Nation weeps as maestro is consigned to flames

From Our Correspondent

 Guwahati: The great song of life, people and world brotherhood has finally come to an end with its legendary roving singer Dr Bhupen Hazarika being laid to eternal rest on the soil of Assam on the bank of Brahmaputra, the eternal river with which the singer had a ‘love-hate’ relation throughout his illustrious journey that took culture and music of the region to the global stage.

The mortal remains of the cultural icon who mastered the art of heart-to-heart communication with masses through his music and literature, were consigned to flames by his son Tez Hazarika at 10:26 am on Wednesday amid gun salutes by Assam police personnel and in presence of a sea of humanity and a host of dignitaries.

Tez Hazarik had flown down from New York on Tuesday to be at the service of his illustrious father whose death has left a big void in the life of people of the state.

As the ‘Bard of Brahmaputra’ was cremated at a sprawling plot inside Gauhati University campus close to Brahmaputra river curtains came down on the two-day-long pilgrimage by lakhs of his fans, friends and family members who thronged Judges’ Field in Guwahati to pay their last respect to the revered artiste, a global luminary who promoted national integration and the spirit of global brotherhood throughout his career.

As the funeral fire raged amid chanting of hymns by priests, Dr Hazarika’s partner for the last four decades, Kalpana Lajmi, was seen sobbing uncontrollably in public while many family members and close friends were weeping like children bringing tears to eyes of a section of the gathering.

Lakhs of fans lined up along both sides of the road when the cortege was taken on a flower bedecked vehicle to the newly-constructed cremation ground in Gauhati University campus along NH 37 that connects the city to the airport.

Gauhati university authorities donated a 30-year-old sandal tree whose woods were used to make the funeral pyre for Dr Hazarika, who had composed, tuned and sang the University anthem – Jilikabo Luitore Par….

A host of dignitaries from all over the country including senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, Governor of Assam JB Patnaik, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. However, no senior leader from the All India Congress Committee (AICC) was present at the cremation except Union Minister for DoNER and an MP from Assam, Paban Singh Ghatowar, who represented the Prime Minister.

Sushma Swaraj has promised to raise the people’s demand for according Bharat Ratna (posthumously) to Dr Hazarika in the Parliament while Assam government pledged to set up a cultural study centre in the name of Dr Hazarika at Gauhati University.

The government Forensics department has preserved the foot prints of Dr Hazarika who will now live in the hearts of his millions of fans all over the country through his eternal songs.

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