‘Greatest honour, overwhelmed’, says Bhupen Hazarika’s family on Bharat Ratna

Prabin Hazarika, younger brother of Bharat Ratna awardee Bhupen Hazarika, said he and his family were “overwhelmed” with the honour bestowed on the late singer-musician, who passed away in November 2011.
Known as the ‘Bard of the Brahmaputra’ to reflect the many references to the river in his work, Bupen Hazarika is to be conferred India’s highest civilian honour, along with former president Pranab Mukherjee and the late social activist Nanaji Deshmukh.(HT FILE PHOTO)
Known as the ‘Bard of the Brahmaputra’ to reflect the many references to the river in his work, Bupen Hazarika is to be conferred India’s highest civilian honour, along with former president Pranab Mukherjee and the late social activist Nanaji Deshmukh.(HT FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 26, 2019 09:37 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, London | By

Prabin Hazarika, younger brother of Bharat Ratna awardee Bhupen Hazarika, said he and his family were “overwhelmed” with the honour bestowed on the late singer-musician, who passed away in November 2011.

Known as the ‘Bard of the Brahmaputra’ to reflect the many references to the river in his work, Hazarika is to be conferred India’s highest civilian honour, along with former president Pranab Mukherjee and the late social activist Nanaji Deshmukh.

Based in Leicester, Hazarika, a former educationist, said: “This is the greatest honour conferred on Bhupen-da by the people of India. We are overwhelmed. It shows the love and affection for him across the country and beyond”.

“The only feeling I have is that it would have been better if Bhupen-da had received this honour during his lifetime. But we could not have been happier that the government of India has decided to confer the honour of ‘Bharat Ratna’ on him,” he said.

Bhupen Hazarika last visited the United Kingdom in 2001. His portrait was installed in the Nehru Centre, the cultural wing of the Indian high commission, in 2012.

Another brother Samar Hazarika told ANI: “We’re grateful to central & Assam govt. They’ve given him the highest honour. Before his death also, there has been a constant demand for Bharat Ratna for him from Assam. GoI has fulfilled our demand so we’re really happy.”

Bhupen Hazarika’s only son, Tej Hazarika based in the US, said: “This was a good day for all the people of India. Awarding Bhupen Hazarika with the The Bharat Ratna, is a win for humanity, diversity and India as a secular democracy”.

“In his songs can be discovered blueprints for the youth and future of India. In his songs he celebrated the richness of indigenous people not only of the Northeast but all of India as he advocated their inclusion in the Indian experience as essential to the success of Indian civilization as a whole”.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prasun Sonwalkar was Editor (UK & Europe), Hindustan Times. During more than three decades, he held senior positions on the Desk, besides reporting from India’s north-east and other states, including a decade covering politics from New Delhi. He has been reporting from UK and Europe since 1999.

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