Hazarika’ was born on 8 September 1926 in Sadiya, Assam. He was the son
of Nilakanta and Shantipriya Hazarika. His father was originally from
Nazira, a town located in Sivasagar district. He married to Priyamvada
Patel in 1950.
Hazarika took his early studies at Sonaram and
Dhubri. He matriculated from Tezpur High School in 1940. He completed
his Intermediate in 1942 and his BA (1944) and MA (1946) in Political
Science from Banaras Hindu University. For a short period Hazarika
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
PhD in 1952.
Bhupen Hazarika was an Indian playback singer,
lyricist, musician, singer, poet and film-maker from Assam, widely known
as Sudhakantha. He 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 got elected as a member of
Bhupen Hazarika’s songs are marked by humanity
and universal brotherhood. His songs have been translated and sung in
many languages, most notably in Bengali and Hindi. His songs are based
on the themes of communal amity, universal justice and empathy. He is
also acknowledged to have introduced the culture and folk music of Assam
and Northeast India to Hindi cinema at the national level.
Hazarika received the National Film Award for Best Music Direction in
1975. Recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Padmashri and
Padmabhushan, he was awarded with Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1992. He
died on 5 November 2011. He was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan
in 2012. Hazarika was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s
highest civilian award in 2019.