Bhupen Hazarika, also known as Sudha Kontho, was an Indian playback singer, songwriter, musician, poet, actor, and filmmaker from Assam (meaning cuckoo, literally “nectar-throated”). His songs, which he wrote and sang primarily in Assamese, are characterized by humanism and universal brotherhood and have been translated and sung in numerous languages, most notably Bengali and Hindi.
Early Years of Bhupen Hazarika
Hazarika, a well-known musician, was born on September 8, 1926, in Sadiya, Assam, to Nilakanta and Shantipriya Hazarika on the banks of the Brahmaputra River.
His father was born in Nazira, a town in the Sivasagar district. Bhupen Hazarika (together with his siblings) grew up under the musical influence of his mother, who introduced him to lullabies and traditional Assamese music. In 1929, his father relocated to Guwahati’s Bharalumukh district in pursuit of better opportunities, where Bhupen Hazarika spent his boyhood.
His father relocated to Dhubri in 1932, and then to Tezpur in 1935. Bhupen Hazarika, then ten years old, was discovered at a public function by Jyotiprasad Agarwala, the noted Assamese lyricist, playwright, and first Assamese filmmaker, and Bishnu Prasad Rabha, renowned Assamese artist, and revolutionary poet, where he sang a Borgeet (traditional classical Assamese devotional songs written by Srimanta San.
After finishing his MA, he worked briefly at the All India Radio station in Guwahati before beginning his doctoral studies at Columbia University. His thesis, “DEMYSTIFYING DR. BHUPEN HAZARIKA: VISUALIZING EDUCATION FOR INDIA,” edited by Tej Hazarika and published by Cool Grove Press, will be available in the United States in a matter of days. He began teaching at Guwahati University shortly after finishing his schooling.
After a few years, he left the job and moved to Kolkata, where he became a popular music director and vocalist. During that time, Hazarika directed several award-winning Assamese films, including Shakuntala and Pratidhwani, and composed music for numerous Assamese films.
In Bengali music, he was also regarded as a trendsetter. Bhupen Hazarika also composed music for Bangladeshi films that received international praise. In 1993, he was chosen President of the Asam Sahitya Sabha. Hazarika was elected to the Assam Assembly from the Nauboicha constituency in 1967.
Bhupen Hazarika Net Worth
Bhupen is a wealthy World Music Singer who is also a prominent World Music Singer. Bhupen Hazarika’s net worth is estimated to be $ 1 million to $5 million, according to Buzz Learn. At the age of eleven, he was discovered by Assamese filmmaker Jyotiprasad Agarwala and poet Bishnu Prasad Rabha.
How Did He Die?
In 2011, Hazarika was admitted to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute in Mumbai. On June 30, 2011, he was brought to the intensive care unit. On November 5, 2011, he died of multi-organ failure. His remains were laid to rest at Judges Field in Guwahati before being cremated on November 9, 2011, near the Brahmaputra River on grounds given by Gauhati University. An estimated half-million people attended his funeral.
Influence and Legacy
As a vocalist, Hazarika was recognized for his baritone voice. As a writer, he was noted for his poetry songs, and parables that touched on topics ranging from romance to social and political satire. In a survey conducted in Bangladesh, his song Manush Manusher Jonno (Humans are for humanity) was voted the second most popular song, following the Bangladeshi national anthem.
During his time in New York City during the early 1950s, he encountered Paul Robeson, from whom he learned versions of American Black Spirituals. His renowned song “Bistirno Parore” is significantly influenced by Paul Robeson’s rendition of “Ol’ Man River.”
From a young age, he was at the center of a societal war against the entrenched forces of casteism, which scoffed at a member of the Koibarta community achieving success as a musician and prevented him from marrying the upper-caste Brahmin woman he had loved. In a sense, Hazarika’s eventual marriage to a Brahmin woman was his retribution against a caste-based society.
Assam’s Bhupen Hazarika, better known as Sudha Kontho, was a playback singer, songwriter, musician, poet, actor, and director. Buzz Learn estimates that Bhupen Hazarika has a net worth between $1 million and $5 million.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Was Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s Younger Brother?
Jayanta Hazarika, often known as Rana-da, was the younger brother of the Late Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. He began his musical career as an accompaniment to his brother and eventually established himself as a vocalist and songwriter in his own right.
Who Gave Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s Title?
In 1968, then-Assam Sahitya Sabha president Late Ananda Chandra Baruah awarded the title “Hudhakantha” on Assamese great singer, poet, music composer, filmmaker, and prominent litterateur Bhupen Hazarika at a ceremony held at Majuli’s Banshi Gopal Natya Mandir.
What is Bhupen Hazarika’s Nickname?
Bhupen Hazarika was born on September 8, 1926, in the Assam district of Tinsukia. He was also known as the ‘Bard of Brahmaputra’ because of his timeless tunes.