- NET Web Desk
September 8th is the Birth Anniversary of the Bard of Bramhaputra Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, whose baritone voice has enthralled his listeners both in the Northeast and outside. His compositions speak about he the human condition and emotions creating its universal appeal. His songs speak about the joys, pain, emotions that the Northeast and its people had to endure for decades. His songs were not limited to Assam but encompassed every nook and corner of the Northeast.
Lets us have a listen to a few of Bhupen da’s songs on the Northeast.
The song ‘Arunachal Hamara’ was composed and sung after the renaming of the Northeast Frontier Agency (NEFA) into Arunachal Pradesh.
His composition ‘Tirap Simanta’ creates a beautiful visual picture of Tirap and its communities.
In 1964, Bhupen Hazarika chose a Khasi love story for his fourth Assamese film ‘Pratidhwani’. The lyrics eulogise the love affair between Manik Raiton, the flute player and his lover Lieng Makaw. Composed in Assamese it incorporates many Khasi words.
When it comes to Nagaland he sang his landmark song ‘Manuhe Manhor Baabe’ in Nagamese when the state was a tumultuous time. He later recounted his experience in a program in USA.
Bhupen Hazarika’s song “Kah Mangaih Sheh” highlights the tradition, culture and heritage of the Mizos. He uses words like Puanmekhela, kawrchei, pankpar, lukhum, etc. to draw us an image of a beautiful Mizoram and its people.
Apart from his direct references to the states and his people the ‘Bard of Brahmputra’ was known to have incorporated the culture of tribes, hills, and valleys of the northeast in his compositions. One can claim that Bhupen Hazarika’s songs brought the communities of the Northeast together. When the Assamese were criticized for acting superior it was Bhupen Hazarika through his nuanced views of the Northeast and its people that he breaks the barriers of communities, culture, and languages.