Music composer Pritam plans to appeal to the Indian government to award late singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika a Bharat Ratna.
“I demand the government honour him with the highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna,” says Pritam, adding, “It is really a shame that Bhupenda has not yet received it. How can the government ignore such a legend? He kept the true Assamese music alive, and was not only a musical gem, but also a great poet, writer, film maker, and social worker.”
The award-winning maestro, who passed away on November 5, has contributed to the Indian film industry for 72 years and also directed Assamese films like Era Bator Sur (1956), Mahut Bandhu Re (1958), Mon-Prajapati (1979) and Swikarokti(1986).
Hazarika, who’s sung compositions in multiple languages including Bengali, Hindi, Oriya and Assamese, is remembered for his signature compositions for films like Debdas (1979), Rudaali (1993) and Gaja Gamini (2000).
“The entire music industry worships him. He has sung in more than 18 languages,” says Pritam, who is organising a meeting among prominent industry music composers from Bengal and Mumbai.
Recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President, though anyone can initiate the process by appealing to the Prime Minister’s office (PMO).