Nagaon, Aug 8: The Assam government has acquired the land and house that once belonged to Bharat Ratna Bhupen Hazarika at Kuthori near the Kaziranga National Park to set up a cultural centre, an official said on Sunday.
Kaliabor Sub-divisional Officer P K Das had handed over the seven bighas of land to the cultural department last month. The Assam government proposes to set up a cultural project at the site in Nagaon district, which will include a museum, a cinema hall and a library to preserve Hazarika's creations, including his songs and literary works, he said.
The Dada Saheb Phalke awardee had bought the land under the Kaliabor sub-division in 1974 and built a house, naming it 'Apun Ghar' (home of one's own). He also had plans to set up a cultural centre there, family members said. Hazarika had created several evergreen songs and written many literary pieces at this house. Due to some unavoidable circumstances, however, he had to sell both the land and the house, but his fans and intellectuals had urged the state government to acquire those and set up a cultural centre in his memory.
The owner of the property, who did not wish to be identified, decided to give it to the state government for setting up the project as a tribute to Assam's cultural doyen, officials said. Local MLA and Health Minister Keshab Mahanta had already installed a statue of the legendary singer-musician-filmmaker in front of the house. Former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and his cabinet colleagues had taken a decision to buy back the property and set up a cultural centre.
The Sonowal government also acquired Hazarika's Kolkata residence at Golf Green area, which the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has decided to include in the list of heritage buildings. A Bhupen Hazarika Museum was already set up at the Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra in Guwahati during his lifetime, where various memorabilia like awards and honours received by him, musical instruments, books, furniture, photographs from his collection and other personal artefacts are on display.
Hazarika had died on November 5, 2011 at Mumbai and was cremated at Jalukbari in Guwahati.