The voice of Bhupen Hazarika, popularly known as the 'Bard of Brahmaputra', resonated at New Delhi's Rajpath as the Assam tableau, depicting the handloom of the state inspired by Mahatma Gandhi made its way during the Republic Day celebrations, a day after the Bharat Ratna was posthumously awarded to him.
A poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and filmmaker, Bhupen Hazarika, the self-proclaimed jajabor, or wanderer, took the rich folk heritage of Assam and interpreted it beautifully for the world through his songs.
The front portion of Assam's tableau showcased a life-size Assamese woman working on her loom production, depicting the growth of cottage industry.
The middle portion showed a typical Assamese 'Sarai' followed by Sattriya Dance performed with the song Mahatmai Hasi Bole-Ram O Rahim in voice of Bhupen Hazarika.
The rear portion shows a typical Assam house on the verandah of which there is a large sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi spinning charkha.
In the lower part, a concrete house which is known as "Poki" - the house of Jyotiprasad Agarwalla of Tezput where Mahatma Gandhi stayed in 1934 was shown.
Also shown was an Assamese working on a typical handicrafts in a thatch house. The side panel in the end showcase relief mural depicting various handicraft items of Assam.
One of Assam's few balladeers, Bhupen Hazarika was cherished in Bangladesh as much as in Guwahati and Kolkata. He died in 2011.
Bhupen Hazarika was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987), Padma Shri (1977), Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1992), Padma Bhushan (2001) and Padma Vibhushan (2012-posthumously).
Bhupen Hazarika did his PhD from Columbia University in 1952.
The cultural icon also had a brush with politics and had unsuccessfully contested the Guwahati Lok Sabha seat on a BJP ticket in 2004. He was an independent MLA in Assam during 1967-72.
Bhupen Hazarika gave music in acclaimed Bollywood movies -- Rudaali, Darmiyaan, Gaja Gamini, Daman and many Assamese hits, including the award winning film Sameli Memsaab.
India celebrated its 70th Republic Day with a grand display of its military might and rich cultural diversity as the ceremonial parade rolled down the majestic Rajpath in New Delhi in presence of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as the chief guest.
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