Itanagar: The melodious songs of Dr Bhupen Hazarika reverberated at Arunachal Pradesh’s state banquet hall on Sunday night with innumerable fans organising a musical night to honour the great singer, poet and writer on the conferment of Bharat Ratna (posthumously) to him.
Under the aegis of Bhupen Hazarika Fan Club, various tribal artistes from the state and neighbouring Assam enthralled the audience with the tuneful numbers of the maestro.
Hazarika, fondly remembered as the ‘Bard of Brahmaputra’, was conferred with the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in the country, by President Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi on August 8.
With the theme ‘Uniting Hills & Plains’, the idea of the event was to make the people aware of the great works of the music legend and to inspire the next generation of his philosophy.
Hazarika was among the pioneers in strengthening the age-old relationship between the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. His instrument for social change was music and songs and he used this tool so effectively that there is hardly any soul who does not naturally hum his song across the region and the two states in particular.
State art and culture minister Taba Tedir, recalling his family’s close association with the maestro during the shooting of the first film on Arunachal – Meri Maa Meri Dharam, said that many of his family members including his father and sister acted in the film which was mainly shot at Yazali in Lower Subansiri district.
“The state government has decided to organise a big event here in honour of Hazarika on his birthday on September 8,” the minister said.
Tedir added that Hazarika had acted as a bridge in uniting the people of the two neighbouring states through his compositions, which most of the people in the state are well versed with.
Sanjoy Kumar Medhi, a judge of the Itanagar permanent bench of Gauhati High Court and a die-hard fan of the musical legend, termed Hazarika as a multifaceted person who was not only well known in Northeast but across India and abroad too. “I am blessed as I worked as his counsel once,” Medhi said and lamented that his invitation to Hazarika for a lunch could not materialise due to his untimely demise.
Event coordinator Penya Bagra said: “What is even more important for Arunachal Pradesh is that he was literally born inside this state when it was known as NEFA, and it was because of this reason that a huge statue of the musician-singer-filmmaker has been installed at Bolung.”
Arunachal Pradesh and Assam are inter-dependent in terms of socio-economic and political growth of both states. But the age-old cordial relationship between the two sister states has been often sought to be severed due to acculturation of western practices, apart from many more unforeseen issues and incidents caused by certain unscrupulous vested interested groups and individuals, Bagra said.
Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society president Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi, who was instrumental in erecting a statue of Dr Hazarika at Bolung Village in Lower Dibang Vally district, also spoke on the occasion.
Nephew of the music maestro, Rishiraj Sarma, enthralled the audience with several numbers of Dr Hazarika. Among other prominent artistes from the state including Bengia Heemanta, Taba Yall Nabam, Jali Kayi, Bamang Loram, Sokeph Kri, Pebi Ado Bamang and Chow Opsen Namchum presented melodious numbers.