Bhupen Hazarika | Brief Biography

B Hazarika



Bhupen Hazarika

Bhupen Hazarika

Bhupen Hazarika

Introduction: Bhupen Hazarika popularly known as ‘Sudhakantha’ (having a sweet voice) was an internationally famed Assamese singer, musician, poet and filmmaker. 

Birth and Parentage: Bhupen Hazarika was born on 8 September 1926 to Nilakanta and Shantipriya Hazarika in Sadiya, Assam. He was the eldest of ten children of his parents. His father was originally from Nazira in Sivasagar. In 1929 his father moved to the Bharalumukh of Guwahati where Bhupen Hazarika spent his early childhood. In 1932 his father moved to Dhubri and in 1935 to Tezpur.

Beginning of Career as a Singer: In Tezpur that Bhupen Hazarika, then 10 years of age, was discovered by Jyotiprasad Agarwala, the noted Assamese lyricist, playwright and the first Assamese Filmmaker and Bishnu Prasad Rabha, renowned Assamese artist and revolutionary poet, where ten-year-old Bhupen sang a Borgeet (traditional classical Assamese devotional songs were written by Sankardeva and Madhabdeva), taught by his mother. In 1936, Bhupen Hazarika accompanied them to Kolkata where he recorded his first song at the Aurora Studio. His association with the icons of Assamese Culture was the beginning of his artistic growth and career. After this Hazarika sang two songs in Agarwala’s film Indramalati (1939): Kakhote Kolosi Loi and Biswa Bijoyi Naujawan while he was only twelve. He composed his first Assamese song, Agnijugor Firingoti Moi at the age of 13 and began his career as a lyricist, composer and singer.

Education: He took his formal education at Sonaram High School and matriculated from Tezpur High School in 1940. He completed his higher education in Political Science at Banaras Hindu University. For a brief period, he worked at All India Radio, Guwahati when he won a scholarship from Columbia University and set sail for New York in 1949. There he earned a Ph. D. in 1952 on his thesis Proposals for Preparing India’s Basic Education to use Audio-Visual Techniques in Adult Education. At Columbia University, he met Priyamvada Patel, whom he married in 1950. Tez Hazarika, their only child, was born in 1952 and he returned to India in 1953. But their married life became an unhappy one as his wife left him after the birth of their first child.

Works: Returning from the USA, he became a teacher at Guwahati University. But after a few years, he gave up the job of teaching and went to Kolkata where he established himself as a successful music director and singer. During that period, Hazarika made several award-winning Assamese films such as Shakuntala, Pratidhwani, etc. He added a new trend to Bengali music.  Bhupen Hazarika composed music for films from Bangladesh too which got international acclaim. He was elected the President of the Assam Sahitya Sabha in 1993. In 1967, Hazarika was elected as a member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from the Nauboicha constituency.

With Kalpana Lajmi: He was introduced to Kalpana Lajmi in the early 1980s by his friend Hemendra Prasad Barooah in Kolkata.  Subsequently, Lajmi began assisting him professionally and personally until the end of his life. 

Most of his songs were composed and sung by Hazarika himself. His songs are characterized by humanity and universal brotherhood. His songs, based on the themes of communal amity, universal justice and empathy, have become popular among the people of Assam, besides West Bengal and Bangladesh. He is also acknowledged to have introduced the culture and folk music of Assam and Northeast India to Hindi cinema at the national level. 

Death: With the passing of time Bhupen Hazarika became older and weaker and died of multi-organ failure on 5 November 2011. His mortal body was cremated on November 9, 2011, near the Brahmaputra river in a plot of land donated by Guwahati University. About half a million people attended his funeral to show their love and homage to Bhupen Hazarika who made his name a legend during his life-time.  0 0 0

N. B. This article ‘Bhupen Hazarika’ originally belongs to the bookSchool Essays Part-Iby Menonim Menonimus.


Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:

  1. Advertisement Writing
  2. Amplification Writing
  3. Note Making
  4. Paragraph Writing
  5. Notice Writing
  6. Passage Comprehension
  7. The Art of Poster Writing
  8. The Art of Letter Writing
  9. Report Writing
  10. Story Writing
  11. Substance Writing
  12. School Essays Part-I
  13. School Essays Part-II
  14. School English Grammar Part-I
  15. School English Grammar Part-II..

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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