Remembering the late Indian singer, cultural icon and politician from Assam Dr Bhupen Hazarika on his 11th death anniversary, State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid said Hazarika's songs played an influential role during the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh.

"During our Liberation War, songs of Dr Bhupen Hazarika inspired our freedom fighters. He was not only a prolific cultural icon but also a politician and even served as MLA of Assam. He passionately created meaningful melodies that transcended the barriers," Khalid said.

To mark his death anniversary, a Bangladesh-India ceremony was held in the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA)'s National Theatre Hall auditorium Saturday, which Khalid joined as the chief guest.

Cultural Secretary of the Awami League and member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Cultural Affairs Asim Kumar Ukil, Cultural Affairs Secretary Md Abul Monsur and Chief Coordinator of Friends of Bangladesh ASM Shamsul Arefin were also present.

Bhupen Hazarika's sister-in-law and singer Manisha Hazarika and Byatikram MASDO President Soumen Bharatiya joined the event as the speakers.

"I often wondered why Bhupen Da wandered around here and there - from Assam to Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangladesh and so on. Later I realised, he brought Assam to the world through his remarkable and majestic literary creations," Manisha said.

Bhupen Hazarika used to travel to Bangladesh regularly and study the folk culture of the nation, crafting an everlasting cultural bond with the country. BSA DG Liaquat Ali Lucky was a close acquaintance of Hazarika and often performed his songs as a singer.

Lucky said: "While serving as the Dhaka University Central Student's Union's cultural affairs secretary, I travelled the nation singing Dr Bhupen Hazarika's songs. Also, Bhupen da complimented me and gave me the title "Bhupen of Bangladesh" after listening to my rendition of his songs."

The cultural segment of the event was joined by several revered artists from Bangladesh and Assam. Dhaka Cultural Group performed group songs, BSA dance group performed dance recitals with the songs "Aaj Jibon Khuje Pabi" and "Sajiye Dupati Mathar Khopati." Singers Yasmin Ali, Dilbahar Khan and Liaquat Ali Lucky performed songs of Hazarika at the event.

From Assam, singers Mayukh Hazarika, Mismi Bose, Mainu Devi, Geetanjali Kakati and Dwipasikha Bharali performed several popular tracks of the revered artist, including "Dil Hum Hum Kore," "Manush Manusher Jonno," "Ami Ek Jajabor" and more.

Regarded as the bard of the Brahmaputra, Bhupen Hazarika was born on September 8, 1926, in the Assamese town of Sadiya.

The Bharat Ratna recipient died on November 5, 2011, at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai at the age of 85.

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