Bhupen Hazarika Firingoti Award
Dr. Dilip Kumar Datta was awarded the first Inaugular Bhupen Hazarika Firingoti Award for Lifetime Achievement for his extensive compilation, archiving and publishing of the Assamese songs and works of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika.
On July 11th 2014 during a concert in Edison, New Jersey of Assamese Musician and singer Papon and East India Company and a dance performance by The Sattriya Dance Company, Tej Hazarika, his son, on behalf of BHF members and supporters, gave two special Inaugural Bhupen Hazarika Firingoti Awards, one went to Dr. Dilip Datta, and the second award went to Manoranjan Bordoloi for Entrepreneurship.
Why Bhupen Hazarika Firingoti Award?
PadmaVibhushan Dr Bhupen Hazarika, reknowned for his songs and ‘golden voice’, was also passionate about righting social and economic injustice while stressing the importance of education for all age groups.
There is no denying the genuine altruistic impulse running through all his work and that spirit is encapsulated in his song
Agni yugar firingoti moi (I am a spark (ember) from a fiery age),
notun Axom gorhim (I will build a new Axom)
That youthful exuberance was later tempered in the crucible of Ivy League academia when in his 1952 thesis, regarding the “…Free Flow of Ideas”, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika writes:
“One of the fundamental purposes of education is to transmit culture.” And that “ Raising the intellectual level of the masses is one of the primary obligations of the democratic constitution. ”
Many songs Bhupen Hazarika wrote in Assamese were vehicles for his socio-political message about people’s role in transforming society. Much of his earlier prolific output in Assamese and later in Bengali remains a deeply loved and revered treasure enjoyed only by people who speak those languages and in the music that transcends those limits but as yet remain to be discovered by the multitudes who now recognize his name and at least one out of his over 800 songs.
Bhupen Hazarika Foundation materialized to address the perceived need thereof, and fortuitously, linked to the historical enigma of the mass public emotional outpour in the form of a sea of humanity that surged to his funeral. The BHUPEN HAZARIKA FIRINGOTI AWARD was conceived as way to:
a) acknowledge the respect that his fans and followers have for him and
b) to provide incentive and a vehicle in Bhupen Hazarika’s name and his legacy— that of applying one’s talent and creative drive to catalyze a higher order of service and attainment—one that, although harder to achieve, can be attained only through the practice of equanimity —that is, doing it for the benefit of all of humanity.
But charity begins at home and it was true for Dr. Bhupen Hazarika that the ‘Seven Sister States of NE India and their neighbors were closest to his heart which is also the domain of the Bhupen Hazarika Firingoti Award.
The value of an award for excellence must be measured by the standards and criteria that judges and participants hold in esteem. All relevant information about the criteria and guidelines as to standards will become available on BhupenHazarikaFoundation.org.
On July 11th 2014 during a concert in Edison, New Jersey of Assamese Musician and singer Papon and East India Company and a dance performance by The Sattriya Dance Company, Tej Hazarika, his son, on behalf of BHF members and supporters, gave two special Inaugural Bhupen Hazarika Firingoti Awards to:
Dr. Dilip Kumar Datta who was awarded the Firingoti for Lifetime Achievement for extensive compilation, archiving and publishing of the Assamese songs and works of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika.
Mr. Manoranjan Bordoloi who was awarded the Firingoti for Entrepreneurship: Bridging Indian and the American communities by working with local cultural and social associations staging lives shows for diverse communities converging to experience artistic freedom and mastery of the arts.