Colossal singer and lyricist Dr Bhupen Hazarika has been decorated with a Lifetime Achievement Award and the status of a Cabinet minister by Assam government.
The Pramathesh Baruah Lifetime Achievement Award instituted by the Cultural Affairs Department of Assam government was presented to the cultural icon of North East India by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in a solemn function organized in Guwahati on Friday night for his all-round contribution towards culture and nation building.
The chief minister also announced the state government had decided to accord Cabinet rank to Dr Hazarika, a Dadasaheb Phalke award recipient, in recognition to his contribution to the social and cultural life in Assam and the national as a whole.
"The legendary artiste's contribution in the field of culture deserves no mention. We in Assam feel fortunate to have such a legendary personality amid ourselves." Gogoi said while facilitating the octogenarian artiste.
Accepting the award, Hazarika said, "I have been a cultural worker all my life, striving to promote the rich heritage of Assam throughout the world. I might have won many awards but the love and affection showered by people of Assam always have most humbling effect on me."
In the programme, Hazarika handed over various memorabilia, awards, trophies, film prints, certificates, audiocassettes and CDs to the chief minister for preservation and display at the proposed Bhupen Hazarika Memorial Museum to be set up in Guwahati.
Dr Hazarika called upon the youth of Assam to work hard to preserve the age-old bond of friendship among different ethnic groups in the state and excel in the field of culture that holds the key to integration.
Noted personalities from different walks of life including those from the field of music and culture were present in the function held at Rabindra Bhawan here to felicitate Dr Hazarika who has been spending his time at his residence here for the last few months.