MANGALDAI, Sept 11 - The people of Mangaldai, where Sudhakantha Dr Bhupen Hazarika passed a couple of years during his adolescence, celebrated the maestro�s 90th birth anniversary with a two-day programme under the aegis of the newly-formed Dr Bhupen Hazarika Smriti Raksha Committee of Darrang with great enthusiasm.
On the concluding day of the celebration at the District Library auditorium here, Sudakhsina Sharma, the younger sister of the Bard of the Brahmaputra, who is a veteran singer, mesmerised the audience by presenting a couple of evergreen compositions of her elder brother. She was offered a warm felicitation by Gurujyoti Das, MLA of Mangaldai and the president of the organising committee in the presence of Ramen Deka, MP of Mangaldai Lok Sabha constituency, Ashok Barman, DC of Darrang, Binanda Kumar Saikia, MLA of Sipajhar and Pratap Bordoloi, chairman of Mangaldai Municipal Board, among others.
Rishiraj Sharma, a prominent singer and son of Sudakshina Sharma assisted his mother while rendering the soulful numbers. Later, guest artiste Deepjyoti Kalita enthralled the audience with his presentation of songs by Dr Bhupen Hazarika.
Prior to the cultural evening, community lighting of earthen lamps was organised and formally initiated by Dr Nagendra Nath Sharma, veteran academician and writer. Earlier, an All Assam Bhupendra Sangeet competition was held in two categories, where about 170 promising young singers from across the State participated.
The panel of judges comprised of Nanda Banerjee of Guwahati, Alakhya Chakraborty of Tezpur and Jibendra Mohan Debo Sharma of Mangaldai adjudged Drimli Kashyap and Anwesha Goswami as the best singers in the senior and junior category respectively. Labhlina Saharia and Mrinmoyee Mamata emerged as the second and third best singers in the senior category, while in the junior category Ankita Saikia and Anindita Saikia were the second and third best contestants.
In the district-level dance competition, Jayashri Bhuya and Priyanka Baisya were adjudged as the best two contestants in the senior category, while Rajdeep Deka and Jesika Deka emerged as the best two dancers in the junior category respectively. The All Assam Bhupendra Sangeet competition was inaugurated by distinguished lyricist and cultural organiser Prabhat Narayan Choudhury, whereas the dance contest was formally declared open by noted dance exponent Bhanu Deka Saharia.
In connection with the celebration, a full-sized bust of the bard was erected in the proposed park along the river Bega. With a view to mark the 90th birthday of the Sangeet Surya, a plantation drive with 90 saplings of valuable tree species was carried out in the Bhupen Hazarika Smriti Udyan.
The two-day celebrations also featured many other programmes, including Prabhat Pheri by the secretary of the organising committee Bishnu Ram Deka and smriti tarpan by working president of the organising committee Bashab Chandra Deka. District-level drawing contest, essay writing competition, hoisting of the flag and cultural evening on the opening day was participated in by guest artiste Dilip Barua and several others within the district.