New Delhi: Bhupen Hazarika`s son Tej is working on several projects to keep alive the legacy of his late father by writing essays and letters connected to him, preserving memorabilia related to the music legend and archiving his works and is even mulling penning a book.
Tej, who heads an independent publishing company in New York called Cool Grove Press, says his stay in Assam after his father`s death a year ago was a rich experience and would make a wonderful story.
"Running a small imprint is still a lot of work. I am writing essays, statements and letters that are connected to him, his legacy. There is a public role that has emerged that I want to bring some responsibility to. Let`s say I am learning Assamese in a mindful manner. Like everybody else, his legacy is an indelible part of my makeup no matter what I do.
"For a book, my path in Assam is a rich experience. I think that the opportunity is my father`s blessing to me. It would make a wonderful story," Tej told PTI in an interview.
He and his octogenarian mother, Priyamvada Patel Hazarika, who`s based in Ottawa in Canada, have come to Assam for Hazarika`s first death anniversary tomorrow.
He says in addition to having his father`s works translated into English and other major languages, he fully supports private practices of individuals to preserve their personal memorabilia of the Dada Saheb Phalke winner.
"After all they are personal possessions and people should be free to do what they wish with them... We certainly plan on preserving by archiving what we have between family and friends and find better ways to do the same. What is great is that people are already doing it on its own. There is need to preserve these memories, whoever will take the time, and there is room for everyone," he says.
Tej had proposed a foundation to preserve the legacy of his father.
"We have good ideas, good people and projects that we are already working on. Our objectives will speak to the actual needs of the people. There is a snapping crocodile of lost opportunities and misconceptions at our heels. Inspired by Bhupenda and other Assamese visionaries` blueprints, we want to provide practical and peaceful pathways to avert disaster and secure a prosperous Assam, Seven Sisters and the northeast."
According to Tej, the iconic singer-composer`s lasting legacy is his social message of faith in human kindness as the engine of progress, love of nature, respect for diversity as a basis of our strength, appreciation for the bounty of life and applying the arts, science and all our resources for the long term benefit of all.
"He tailored his message for Assam, then India. As we explore and enjoy his music, if we do just a fraction of what he prescribed for Assamese society, it would please him immeasurably; if we succeed in our undertakings inspired by his example, we would be immortalizing him.
"But what should emerge a prime mover is Bhupenda`s certain belief that only through inclusion of every indigenous minority living in Assam, can the luck of the State shift into a higher gear of integrity and excellence. I believe my father knew that Assamese people had that potential."
Apart from peace initiatives, Tej is working with teams on education and environmental issues.
"There is commitment to bring about attitudinal change where it counts like finding ways to avert the senseless killing of elephants by trains and seeking long term solutions such as safe corridors for animals; applying science to the find long term solutions for river and silt management.
"A lot of it is team building. I am devoted to evolving SKV our English medium school in N Lakhimpur; spawning green industry; internationalising Bhupenda`s work etc."
It has been less than a year since this new job started for Tej and he is looking forward to the day when people all over Assam will be "solvers of Assam`s challenges".