages, most notably in Bengali and Hindi.
His songs are mainly based on the themes of communal amity, universal justice and empathy, and are especially popular among the people of Assam, West Bengal and Bangladesh. He is also acknowledged to have introduced the culture and folk music of Assam and Northeast India to Hindi cinema at the national level.
Bhupen Hazarika was born on September 8 in 1926 in northeastern India. His home state, Assam, is a region that has always been home to different tribes and several indigenous groups—such as the Bodo, Karbi, Mising and Sonowal-Kacharis. As a child, Hazarika grew up surrounded by songs and folk tales about life along the mighty Brahmaputra River.
At his young age, Bhupen Hazarika’s musical talents attracted the attention of renowned Assamese lyricist, Jyotiprasad Agarwala, and filmmaker, Bishnu Prasad Rabha—both doyens of Assam’s rich cultural history. They helped Hazarika record his first song, which launched his music career at 10 years old. By age 12, Hazarika was writing and recording songs for two films: Indramalati: Kaxote Kolosi Loi, and Biswo Bijoyi Naujawan. Over time, Hazarika created numerous compositions, having a penchant for telling people’s stories through songs—stories about happiness and grief, unity and courage, romance and loneliness, and even strife and determination.
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Bhupen Hazarika was not only a child music prodigy, he was also an intellectual. He graduated with a master’s in political science from Banaras Hindu University in 1946 and went on to earn a PhD in mass communications from Columbia University in 1952.
After completing his studies in America, he returned to India to continue working on songs and films that popularized Assamese culture on both a national and global scale. Throughout a six-decade career, Hazarika won several prestigious prizes like the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, for his outstanding contribution to music and culture. He was honored posthumously with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 2019.
He went on to serve as chairman and director of numerous boards and associations, including the Indian government’s National Film Development Corporation.
Thank You, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika! Your songs and films continue to command respect for Assam’s rich culture.
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s famous songs include (in Assamese):
Bistirno Parore (বিস্তীৰ্ণ পাৰৰে)
Moi Eti Jajabor (মই এটি যাযাবৰ)
Ganga Mor Maa (গংগা মোৰ মা)
Bimurto Mur Nixati Jen (বিমূৰ্ত মোৰ নিশাটি যেন)
Manuhe Manuhor Babey (মানুহে মানুহৰ বাবে)
Snehe Aamar Xoto Shrabonor (স্নেহে আমাৰ শত শ্ৰাৱণৰ)
Gupute Gupute Kimaan Khelim (গুপুতে গুপুতে কিমান খেলিম)
Buku Hom Hom Kore (বুকু হম্ হম্ কৰে)
Sagar sangamat (সাগৰ সংগমত)
Shillongore Godhuli (শ্বিলঙৰে গধূলি)
Source: Google doodles, Wikipedia
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