Google Doodle pays tribute to acclaimed Indian singer Bhupen Hazarika on his birth anniversary

Bhupen Hazarika, an Indian playback singer, known for his songs marked by humanity and universal brotherhood, used his songs to awaken society to truth

Updated - September 08, 2022 10:20 am IST

Published - September 08, 2022 09:32 am IST

Google Doodle pays tribute to acclaimed Indian singer Bhupen Hazarika on his birth anniversary.

Google Doodle pays tribute to acclaimed Indian singer Bhupen Hazarika on his birth anniversary. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Google on September 8 paid tribute to Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician, poet, actor and filmmaker from Assam, whose songs written and sung mainly in the Assamese language himself, are marked by humanity and universal brotherhood.

Google has depicted a Doodle dedicated to Hazarika, celebrating his 96th birth anniversary.

Hazarika was born on this day in 1926 in Sadiya, Assam. As a child, he grew up surrounded by songs and folk tales about life along the Brahmaputra River. 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. Acutely aware of the political dimensions of culture, Hazarika used his music to rouse the Assamese gentry during the bhasha andolan.

Later, 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. 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 also went on to serve as chairman and director of numerous boards and associations, including the Indian government’s National Film Development Corporation. 

“Today’s Doodle celebrates the 96th birthday of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, an acclaimed Assamese-Indian singer, composer and filmmaker who created music for hundreds of films,” Google Doodle said.

Considered one of northeast India’s leading socio-cultural reformers, whose creations and compositions united people from all walks of life, today’s Doodle celebrating Hazarika’s work to popularize Assamese cinema and folk music, has been Illustrated by Mumbai-based guest artist Rutuja Mali.  

Known for his baritone voice and poetic compositions, Hazarika died of multi-organ failure in 2011.

“Happy birthday, Bhupen Hazarika! Your songs and films continue to command respect for Assam’s rich culture,” Google added in the end.

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