Bhupen Hazarika is a stalwart in the annals of India's cultural
A multifaceted genius, he is an outstanding poet, music composer,
singer actor, journalist, author and film maker of the very highest
repute. He is one of the living
pioneers of the Assamese film industry in the Northeast, and has
been therefore, rightly hailed as the uncrowned king of
North-Eastern India's cultural world.
Bhupen Hazarika was born in 1926, in Sadiya, Assam. An extremely
academically prolific person, he did his Inter (Arts) in Guwahati in
1942, and went to the Banaras Hindu University to complete his B.A.
in 1944 and his M.A. in Political Science in 1946.
after, he left for New York, USA where he lived for five years and
received his doctorate (PhD) in Mass Communication from
Columbia University. He also received the Lisle Fellowship from
Chicago University, USA to study the use of educational project
development through cinema.
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMA :
Hazarika is ranked
amongst the leading film maker of the nation. He is probably
the only living pioneer who is solely responsible for placing the
fledging Assamese cinema all over India and also on the world
cinema map. He has been the only person in the past 40 years to
propagate for a better
cinema movement and has integrated all the seven north-eastern
states, including the tribal culture and traditions,through the
medium of cinema. 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.
Bhupen Hazarika began his career in films as a child actor in
the second talkie file to be made in the pioneering years of
1939 in the film "Indramalati".
A prodigy whose genius was acknowledged from a very early age he
wrote and sang his first song at the age of 10 after which there has
been no looking back.
He has produced , directed, composed the background score and also
featured on the tracks for the films "Era Bator Sur" in
1956, "Shakuntala" in 1960, "Pratidhwani" in
1978 , "Loti Ghoti" in 1967, "Chick Mick Bijuli"
in 1971, "Mon Projapati" in 1978, "Swikarokti"
in 1986, "Siraj" in 1988. He also directed , composed
music and sang for "Mahut Bandhure" in 1958. He produced,
directed and composed music for Arunachal Pradesh's first Hindi
feature film in color "Mera Dharam Meri Maa" in 1977. He
directed a color documentary for the Arunachal Pradesh Government on
Tribal folk songs and dances entitled "For Whom The Sun
Shines" in 1974.
produced and directed a documentary "Emuthi Saular Kahini"
based on the co-operative movement for the Govt. of Assam entirely
in a lyrical format. He produced and directed a half-hour
documentary for Calcutta Doordarshan Kendra in 1977 on the folk
songs and dances of north east India entitled "Through Melody
and Rhythm", he produced and composed music for five reeler
color documentary to promote tourism for the Govt. of Assam in 1981.
He produced and composed music for the internationally acclaimed
award winning Hindi feature film "Ek Pal" in 1986,
directed by Kalpana Lajmi, starring Shabana Azmi, Nasiruddin Shah,
Faroque Shaikh. He produced and composed the music for the extremely
popular television serial "Lohit Kinare" directed by
Kalpana Lajmi based on famous short stories of Assam for the prime
time National Network in 1988. He has been the Executive Producer as
also the Music Composer
for the recent award winning film in Hindi "Rudali"
starring Dimple Kapadia, Raj Babbar, Amjad Khan and Rakhi.
He has won
the President's National Award for the best film maker 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 Culure through cinema and music composer in India in 1977 for
the Assamese film "Chameli Memsaab".
Bhupen Hazarika has been the Chairman, Eastern Region on the
Appellate Body of the Central Board of the Central Boad of Film
Censors, Government of India for 9 yrs. consecutively till 1990.
on the Script Committee of the National Film Development
Corporation, Eastern India.
He is the
director on the national level on the Board of Directors of National
Film Development Corporation, Government of India.
He was the
Executive Council Member of the Children Film Society (N'CYP) headed
by Mrs. Jaya Bachchan . He is the member of the Board of Trustees
for the Poor Artists Welfare Fund, Government of India. He was the
Chairman of the Jury of the National Film Awards in 1985 to 1990. he
is at present also on the Governing Council for policy making
decisions for the Film and Television Institute, Government of
information and Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India bestowed
the honor of Producer Emeritus on him.
