Dr Bhupen Hazarika, the ‘bard of Brahmaputra‘ whose songs had inspired millions of people across the globe, sand immortal lyrics not only in his native Assamese language but also in Bengali, Hindi, Odissi, English and several other languages.
He composed around 1000 lyrics. In most of his immortal songs like Dil hoom hoom kare’ and O Ganga behti ho, Moi eti jajabor etc echoes his love for humanity, concern for native land, its people, patriotism, humanism, social reform and universal thinking.
1. The immense popularity of his songs is due to the elements of the native folk heritage of Assam and North East. Most of the songs reflected the folklore of Assam and North-East particularly.
People found a reflection of their life in these songs and they were amused and enthused by these songs. This was perhaps one of the main reasons for his songs getting immense popularity once it was released.
2. Humanism is also very much inherent in his most of the songs. He wrote for the common man and masses. All the songs had a human angle. Love, romance, compassion, passion sympathy have been reflected in different proportions in his songs.
As a result, his songs got a universal appeal. His love for humanism can be seen in the song – “Manuhe manuhar babe Jadihe akono nevaabe Akani sahaanubhutire Bhaabib koneno kowãã, Samaniiyaa”
3. Hazarika’s songs also tried to reflect the ills of the society. Some of his best songs fully reflected his social consciousness and he stood as a sentinel of society when people were in a deep slumber.
In fact, he must be termed as a social reformer. He never bothered to paints those ills of the society in his lyrics. In fact, he warned everyone how the society is heading towards a void where values are dwindling due to the selfishness of human society.
This concern is seen in his song “Bistiirna paarare asangkhya janare hããhaakaar sunio nihsabde niirawe burhaa luit tumi burhaa luit bowãã kiya ? ”, Hazarika speaks about the political, cultural, economic and social reform of his native Assamese society.
4. Dr Bhupen Hazarika wrote songs for human brotherhood and unity. It transcends barrier of race, creed ,religion and language. He tried to bring everyone under one umbrella of music which have no barrier and limitations of time and space. This was the universality of his songs.
5. Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s lyrics are colourful and full of sensuous. He highly glorified nature and one notices that forces and objects of nature act as vehicles of his new ideas. He was prompted by the zeal of reform and frequently sounds a prophetic attitude.
6. Patriotism is one of the main subject matters of Bhupen Hazarika’s lyrics. His love for native state and the nation is evident in some of the songs like – “Agnizugar Firingati Mai ” (Of the fiery age, I’m a spark); “Asam aamaar rupahii gunaro naai sesh” (Our Assam is lovely so, her gifts, too, make her glow) ;“Kata Jowanar mrityu hᴐl”(So many soldiers met their ends) ;“Ranaklaanta nahaõ”(I won’t be battle-weary) ;“Buku ham ham kare” (My heart is hammering) etc.
7. Hazarika was fully concerned about the poor and downtrodden class of the society. Liberating the downtrodden working class from exploitation are echoed in the lyrics like “Dhaak dhaak dhaak dhaak” ; “Raaij aaji bhaawariaa” ; “Aah aah olaai aah sajaag janataa” etc.
8. Concern for native land and its people is mirrored in a number of lyrics of Bhupen Hazarika. One can feel his heartfelt concern for his native land its people. For instance, in one of his great creations he songs — “Aami Asamiiyaa nahaõ dukhiiyaa Buli Saantwanaa Labhile nᴐhᴐb”
9. His lyric retaliates against the complacent and conservative attitude of Assamese people -that they are self-sufficient, that they do not have any wants.
He warns the people against such illusions and how such attitude will prove to be a major deterrent in the path of progress in the lyric like- “Aami Asamiiyaa nahaõ dukhiiyaa Buli saantwanaa labhile nᴐhᴐb”
The Article is written by Aparajita Choudhury Kalita, a Guwahati based writer and social activist.