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The singer with a message of humanity

Dr Bhupen Hazarika not only introduced the sweetness of Assamese folk music to the world, but also raised his voice against inequalities and injustices meted out to the weak through his songs. Apart from rejuvenating our spirits, his songs also inspire us to face adversities boldly and therein lies the relevance of Dr Hazarika in our daily life. To prove his dedication towards Assam, he did not shun the world and still established his international credentials, without losing his Asomiya roots. Both Assam and the world were embedded within him.

The music doyen might have passed away; but, through his deeds, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika will continue to stand tall as a true human being who felt proud of his roots, yet embraced the whole world. If we try to emulate him, humanity will survive and the world will indeed become a better place to live in.



Reference to front page news “Music doyen Bhupen Hazarika passes away” (November 6, 2011), Bhupen Hazarika was known for his baritone voice and clear diction, who was a prominent figure in the Assamese film industry. Apart from Assamese, he sang in Bengali and Hindi. He was also know for poetic compositions and parables which touched on themes ranging from the erotic to social and political commentary; and as a composer for his use of folk music.  His music carried the smell of the earth and the hum of the deep rivers, he sang so passionately about. He was not just a singer but a social reformer who brought the North-East closer to the rest of India.  Because of his multifarious qualities, the words of master painter MF Husain, speak volumes about him, while asking him to provide the music for his film Gajagamini, he said,“You paint through your songs. But I can’t sing with my paintbrush.  It is up to you to fill this lacuna in my artistry.  That’s I have taken you”.


Statues of icons

I have very often been deeply agonized and anguished over uncared for, poster pasted, and unwashed statues of national icons on the traffic junctions and public parks.

If the administration’s policy is to encourage installation of statues of national icons/heroes at the traffic junctions, rotaries and parks in the city, it is its bounden duty to ensure that these statues are shown proper respect and are not permitted to become the victims of poster pasters or similar acts of vandalism (like hanging buntings, banners or planting flags) as is the case now.

I am sorry to say that there is not even a single rotary or a pedestal of a statue of a national icon in the city of Bhopal that has escaped the excesses of the poster pasters. With posters pasted all over, the pedestals look so defaced and disfigured that one feels like crying one’s heart out.

Some of the posters pasted on the rotaries and pedestals of statues on the city’s two Link roads are occasionally removed by men of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation but in the rest of the city, more often than not, no one cares to clean the statues or the pedestals or the rotaries. In most cases the poster pasters are much faster in painting and plastering posters than the safai staff of the BMC.

The only way this menace can be prevented is by taking strict action against the vandals. I am sure there is such a law. The problem is that there is no will to use it .A nation which does not show respect to its national icons is doomed to suffer extreme lawlessness.

RJ Khurana, Bhopal

Petrol price hike

The latest hike in petrol prices is totally unjustified. How can Pranab Mukherjee say that the government has nothing to do with the increase in petrol prices, which have been deregulated by the government and that the oil companies are free to increase the price of petrol?

Are these petrol companies not controlled by the government? Secondly, is there a justification to tax petrol so heavily which could affect the overall inflation and badly hit the large segment of population? When the actual cost of petrol is about Rs. 23 or 24, why must the central and state government, both tax it ? The losses of petrol companies, incurred due to their operational inefficiencies must be borne by themselves.

The way Congress party and UPA government are showing rigid and adamant attitude in not rolling back the prices, ends up burning a hole in common man’s pocket. UPA government is bragging about the growth of economy to the world for the income generated by taxing the petrol conveniently, forgetting that it fuels inflation. The actual growth of economy takes place when the national income is increased by productive economic activities and not by enhancing taxes ,excise duties or Vat.



Dangerously rising prices, especially those of petrol are hitting the common man hard. The problem is not insurmountable, the government should be able to control the situation as explained in the editorial “Bleeding the motorist white: Need for a re-look at petroleum prices” (November 7). Sufficient quantities of kerosene and other petroleum products can be managed and competitively distributed to check the rising costs.

Huge quantity of kerosene is used by private companies to generate power where electricity is not supplied. This unauthorized consumption can be curtailed.

S.C. VAID, Greater Noida

Why such difference?

It was a proud feeling to know that the 1st Women’s Kabbadi World Cup was being initiated by India. But a little disturbing factor is regarding the prize money for men’s winning team and the women’s winning team, which shows a difference of Rs 1 crore and Rs 75 lakh.

Though the men’s world cup is being held for the second time, even for the first time the amount for the winning team was Rs 1crore.

On the one hand, the government is emphasising gender budgeting and on the other representatives of the Kabbadi Federation ignored all this and made a mockery by announcing just Rs 25 lakh for the women’s winning team in comparison with Rs 2 crore to men’s winning team.




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