Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bestow the coveted Bharat Ratna on the state’s cultural icon, late Bhupen Hazarika.

Gogoi sent a letter to Modi and said he would personally take up the matter with the prime minister.

“I have written to the prime minister today (Monday) asking him to consider the music maestro for Bharat Ratna. I will also personally take up the matter with the prime minister,” said a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office here.

Hazarika – popularly known as the “Bard of Brahmaputra” was a lyricist, musician, singer, poet and filmmaker. His songs, written and sung mainly in the Assamese language by himself, speak of humanity and universal brotherhood. They have been translated and sung in many languages, including Bengali and Hindi.

The Bangladesh government awarded Hazarika the “Muktijoddha Padak” (friend of the freedom struggle) posthumously in 2011.

Chief Minister Gogoi had moved then prime minister Manmohan Singh over the matter in 2011. Hazarika died in November 2011.

He was conferred India’s second highest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan, in 2012.

Hazarika had received the Padma Shri in 1977 and the Padma Bhushan in 2001.

In 1987, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award and the Dadasaheb Phalke award for lifetime contribution to development of Indian cinema in 1993.

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