Royal elegy for Bhupen

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RAJEEV RAVIDAS FROM KALIMPONG in Hazarika
  • Published 15.11.11
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Dhubri, Nov. 14: Bhupen Hazarika was a towering cultural icon, who, by dint of his talent, not only enthralled audiences with his songs but also created affinity between cultures worlwide.

This was stated by Probir Coomar Barua, a member of the Gouripur royal family, while delivering a lecture on Bhupen Hazarika: Ek Sampritir Pratik at the Lions Club auditorium here today. The event was organised on the occasion of the 71st birth anniversary of Pannalal Oswal by the Pannalal Oswal Memorial Committee.

In his lecture, Barua said Hazarika had grown to this stature as a talented social thinker through his association with stalwarts like Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, Bishnu Rabha, Hemanga Biswas and Phani Sarma, who shaped his views and helped him look at culture and society from a broader perspective.

“He picked up flowers of culture from various gardens of the country and the world, but made a garland of his own. His song travelled around the world but remained attached and rooted to his soil,” Barua said.

Hazarika’s greatest strength of assimilation of all cultures lies in his song, Mahabahu Brahmaputra Mahamilanar Tirtha, where he depicted how the teachings of Sankardev, Ajan Fakir and Guru Teg Bahadur were assimilated by the Brahmaputra, Barua said.

He said like in the Northeast and India as a whole, Hazarika left his imprint on the world canvas too, by singing with Paul Robeson and against apartheid in South Africa and about Nelson Mandela and by scripting the song Moi Eti Jajabor... on seeing the sufferings of people on the banks of London’s Tames river.

He said Bangladesh had posthumously conferred on Hazarika its highest civilian award — Muktijoddha Padak — for their affinity with his immortal songs including Ganga Amar Ma, Padma Amar Ma....

Hazarika fought vehemently to get Goalpariya lokgeet sung by Pratima Barua Pandey recognised against the prevailing set of norms and system and succeeded in doing so, Barua added.

The event also saw release of a book, Destination Dhubri, by Devendra Nath Sarma.

Speaking on the occasion, Dhubri deputy commissioner Sunil Dutta and superintendent of police Pradip Chandra Saloi, as the chief guest and guest of honour respectively, recalled the contributions of Oswal. Various games and sport activities were also held in Srimanta Sankardev Sishu Udyan as part of the programme.

Ashes immersed

Bhupen Hazarika’s ashes were immersed in the Teesta at Tribeni near Kalimpong in North Bengal today, at the initiative of Assam-based Gorkha organisations and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

Tribeni, the confluence of the Teesta and Rangeet, is 18km from Kalimpong town.