Google celebrates the 96th birthday of Dr Bhupen Hazarika — an Assamese-Indian singer, composer and filmmaker — with a dedicated doodle. The doodle, featuring Hazarika playing the harmonium, was illustrated by Mumbai-based artist Rutuja Mali. 

Born in 1926 in Northeastern India, Hazarika developed musical talents. “His home state, Assam, is a region that has always been home to different tribes and several indigenous groups. As a child, Hazarika grew up surrounded by songs and folk tales about life along the mighty Brahmaputra river,” Google said in its statement. 

 Bhupen Hazarika (File photo)

Bhupen Hazarika (File photo)

Attracted by Hazarika’s musical talent, renowned Assamese lyricist, Jyotiprasad Agarwala and filmmaker, Bishnu Prasad Rabha helped him record his first song. “By age 12, Hazarika was writing and recording songs for two films: Indramalati: Kaxote Kolosi Loi and Biswo Bijoyi Naujawan,” Google said.

He completed his master’s in political science from Banaras Hindu University in 1946 and earned a PhD in mass communications from Columbia University in 1952. According to reports, he also served as an MLA in the Assam assembly during 1967-72.

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Hazarika then returned to India and continued to work on songs and films. Over the course of a six-decade career, Hazarika won several prestigious awards, including ​​Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, for his outstanding contribution to music and culture. “He was honoured posthumously with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 2019,” Google added.

Hazarika served as chairman and director of numerous boards and associations, including the Indian government’s National Film Development Corporation.  He died on November 5, 2011.

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