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  India   All India  18 Aug 2019  ‘Search’ for Hazarika’s Bharat Ratna in Assam

‘Search’ for Hazarika’s Bharat Ratna in Assam

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 18, 2019, 7:24 am IST
Updated : Aug 18, 2019, 7:24 am IST

Indicating that Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had invited Mr Tej for a meeting on Wednesday, sources said that he rejected the invitation.

Bhupen Hazarika
 Bhupen Hazarika

Guwahati: A week after it was handed over, a controversy has erupted in Assam on the whereabouts of the Bharat Ratna, awarded posthumously to music maestro Bhupen Hazarika.

Hazarika’s son Mr Tej, who received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind on August 8, has returned to Canada on Thursday after spending four days in Assam. Mr Tej, who interacted with media only through his reaction on social media platforms, had expressed happiness in receiving the award but did not elaborate where it would be kept.

Indicating that Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had invited Mr Tej for a meeting on Wednesday, sources said that he rejected the invitation.

Referring to the wishes of the music maestro Hazarika, the state cultural affairs department said, “The Kalakshetra houses the souvenirs and belongings of Hazarika in a museum. On Thursday, it wrote to the cultural affairs department urging it to initiate steps so that the award can be preserved in its museum.”

“We have received the letter. We will start the process,” Mr Preetam Saikia, commissioner and secretary, cultural affairs department, said. It is significant that there has not been any communication between the department and Hazarika’s family members on the issue.

Meanwhile, a journalist of a local television channel has also filed an FIR in Dispur police station on Friday seeking an inquiry on the whereabouts of the award.

In his FIR, Lenin Sourav Borah said that the award is a national property of the Assamese people, which has not been submitted to Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra by Mr Tej.

Ms Manjula Hazarika, joint secretary of the Bhupen Hazarika cultural trust, told a local television channel that in 2007 Hazarika in a message wished a museum would be constructed at the Kalakshetra where all his souvenirs and other belongings would be preserved.    

Tags: bhupen hazarika, bharat ratna, sarbananda sonowal
Location: India, Assam, Guwahati (Gauhati)