Demystifying Dr. Bhupen Hazarika - a book by Tej Hazarika

"DEMYSTIFYING DR. BHUPEN HAZARIKA: Envisioning Education for India" - a book based on Dr Bhupen Hazarika's academic pursuals was released on September 8th, 2013 by Tej Hazarika, son of the legendary musician from Assam to mark his 87th birthday. The book includes a complete reproduction of Dr Hazarika's 1952 doctoral thesis from Columbia University titled: Proposal for Preparing India’s Basic Educators to use Audio-Visual Techniques in Adult Education.

DEMYSTIFYING DR. BHUPEN HAZARIKA: Envisioning Education for IndiaEdited by Tej Hazarika and published by Cool Grove Press in New York, the book also consists of articles by Dr. Dilip Kumar Datta (Bhupen Hazarika: his roots and education), Bhubon Lahkar (Contribution of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika to Assamese cinema) and Tej Hazarika (An ember from a fiery age) and a short biography of Dr. Hazarika.

"Countries do well that give priority to the education of its people. In the course of India’s economic expansion, she encounters the rise of fierce competition eroding wealth creation and jobs. With exclusivity and boom slipping away, India’s need for a broad educational reform becomes even more acute. Sixty years ago Dr. Bhupen Hazarika (1926-2011), a gifted Indian singer song-writer and film-maker envisioned and wrote his own recommendations to speed up education in India. This book is dedicated to all the teachers, collaborators and admirers of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika," said Tej Hazarika.

Dr. Hazarika completed his Intermediate studies in arts from Cotton College in 1942, before graduating in arts in 1944 and completing his post-graduation in political science from Banaras Hindu University in 1946. After wining a scholarship in 1949, he went to the US to study at the Colombia University in New York and earned his PhD in 1952 for his thesis.

Bhupen Hazarika had written in his thesis: "Since one of the fundamental purposes of education is to transmit culture, educators have a solemn duty to explore all the channels for transmitting it. As raising the intellectual level of the masses is one of the primary obligations of the democratic constitution, the time has come to utilize all the possible media of communicating significant ideas to India's teeming millions who are devoid of letters."

Tej Hazarika and Dr. Bhupen Hazarika
Excerpt from the introduction by Tej Hazarika -

"I believe a reading of the dissertation allows us to formulate a more informed appreciation of the choices and contributions he made in his creative and public life. For example, from his perspective as a film director, we see his ambition and passion to follow in the footsteps of experimental and revolutionary filmmakers. Readers who have followed his writing will enjoy this tour of Bhupen Hazarika’s ideology and world-view in his own words—at a promethean stage of his life—as we see him ‘stealing the fire’ of audio-visual education (from the gods) in order to free Indian masses from the blight of illiteracy and ignorance. In his thesis titled Proposal for Preparing India’s Basic Educators to use Audio-Visual Techniques in Adult Education, he was adding his voice and vision to the passionate, reasoned and penetrating recommendations that were already surfacing to push India to bring knowledge quickly to those most in need. The existing educational system, considered inadequate by leading thinkers of the new Indian democracy, was to be transformed to include everyone on the upward climb to a better quality of life. In that regard, Bhupen Hazarika’s choice of subject can be seen as an answer to that call in India to find a way to reduce widespread illiteracy. Significantly, Adult education was seen as part of the reform."

Table of contents of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika's thesis in his own words -

I.   INTRODUCTION
II.  VALUE OF AUDIO-VISUAL INSTRUCTION
III. BEGINNING OF AUDIO-VISUAL METHODS IN INDIA
IV. POTENTIAL ROLE OF AUDIO-VISUAL INSTRUCTION
V.  RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PREPARING BASIC TEACHERS

Information -

Publisher: Cool Grove Press
Country of release: USA
Number of pages: 230
Size: 6”x9”
Format: Trade Paperback
Net Price: US $14.95
Buy Links: US, India


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