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Music Programming


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Who was Amar Singh Chamkila?


Amar Singh Chamkila was a popular Punjabi singer, songwriter, musician, and composer. Chamkila and his wife and singing partner Amarjot were killed, along with two members of their band on 8 March 1988 apparently by a gang of unknown youths. Chamkila is regarded as one of the best stage performers Punjab has ever produced. He was a legend of the Punjabi music industry. His music was heavily influenced by the Punjabi village life he was surrounded by growing up. He commonly wrote songs about extra-marital relationships, coming of age, drinking, drug use, and the hot tempers of Punjabi men. He earned a controversial reputation, with his detractors regarding his music obscene, and his supporters regarding it a truthful commentary on Punjabi culture and society. Gunjit Chopra, a filmmaker from Mumbai, is hoping to document his life and show the audiences who Chamkila really was and how his controversial storytelling got him killed, or make him immortal amongst Punjabis. Harjinder Thind talks with Gunjit to find out more about his project.