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Singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika passes away in Mumbai

Bhupen Hazarika
Bhupen Hazarika

Noted singer and composer Bhupen Hazarika, a doyen of the film industry and regarded as one of the greatest ballad singers, passed away at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital here today of multi-organ failure.

He was 85.
 
Hazarika, who had undergone an open heart surgery about a year ago, had been admitted to the hospital in Andheri on June 29 after he complained of uneasiness and giddiness.
 
His health deteriorated on October 23 after he developed pneumonia and he was shifted the intensive care unit of the hospital.
 
He was put on ventilator support and was undergoing dialysis. Over the last few days, his kidneys were not functioning properly, sources said.
 
Hazarika had celebrated his 85th birthday in hospital on September 8.
 
He had sung in many Indian languages, including Bengali, Assamese and Hindi. He was the recipient of the Padma Bhushan and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
 
President K.R. Narayanan presenting the Padma Bhusan Award-2001 to singer Bhupen Hazarika at Rashtrapati Bhawan, in New Delhi on March 21, 2001.
President K.R. Narayanan presenting the Padma Bhusan Award-2001 to singer Bhupen Hazarika at Rashtrapati Bhawan, in New Delhi on March 21, 2001.
Hazarika was also an acknowledged poet, actor, journalist, author and film-maker and a pioneer of the film industry in Assam.
 
As a singer, he had a huge fan following, with his deep baritone voice and crisp diction. The lyrics he wrote touched on social and political themes. His compositions made use of folk music as well as contemporary elements.
 
Born on September 8, 1926, he graduated in arts from the Banaras Hindu University in 1944 and did his M.A. in Political Science in 1946. He then spent five years in the United States, where he earned a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the Columbia University. 
 
He also received the Lisle Fellowship from Chicago University to study the use of educational project development through cinema.
 
Over the years, he emerged as a leading film maker and helped to place Assamese cinema on the national and international cinema map. He was elected as an independent candidate to the Assam legislative assembly in 1967.
 
Hazarika's career in films began as a child actor in 1939 in Indramali, one of the early talkies in India and only the second Assamese film. He wrote and sang his first song at the age of 10.
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He produced, directed and composed music and sang for several Assamese films, including Era Batar Sur in 1956, Shakuntala. in 1960, Pratidhwani in 1964, Lotighoti. in 1967, Chick Mick Bijuli in 1971, Mon Projapati. in 1978, Swikarokti. in 1986, and.Siraj in 1988. 
 
He produced and composed music for the award-winning Hindi feature film Ek Pal. in 1986, directed by Kalpana Lajmi and starring Shabana Azmi, Nasiruddin Shah and Faroque Shaikh. 
 
He was also the executive producer and music composer for the much-acclaimed Hindi film Rudaali, featuring Dimple Kapadia, Raj Babbar, Amjad Khan and Rakhi.
 
He won the National Award for the best film maker thrice: for Shakuntala, Pratidhwani, and Loti Ghoti in 1960, 1964 and 1967, respectively. He also won the National Award for best music composer in 1977 for the Assamese film Chameli Memsaab..
 
Among various organisations, he was associated with the Central Board of Film Certification,  the National Film Development Corporation, the Children's Film Society of India and the Film and Television Institute of India.
 
NNN
 
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