THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TRIBUTE Bard Of Brahmaputra Hazarika’s genius manifested itself in its empathy and a vision for a better future UTPAL BORPUJARI ON BHUPEN HAZARIKA


Bhupen Hazarika (1926-2011)
TRIBUTE
Bard Of Brahmaputra
Hazarika's genius manifested itself in its empathy and a vision for a better future

It is said that in Assam, there is every likelihood that among the first sounds a newborn hears would be a Bhupen Hazarika song. I first met the legend when I was around ten, but much before that I knew him as a near god-like figure. His unique, deep baritone voice and his easy-on-the-ear compositions, which quite often culled out finer nuances of classical ragas and the huge variety of folk music of the Northeast, were already deeply ingrained in my subconscious. It was much later that his songs—the meaning of his words and the mood they evoked—acquired deeper meaning and significance for me.

In the late '70s, we knew him from his photographs in newspapers and magazines, each with the trademark Nepali cap on his head—reportedly a present from the king of Nepal. And of course, from his voice that almost every single day wafted in from the local All India Radio station. So, there was no scope for confusion when I saw him the first time, sitting in the living room of our neighbour Nirode Chaudhury, one of the greatest Assamese writers whose short story had a couple of years before been turned into the classic Assamese film Chameli Memsab (which, incidentally, also got Hazarika the best music director's honour at the National Film Awards in 1975).

When Chaudhury, whom I used to fondly call 'mama', introduced me to Hazarika, he turned and started talking to me and it went on for quite some time. Later, I realised that he was not just being gracious to a kid. That was just the way he was. He would have time for every person who would approach him. And this trait never changed even when his health began deteriorating after a stroke he suffered during the Rongali Bihu (Assamese new year) celebrations in Guwahati in 2006. His natural instinct for making everyone feel at home, combined with his innate capacity to document society through his creative work, made him connect instantly, both with intellectuals as well as the illiterate.

Hazarika's genius was not only in being a composer-lyricist-singer-filmmaker but also a journalist-author-painter-politician (having served one term in the Assam assembly as an independent legislator in the late 1960s and making a failed bid as a BJP candidate in the Lok Sabha elections much later).

With his left-leaning idealism (something that started changing after the Chinese aggression in 1962), which saw him become a close associate of the likes of Salil Chowdhury, Balraj Sahni and many others in the Indian People's Theatre Association, Hazarika used his art as a medium to reflect society's ills and the concerns of the downtrodden. It was almost with a missionary zeal that he wrote songs capturing almost every important social and political development of Northeast India, from the Second World War to the years of ULFA insurgency. Hazarika was encouraged to write as a child by cultural icon Jyotiprasad Agarwalla. He wrote his first song as a seven-year old, its deeply earnest lyrics yearning for the rebirth of the 15th century social reformer Saint Srimanta Sankardev to cure society of its ills.

A born humanist, Hazarika's iconic songs have been about the loss of innocence in mankind. Through songs like Bistirna Parore (later translated into Bengali and Hindi as Ganga Boicho Keno/Ganga Behti Ho Kyon), in which he remonstrated against his beloved Brahmaputra for flowing silently despite all the inhumanity along its banks, or Manuhe Manuhor Baabe, which spoke about the need for compassion. Hazarika espoused universal brotherhood all his life, much like his friend and inspiration, American civil rights activist and singer Paul Robeson.

Even in his films, one sees the same message. In Era Bator Sur (Song of the Deserted Path), he told the story of vanishing folk cultures, while in Chikmik Bijuli (The Lightning), he looked at the transformation of Guwahati from a small town to a big city.

In later years he was deeply concerned about the atmosphere of social unrest in Assam. He told me more than once that he wished people would understand and use the "power of the gaan" (songs) than the "power of the gun" to resolve problems. In fact, one of his unfulfilled dreams was to make a feature film on the urgency to forsake violence.


(The writer is a film critic from Assam, based in New Delhi)

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