Singer Nahid Afrin performing at the Nehru Centre in London

The Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters (FASS), a socio-cultural organisation based at London, in association with the Nehru Centre of High Commission of India at London, organised a commemorative event recently to celebrate the 90th Birth Anniversary of Dr Bhupen Hazarika. As a part of the celebration, a photographic exhibition on life and works of Dr Bhupen Hazarika was put up at the Nehru Centre followed by a commemorative meeting and a cultural programme.

Deputy High Commissioner of India Dinesh Patnaik and High Commissioner of Bangladesh Khondekar M Talha graced the event as the distinguished guests. In his speech, the High Commissioner of Bangladesh recounted the contribution of Dr Bhupen Hazarika during the freedom struggle of Bangladesh. “He was an immense inspiration through his songs, particularly during our war for independence. We are grateful to him; we gave him the Friends of Liberation Award. We think him as one of our own….Hazarika is a household name in Bangladesh. His words carried the message of social justice, social reform. He had a unique way of inspiring the masses. His simple lyrics touched the common men,” Talha said.

Deputy High Commissioner of India Dinesh Patnaik also recalled the contribution of Dr Bhupen Hazarika to social justice, human values and a new genre of music popularly known as “Bhupendra Sangeet” and paid his profound homage to the immortal soul.

Earlier, former Assam minister Pradyut Bordoloi, through an illustrated presentation highlighted the life and works of Dr Hazarika as a singer, composer, lyricist, cine producer, writer, editor, motivator, politician and as the unifying force of the divergent ethnic groups of the Northeast India.

Artists from Assam – Nahid Afrin of Indian Idol Junior fame and Ramen Choudhury, piano-accordion player and former music composer at AIR – enthralled the gathering with their soulful presentation of Bhupen Hazarika’s songs. A number of artists from London also took part in the cultural programme.

Regional director at Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Guwahati region, SP Kakoti Bora also spoke on the different aspects on the life and works of Dr Bhupen Hazarika. IFS officer and director at the Nehru  Centre Srinivas Gotru delivered his welcome speech and appreciated the efforts of FASS. Gotru called on the UK Coordinator of FASS Rini Kakati for organising the commemorative event.

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