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Google Doodle celebrates legendary singer, filmmaker Bhupen Hazarika on his birth anniversary

Apart from being a multitalented composer, Hazarika was also one of northeast India’s leading socio-cultural reformers, whose compositions are known to have united people from all walks of life.

Google Doodle celebrates legendary singer filmmaker Bhupen Hazarika on his birth anniversary gcw
First Published Sep 8, 2022, 9:31 AM IST

Dr. Bupen Hazarika, a renowned Assamese singer, composer, and filmmaker whose works had a significant impact on the state's socio-cultural reforms and national unification, is being honoured with a Google Doodle in honour of his 96th birthday. Rutuja Mali, a special guest artist, made today's doodle. Dr. Hazarika's work helped Assam's regional film and folk music gain popularity. He received India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 2019, almost eight years after his passing.

On this day in 1926, in Assam's Sadiya, Dr. Hazarika was born to Nikakanta and Shantipriya Hazarika. His house was on the bank of the river Brahmaputra. He was the eldest among 10 siblings. His mother first provided him with musical inspiration when she exposed him to Assamese traditional music. Due to a job, his father relocated to Tezpur. When he performed traditional music at an event when he was 10 years old, lyricist Jyotiprasad Agarwala and director Bishnu Prasad Tabha noticed his potential. In 1936, Hazarika made his debut recording in Kolkata.

In its tribute to Hazarika, also remembered as the ‘Bard of Brahmaputra’, Google Doodles shared the tribute doodle and said in a tweet, “Did you know Bhupen Hazarika was an Assamese-Indian child prodigy who began singing and composing music for film studios at just 12 years old!?”

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"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," Google Doodle wrote in the post.

Dr. Hazarika excelled in the classroom as well. In 1946, he earned his MA in political science from BHU. He spent some time working for All India Radio. He travelled to Columbia University in 1949 to pursue a PhD after receiving an international scholarship. In 1952, he earned his degree in research. Proposals for Preparing India's Basic Education to Use Audio-Visual Techniques in Adult Education was the title of his senior thesis.

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He committed his life to spreading the popularity of Assamese music after his trip to the United States. Through his music, he led a societal movement to combat casteism. He received several honours over his more than six-decade music career, including the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

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