Hazarika was also a member of P.C.Joshi Committee appointed by the
Information Ministry for revitalizing software programming through
television for the coming 21st century.
He has rendered
music in outstanding Bengali films, such as "Jiban Trishna",
"Jonkir Alo", "Mahut Bandhure", "Kari o
Komal", "Asamapta", "Ekhane Pinjar", "Dampati",
"Chameli Memsaab", "Dui", "Bechara",
and Hindi films like "Arop", "Ek Pal", and
"Rudaali". He has in 1995 given music for Sai Paranjype's
Hindi feature film "Papiha" and Bimal Dutta'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
In 1996 he has also
composed for Plus Channel's Hindi feature film "Saaz"
directed by Sai Paranjype starring Shaban 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.
He had produced a 52 episodes tele
serial titled "Dawn" for telecast on Star TV, The serial
casts Shabana Aazmi, Mona Ambegaonkar, Deepa Lagoo, Tom Alter
He has also produced another 18
part documentary entitled "Glimpses of the Misty East" on
the soio economic and cultural progress in North Eastern India from
1947 to 1997 , assigned to him by the Ministry of Information and
Broadcasting, Govt. of India for celebration of Fifty years of
In 2000 he has composed music
for Hindi feature film "Daman" and had written the story
of the film "Chingaari" directed by Ms. Kalpana Laajmi.
ACHIEVEMENTS IN MUSIC AND CULTURE :
He is considered today
the last of the great mass singers and the only great ballad singer
alive in India. Involved in the Indian movement from his very
childhood, till today he writes and composes masterpieces teaming
with social consciousness which are in striking contrast to his
famous love songs. besides being associated with films, Bhupen
Hazarika has won the hearts of the entire Indian people through his
discs through which he has rendered some of his finest compositions.
For Bhupen Hazarika music
has always been his first love. He met Paul Robson with whom
he became closely associated between 1949 and 1955 in USA. It was
during this period he was awarded a Gold Medallion in New York as
the best interpreter of India's folk songs by Eleanor Roosevelt.
sings in numerous languages but writes his lyrics and poems in his
home language, Assamese.
Bhupen Hazarika has
rightly been hailed as India's Cultural Ambassador abroad for
placing the folk music of Eastern India on the map of world
He has traveled
widely as a Delegate to Conferences on Mass Communication, Poetry,
Music, Performing Arts and Cinema from the Belgium Congo to
Samarkand, from the Mississipi to Danube, to Europe, Canada,
South-East Asia, Japan, USA, UK, and Australia.
He represented India in Berlin at the World Conference of Composers
who used songs as an instrument in social change. He was given the
honor of inaugurating the World seminar in congress Hall with his
own songs on the liberation of Bangladesh.
Bhupen Hazarika's popularity is so tremendous as performing
artist,that for the last 50 years he has been the biggest crowd
puller and was honored for the Golden Jubilee of his singing
career in 1991.
IN LITERATURE :
Bhupen Hazarika has been conferred the highest honor by making him
the president of Sahitya Sabha in 1993.
He is one of the leading author/poets
of Assam and has to his credit more than one thousand lyrics and
more than fifteen major books on short stories, essays, travelogues,
poems and children's rhymes.
is an extremely popular Journalist and editor for the past two
decades of the popular monthlies "Amar Pratinidhi" and
The country bestowed its greatest honor on him, the Padamshree in
1977 for outstanding contribution to the field of culture in India.
In 1977 he won two awards in West Bengal. The Bangla Chalachitra
Prasar Samity and the Bangla Chalchitra Purashkar Samity for being
the best music director of the film 'Dampati". In 1978 he won
two awards from Bangladesh Journalists Association and the
Bangladesh film industry.
The Gramophone Company of India bestowed on him the Gold Disc for
his outstanding contribution towards Indian Music in 1978.
In 1979 and 1980 he won the Ritwick Ghatak Award as best music
directors for two theatre plays "Mohua Sundari" and "Nagini
In 1979 he won the All India Critic Association Award for the best
performing folk artist in India.
In 1987 he was conferred the National Citizen's Award at New Delhi
for his outstanding excellence in music.