Bhupen Hazarika funeral postponed as Million fans turn up

Bhupen Hazarika Sketch by Utpal Talukdar

By- Staff Reporter | Date- November 9, 2011

History was in making yesterday in Assam when the funeral of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika was postponed to Wednesday in view of the huge turnout of people wanting to pay their last respect to the music legend. The Assam government postponed the funeral to Wednesday morning which was otherwise scheduled to be held on Tuesday afternoon.

More than a million people from all parts of Assam as well as other neighboring states turned up in Judges Field where the music legend’s body was kept. People queued up since 3 am, waited as long as 7 hours to have a last glance of their beloved Bhupen-da and the Government realized that it would not be possible for all to pay their respect till 2 pm. Hence the funeral was postponed to 7 am tomorrow next day, confirmed Assam Culture Minister Pranati Phukan.

All offices including private corporates apart from state and central, petrol pumps shops and business establishments remained closed and public transport was off the road, but people walked all the way to the Judges Field where Hazarika’s body, draped in traditional Assamese Gamosa, was kept inside a glass casket.

The state government had declared a state holiday for Tuesday and following the postponement, all offices and other institutions would remain closed till 12 noon on Wednesday as well.

The last rites will be conducted at Shishu Udayan in the Gauhati University campus in Jalukbari area, a place close to river Brahmaputra. The last rites would be performed by his son Tez Hazarika who arrived on Tuesday afternoon from Canada. Tez was overwhelmed by the tremendous outpour of love for his father by the people and thanked everyone for the love and respect showered at their hour of grief.

It is to be mentioned that the funeral attendance of Dr Bhupen Hazarika has made it one of the highest in the world. Unofficial sources have claimed that the number has already crossed the number of attendees who paid the last respect to Late Princess Diana, Pope John Paul II, US president John F Kennedy, etc. The number of people who paid the last respect to the Bard of Brahmaputra has already crossed the number attendees at funerals of other music maestros such as Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, the source claimed.

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