History of 8th September -Bhupen Hazarika

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Explore the history of 8th September with key events like the ascension of Ghazi Malik Gayasudin Tughlaq as the Sultan of Delhi in 1320 and the unveiling of Michael Angelo’s ‘David’ sculpture in 1504. Learn about the other events from the history of the day and finally, pay tribute to Bhupen Hazarika, the musical messenger of hope, and delve into his remarkable life and contributions on the occasion of his birth anniversary.

History of 8th September takes us to the year 1320 when on this day Ghazi Malik Gayasudin Tughlaq became the Sultan of Delhi.

Moving on with the history of 8th September we come to the year 1504 when on this day ‘David’, a marble sculpture by Michael Angelo, in which King David of the Bible was depicted in a naked state, Italy, Inflorescence was unveiled.

More from the history of 8th September:-

Year 1553 – The city of Lichfield in Britain was founded.

Year 1563 – Maximilian was elected King of Hungary.

Year 1727 – During a puppet show in the village of Barwell in Cambridgeshire, England, a fire killed 78 people including several children.

Year 1941 – The Second World War-German forces separated the final land connection for Leningrad from a siege of 28 months, resulting in 1 million deaths from the starvation of the citizens of the city, making it one of the deadliest battles in world history.

Year 1946 – Bulgaria ended the monarchy.

Year 1951 – Japan signed a peace deal with 48 countries.

Year 1954 – Eight countries signed an agreement to form the South-East Asian version of the South-East Asiatry Organization, NATO.

The year 1966 – The American Science Fiction show Star Trek had a premiere on the NBC television network, with a media franchise launched, which has given birth to a creed phenomenon and affected the design of many current techniques.

Year 1966 – Queen Elizabeth II opened the Sever Bridge, as an Urban of a new economic era in South Wales.

Year 1966 – UNESCO celebrated World Literacy Day for the first time by the United Nations Department of Education and Culture.

Year 1991 – The Republic of Macedonia became independent.

With this, we come to the feature story from the history of 8th September where we pay our tribute to Bhupen Hazarika on the occasion of his birth anniversary.

Bhupen Hazarika: The Melodious Messenger of Hope

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” Charles Dickens’ famous words from “A Tale of Two Cities” aptly capture the essence of Calcutta in the tumultuous 1960s and ’70s. This era was marked by the fervent Naxalite Movement that had gripped the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life. Amid the chaos and uncertainty, there was still a glimmer of hope for a better future, and one man’s music helped kindle that hope – Bhupen Hazarika.

Bhupen Hazarika’s journey into the world of music began long before he became a household name. Born on September 8, 1926, in Sadya, Assam, he was the eldest of ten siblings. His early musical lessons came from his mother, Shantipriya Hazarika, who introduced him to various folk tunes, igniting a passion for music that would define his life.

As he grew up, Bhupen bore witness to a society in turmoil. The joys and sorrows, struggles and hopes, and the resistance of the common people against the oppressive British Raj deeply affected him. At the tender age of 13, he composed his first song, “Agnijugor Firingoti Moi,” which symbolized his commitment to building a new Assam.

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Bhupen pursued his education at Banaras Hindu University and later received a scholarship to study at Columbia University in the United States. It was during his time in the U.S. that he came into contact with the legendary Paul Robeson, whose influence left an indelible mark on Hazarika’s thinking. In 1953, Bhupen returned to India, where he established a close association with the leftist Indian People’s Theater Association (IPTA).

Over the years, he composed numerous songs that celebrated the essence of Assam, such as “Bistirno Paarore,” a heartfelt tribute to the majestic Brahmaputra River, and “ati kuri duti path,” a reflection on the emotions of tea garden laborers. Initially, his compositions faced resistance from the Assamese audience, perhaps because they were ahead of their time.

Bhupen Hazarika eventually made Calcutta his home, a city already steeped in revolutionary music. Here, he collaborated with Hemango Biswas, a renowned musician whose influence can be seen in many of his songs. Their partnership is a shining example of how music brought solace to Assam during the language riots of 1960. Together, with a 30-member caravan, they traveled across Assam, using their music to promote peace and unity.

Hazarika’s contributions to the Assam Sahitya Sabha, an influential literary and cultural organization, were significant. One lesser-known incident worth sharing is his efforts to translate a Bengali book, “Rokhto Snatho Saraighat” by Mahesh Chandra Deb (pen name Brahmaputra), about the legendary Lachit Barphukan, into Assamese. This project stalled due to bureaucracy and corruption, was finally set in motion when Bhupen Hazarika assumed the presidency of the Sabha. Unfortunately, he had to resign before the translation could be completed, and the book remained untranslated.

In addition to his musical talents, this Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna awardee was a skillful filmmaker. His movie “Shakuntala” earned recognition as the Best Feature Film in Assamese in 1961. Hazarika directed a total of 14 films during his lifetime, earning acclaim both in India and internationally.

The genesis of Bhupen Hazarika’s film career can be traced back to a memorable evening at Polo Ground, Tejpur. While he played in the courtyard of his home, two strangers approached and asked, “Is your father home?” Little did young Bhupen know that this encounter would change his life forever. Those two men, Bishnu Prasad Rabha and Jyoti Prasad Agarwal were the legends who would help shape the legendary Bhupen Hazarika. Their purpose was clear – to record his first song, “kalashi loi jai o rosoki bai,” for the movie “Joymoti.”

Bhupen Hazarika’s legacy lives on, his music and films continuing to inspire generations. As we remember this musical maestro on his birth anniversary, September 8th, we celebrate his unwavering commitment to his roots and his indomitable spirit that spread hope and unity in a time of uncertainty and turmoil.

That’s all from the history of 8th September.

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