Dr. Bhupen Hazarika poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and film-maker.He was born in 1926, in Sadiya, Assam. An extremely academically prolific person, he did his Inter (Arts) in Guwahati in 1942, and went on to Banaras Hindu University to complete his B. A. in 1944 and his M. A. in Political Science in 1946.Soon after, he left for New York, USA where he lived for five years and received his doctorate (PhD) in Mass Communication from Columbia University. He also received the Lisle Fellowship from Chicago University, USA to study the use of educational project development through cinema.
Bhupen began his career in films with 'Indramalati'as a child artist in the second talkie film which was made in the pioneering years of 1939.
He has produced, directed, composed music and sang for Assamese language films like Era Batar Sur in 1956, Shakuntala in 1960, Pratidhwani in 1964, Lotighoti in 1967, Chick Mick Bijuli in 1971, Mon Projapati in 1978, Swikarokti in 1986, Siraj in 1988.
He also directed, composed music and sang for Mahut Bandhure in 1958. He produced, directed, and composed music for Arunachal Pradesh's first Hindi feature film in colour 'Mera Dharam Meri Maa' in 1977. He directed a colour documentary for the Arunachal Pradesh Government on Tribal folk songs and dances entitled 'For Whom The Sun Shines' in 1974.
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika has been the Chairman, Eastern Region on the Appellate Body of the Central Board of Film Censors, Government of India for 9 years consecutively till 1990. He is on the Script Committee of the National Film Development Corporation, Eastern India.
He is also the director on the national level on the Board of Directors of National Film Development Corporation, Government of India.
Bhupen was the Executive Council Member of the Children Film Society (N.CYP) headed by Mrs.Jaya Bachchan. He is the member of the Board of Trustees for the Poor Artists Welfare Fund, Government of India. He was the Chairman of the Jury of the National Film Awards in 1985 and was a jury member several times from 1958 to 1990. He is at present also on the Governing Council for policy making decisions for the Film and Television Institute, Government of India , Pune.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India bestowed the honour of Producer Emeritus on him.
For Bhupen Hazarika music has always been his first love. He met Paul Robson with whom he became closely associated between 1949 and 1955 in USA. It was during this period when he was awarded a Gold Medallion in New York as the best interpreter of India's folk songs by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Bhupen Hazarika sings in numerous languages but writes his lyrics and poems in his home language, Assamese. He has rightly been hailed as India's Cultural Ambassador abroad for placing the folk music of Eastern India on the map of world folk music.