Dr. Bhupen Hazarika is a stalwart in the annals of India's cultural heritage today.
A multifaceted genius, he is a good poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and film-maker of the very highest repute. He is the only living pioneer of Assam's 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 on to Banaras Hindu University to complete his B. A. in 1944 and his M. A. in Political Science in 1946.
Soon 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
Bhupen Hazarika is ranked amongst the leading film makers of the nation.
He is probably the only living pioneer who is solely responsible for placing the fledging Assamese cinema on the all India and on the world cinema map. He has been the only person in the past 40 years to propagate the better cinema movement and has integrated all the seven north-eastern states, including tribal culture, 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 film to be made in the pioneering years of 1939 in the film "Indramalati".
A prodigious genius he wrote and sang his first song at the age of 10 after which there has been no looking back.
He has produced and directed, composed music and sang for the Assamese language films "Era Batar Sur" in 1956, "Shakuntala" in 1960, "Pratidhwani" in 1964, "Lotighoti" 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 colour "Mera Dharam Meri Maa" in 1977. He directed a colour ducumentary for the Arunachal Pradesh Government on Tribal folk songs and dances entitled "For Whom The Sun Shines" in 1974.
He produced and directed a documentary "Emuthi Saular Kahini" based on the co- operative movement for the Govt. of Assam entirely in the format of lyrics. 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 colour documentary to promote tourism for the Govt. of Assam in 1981. He produced and composed music for the internationally famous 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, Music Composer for the recent award winning film in Hindi "Rudaali" 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 Culture through cinema and music. He also won the National Award as best...