Dr Bhupen Hazarika Is Bridge Uniting Northeast: Pema Khandu
BOLUNG (Arunachal): The age-old relationship between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam has been strengthened further on Saturday with the unveiling of a ten-foot-six-inch statue of Assam icon Dr Bhupen Hazarika, named ‘Statue of Brotherhood’ at picturesque Bolung Village in Lower Dibang Valley district. The statue was unveiled by Chief Minister Pema Khandu in the presence of Assam Power Minister Tapan Gogoi.
Bolung is the birth place of the legendary Assam singer, composer and writer.
Unveiling the statue, Khandu acknowledged the contributions of Dr Hazarika, and said that he was instrumental in popularizing Arunachal Pradesh to the rest of the world through his songs composed on each of the tribal communities of the State.
“Hazarika served as a bridge in uniting all the sister states of the Northeast and even patronized to take the unique culture of the region to the outside world. In 1962 Chinese aggression Dr Hazarika visited the war front at Kameng sector and wrote one of his best lifetime compositions to boost the morale of the soldiers,” Khandu said.
Terming Hazarika as a ‘bridge’ for cultural integration of all the northeastern states, the Chief Minister announced that to carry forward his works, the State Government would bring out a proposal to introduce Assamese as the third language in the schools of the State in the next Cabinet meeting.
“In the NEFA (North East Frontier Agency) days, most of the people of the State used to obtain education in Assamese medium due to lack of schools, and Hazarika made the language popular through his songs which are still being sung by many in the State. We’ll introduce Assamese as the third language so that the bond will strengthen further between the people of the two neighbouring states,” the Chief Minister quipped.
Khandu also urged the members of Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society (APLS) and Axam Xahitya Xabha (AXX) to organize interactive programmes and meetings frequently to sort out issues that often crop up in the inter-state boundary areas.
Speaking on the occasion State Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, an ardent admirer of Hazarika’s songs, said that the Bhupen Hazarika Setu (Bridge) at Dhola in Assam’s Tinsukia district is not a link to connect people of both the states but a major link for cultural exchanges between the two states.
“Hazarika can be considered as an encyclopaedia of the Northeast as through his songs people can understand the rich cultural legacy of each state of the region,” Mein said, and hoped that the age-old relationship between both the states would enhance further and pave way to end disputes, if any.
The bronze casted statue, a distinguished creation of renowned sculptor of the Northeast India Biren Singha, is the brainchild of APLS who, submitted a proposal to the State Government in 2014 to erect a statue of the legendary singer, considering his immense contributions to the state.
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