Bhupen Hazarika was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, country's second highest civilian honour, in 2012.
New Delhi: Music maestro from Assam, Bhupen Hazarika, has been posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian honour, along with former President Pranab Mukherjee and social activist Nanaji Deshmukh. Bhupen Hazarika was a singer, balladeer, poet, lyricist and film maker who was widely admired not only in native Assam but across the country.
Here are 10 things to know about Dr Bhupen Hazarika
- Referred to as the "Bard of Brahmaputa", Bhupen Hazarika was a singer, lyricist and musician from Assam.
- He made his singing debut at the age of 12 in 1939.
- In addition to Assamese, Bhupen Hazarika also composed, wrote and sang for numerous Bengali and Hindi films from 1930s to the 1990s.
- He was also one of the leading author-poets of Assam with more than 1,000 lyrics and several short stories, essays and travelogues to his credit.
- He studied at Columbia University and also received a fellowship to study cinema in Chicago. During his stay in the US, he met the legendary African-American singer Paul Robeson, whose famous number 'Ol Man River' was an inspiration for his 'O Ganga Behti Ho Kyun' (in Hindi), a virtual anthem for generations of Left activists.
- He received the National Award for Best Music Director in 1976 for Chameli Memsaab and President's medal for his films Shakuntala (1960), Pratidhwani (1964) and Lotighoti (1967).
- Bhupen Hazarika was also a member of the Central Board of Film Certification. In 2003, he was appointed member of the Prasar Bharati Board.
- He had joined the BJP ahead of 2004 Lok Sabha elections impressed by the performance of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He had also been an independent member of the Assam Assembly.
- In May 2017, PM Modi named India's longest bridge after Bhupen Hazarika.
- He was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian honour, in 2012. He died in November 2011 at the age of 85.
With inputs from PTI
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