Khagen Mahanta passes away

Noted Assamese singer Khagen Mahanta breathed his last today

Assamese singer Khagen Mahanta, also known as the “King of Bihu” passed away today. He was suffering from heart-related ailments.

His Bihu songs, Borgeet and other folk songs are ever green to the assamese society. Khagen Mahanta was born to Harendra Nath Mahanta and Laxmipriya Devi in Nogaon, Assam. He showed his musical talent from his childhood. At the age of 15, he started performing in the music concerts in Shillong.

Khagen Mahanta was actively involved in the “language movement” in 1960, under the leadership of personalities like Bishnu Prasad Rabha, Hemanga Biswas, Jugal Das. He was member of the group called “Harmony” and popularized human values with his melodious voice and compositions. In 1961, his first gramophone recorded song was broadcast from Guwahati All India Radio Centre. He also participated in the “World Peace” festival in Calcutta. He was recognized as A grade artist in All India Radio and contributed in almost all genres of Assamese music like Lokageet, Okoni Geet, musicals, dramas.

He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for folk and traditional music in 1992.

He is survived by his singer wife Archana Mahanta, singer son Angaraag Papon Mahanta and a daughter.

Member of Parliament Gaurav Gogoi said, “Shocked to learn about the death of a close friend’s father – noted singer Khagen Mahanta. May your melody stay forever alive in our hearts. We all wish Papon and his family peace and strength during this difficult period.”

Teresa Rehman

Teresa Rehman

Teresa Rehman is an award-winning journalist based in Northeast India. She had worked with India Today magazine, The Telegraph and Tehelka. She is now the Managing Editor of The Thumb Print. She has been awarded the WASH Media Awards 2009-2010. She had recieved the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award for two consecutive years (2008-09 and 2009-10) for the category 'Reporting on J&K and the Northeast (Print). She received the Laadli Media Award for Gender Sensitivity 2011, Sanskriti Award 2009 for Excellence in Journalism and the Seventh Sarojini Naidu Prize 2007 for Best Reporting on Panchayati Raj by The Hunger Project. She was also featured in the Power List of Femina magazine in 2012. Her debut book is 'The Mothers of Manipur' (Zubaan Books).