Bhupen Hazarika remembered through musical event

ITANAGAR, Aug 12: Melodious songs of musical icon of Northeast India, Bhupen Hazarika, reverberated in the state banquet hall here on Sunday night during a ‘musical night’ organised by his fans to honour the great singer, poet and writer on his being posthumously conferred the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in the country.
Under the aegis of the Bhupen Hazarika Fans Club, various tribal artists from the state and from neighbouring Assam enthralled the audience with melodious numbers of the music legend.
Hazarika, fondly remembered as the ‘Bard of Brahmaputra’, was conferred the Bharat Ratna by President Ram Nath Kovind on 8 August.
With the theme ‘Uniting hills & plains’, the idea of the event was to make the people aware of the great works of the music legend, and to inspire the next generation with his philosophy.
Hazarika was among the pioneers in strengthening the age-old relationship between the people of Arunachal and Assam. His instrument for social change was music and songs, and he used this tool so effectively that there is hardly any soul across the region in general and the two states in particular who do not naturally hum a Bhupen Hazarika song.
“What is even more important for Arunachal is that he was literally born in this state, when it was known as NEFA, and it was because of this reason that a huge statue of the musician-singer-filmmaker has been installed in Bolung village in Lower Dibang Valley district,” event coordinator Penya Bagra said.
Art & Culture Minister Taba Tedir recalled his family’s close association with the music maestro during the shooting of the first film on Arunachal, Mera Dharam Meri Maa, and said many of his family members, including his father and sister, acted in the film, which was mainly shot in Yazali in Lower Subansiri district.
“The state government has decided to organise a big event here in honour of Hazarika on his birthday on 8 September,” the minister said.
Tedir added that Hazarika had “acted as a bridge in uniting the people of the two neighbouring states of Arunachal and Assam through his compositions.”
Gauhati High Court’s Itanagar Permanent Bench Judge, Sanjoy Kumar Medhi, an ardent fan of the music legend, described Hazarika as a person with a multifaceted character who was not only well-known in the Northeast but in entire India and abroad.
“I am blessed as I worked as his counsel once,” Medhi said.
Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society president Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi, who was instrumental in erecting the statue of Hazarika in Bolung, also spoke.
Nephew of the music maestro, Rishiraj Sarma, who is a name by himself, enthralled the audience with several numbers of Hazarika. Among others, prominent artists from the state, including Bengia Hemanto, Taba Yall Nabam, Jeli Kayi, Bamang Loram, Sokeph Kri, Pebi Ado Bamang and young, promising artist Chow Opsen Namchum presented melodious numbers.
Arunachal and Assam are interdependent in terms of socioeconomic and political growth of both the states.
“Unfortunately, the age-old cordial relationship between two sister states has been often sought to be severed due to acculturation of western practices, apart from unforeseen issues and incidents caused by unscrupulous groups and individuals with vested interests,” said Bagra, the coordinator of the event.