Google Doodle today celebrates the 96th birth anniversary of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, an acclaimed Assamese-Indian singer, composer and filmmaker who created music for hundreds of films. Born on 8 September 1926 in Sadiya district of Assam, Bhupen Hazarika was the eldest of ten siblings of Nilakanta and Shantipriya Hazarika.
As a child, Hazarika grew up surrounded by songs and folk tales about life along the mighty Brahmaputra river. Later he was also known as ‘The Bard of Brahmaputra’. Dr Hazarika was one of northeast India’s leading socio-cultural reformers, whose creations and compositions united people from all walks of life. Illustrated by Mumbai-based guest artist Rutuja Mali, the artwork celebrates Hazarika’s work to popularize Assamese cinema and folk music.
HERE’S HOW TODAY’S DOODLE WAS ILLUSTRATED
BHUPEN HAZARIKA: EARLY LIFE
At a young age, Hazarika’s musical talents attracted the attention of renowned Assamese lyricist, Jyotiprasad Agarwala, and filmmaker, Bishnu Prasad Rabha—both doyens of Assam’s rich cultural history. 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.
Over time, Hazarika created numerous compositions, having a penchant for telling people’s stories through songs—stories about happiness and grief, of unity and courage, romance and loneliness, and even strife and determination.
BHUPEN HAZARIKA: EDUCATION
Hazarika was not only a child music prodigy, he was also an intellectual. He graduated with a master’s in political science from Banaras Hindu University in 1946, and went on to earn a PhD in mass communications from Columbia University in 1952.
After completing his studies in America, he returned to India to continue working on songs and films that popularized Assamese culture on both a national and global scale.
BHUPEN HAZARIKA: AWARDS
Over the course of a six-decade career, Hazarika won several prestigious prizes like the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, for his outstanding contribution to music and culture. He was honoured posthumously with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 2019.
He went on to serve as chairman and director of numerous boards and associations, including the Indian government’s National Film Development Corporation.Advertisement
Sharing her thoughts about Dr Hazarika, Mumbai-based guest artist Rutuja Mali said she dived “deep into the life and work of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, to understand his brilliance in the field and his contribution to Indian music and cinema.
The idea of celebrating someone’s art, their story, and legacy is always so special and inspiring.” Feeling honoured to have been given an opportunity to do Doodle, Mali said that she went through a few of Dr Hazarika’s songs, photos and videos to try her best to reflect his charm in the doodle.
Mali hope that “people get curious to learn more about Dr. Bhupen Hazarika and his work and revisit some of his songs” after going through the doodle.