Guwahati, February 12, 2019
Legendary Assamese music maestro Bhupen Hazarika’s son Tez Hazarika took to social media platform on February 12th, 2019 and stated that his father’s name and words were being invoked and celebrated publicly while plans were afoot to pass the “painfully unpopular” Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 against the wish of the people of the Northeast.
In a Facebook post, Tez said that the Bill would, in reality, be in direct opposition to what “Bhupenda believed in his heart of hearts”. “Bharat Ratnas and longest bridges while necessary, will not promote the peace and prosperity of the citizens of India,” Tez wrote.
“Adopting any form of this Bill at this point in the manner in which it is being proffered, now or in the future, will ultimately have the sad and undesirable effect of not only disrupting the quality of life, language, identity and power balance of the region, but that of undermining my father’s position—by delivering a wreaking blow to the harmony, inner integrity and unity of the secular and democratic Republic of India,” he wrote.
Tez stressed that how the Centre moves on the stand-off over the Citizenship Bill “far outweighs in importance the awarding and receiving of such national recognition – a display of short-lived cheap thrills”.
The government had on January 25th, 2019 announced that Bhupen, also known as the ‘Bard of the Brahmaputra’, would be conferred India’s highest civilian honour posthumously, along with former President Pranab Mukherjee and the late social activist Nanaji Deshmukh.
In his Facebook post, Tez stated that his father endorsed the Bill. “He would never have endorsed what appears, quite transparently, to be an underhanded way of pushing a law against the will and benefit of the majority in a manner that also seems to be grossly un-constitutional, un-democratic and un-Indian,” he added.
“Numerous media journalists are now asking me whether or not I will accept the Bharat Ratna for my father. I go on record here to answer that A), I have not received any invitation so far there is nothing to reject, and B), how the centre moves on this matter far outweighs in importance the awarding and receiving of such national recognition—a display of short-lived cheap thrills.—Tej a.k.a. Tez Hazarika,” he summed up his post.