Bhupen Hazarika: The Voice of Assam’s Culture

Bhupen Hazarika was an Indian singer, musician, poet, and filmmaker. He was one of the most celebrated and influential figures in the history of Assam’s culture. He was born in 1926 in Sadiya, Assam, and passed away in 2011. His legacy still lives on in the hearts of millions of people who were touched by his music and his passion for art.

Early Life and Career

Bhupen Hazarika was born to a family of artists. His father, Nilakanta Hazarika, was a renowned poet, and his mother, Shantipriya Hazarika, was a teacher. Bhupen grew up in a nurturing environment that encouraged him to explore his creativity. He started writing poems and songs at a young age and was inspired by the music of his region.

In 1949, Bhupen Hazarika left Assam to pursue higher studies in the United States. He studied at Columbia University in New York and later at the University of Chicago. While in the United States, he became involved in the civil rights movement and was influenced by the music of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.

Music Career

Bhupen Hazarika returned to India in the 1950s and started his music career in Mumbai. He composed music for Hindi and Bengali films and soon gained popularity. However, he never forgot his roots, and his music was always deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of Assam.

In the 1960s, Bhupen Hazarika started to focus on his solo career and released several albums. His music was a mix of folk, classical, and modern elements and had a distinctive sound that was both traditional and contemporary.

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Bhupen Hazarika was not just a singer but also a songwriter and composer. He wrote about love, nature, and social issues. His songs were often used in films and television shows and became popular among people of all ages.


Bhupen Hazarika was not just a musician but also a cultural icon. He used his music to promote Assamese culture and language and to raise awareness about social issues. He was a human rights activist and fought for the rights of marginalized communities.

Bhupen Hazarika was honored with several awards for his contributions to music and culture. He received the Padma Shri in 1977, the Padma Bhushan in 2001, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2012, posthumously.


Bhupen Hazarika was a visionary artist who used his music to promote his culture and to bring about social change. His music has inspired generations of people, and his legacy continues to live on. He was not just a singer but also a poet, composer, and filmmaker. His contributions to the world of art and culture will always be remembered and cherished.

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