By Hindustan Times
Multi-faceted genius and The Golden Voice of Assam Dr Bhupen Hazarika, turns 85. Bhupenda, as he is lovingly called by millions, is recognised by many as one of the greatest cultural figures that Assam has produced, next only to Sri Sri Sankaradeva, the Vaishnavite preacher of the 15th century,
and Rupkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla, the early 20th-century singer-composer.
Ranked amongst the leading filmmakers of the nation, Bhupenda is probably the only living pioneer who is solely responsible for placing the fledging Assamese cinema on the all India and on the world cinema map. He is a good poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and filmmaker of the very highest repute.
He is immensely popular, touching on reverence, in the states of Assam, West Bengal as well as in neighbouring Bangladesh. In addition to his native Assamese, Hazarika has sung in many other Indic languages, including Bengali and Hindi.
As a singer, he is known for his deep baritone voice and crisp diction; as a lyricist, he is known for poetic compositions and parables that touch on a wide range of themes ranging from the erotic to social and political commentary; and as a composer for his use of folk music with a touch of the contemporary. He also participated, first as a child artist, and later as a director, in the nascent Assamese film industry. He is immensely popular in the states of Assam, West Bengal as well as in neighbouring Bangladesh. In addition to his native Assamese, Hazarika has sung in many other Indic languages, including Bengali and Hindi, many of these the translations of originally Assamese-composed songs.