‘I knew this would happen’: Surjit Patar on that time when Chamkila’s songs didn’t allow sale of even a 1,000 of his audio cassettes

Surjit Patar revealed during a function in Dhuri, Sangrur that HMV had released an audio cassette featuring his ghazals which performed poorly in sales thanks to Chamkila's songs.

Punjab, Trending, Surjit-Patar, Amar-Singh-Chamkila, Surjit-Patar-Audio-Casettes, Surjit-Patar-HMV, Surjit-Patar-Chamkila, Surjit-Patar-Chamkila-Story, Surjit-Patar-1000-Cassettes | ‘I knew this would happen’: Surjit Patar on that time when Chamkila’s songs didn’t allow sale of even a 1,000 of his audio cassettes- True Scoop

The Punjabi literature society experienced a wave of mourning after receiving news of prolific poet Surjit Patar’s demise. He passed away peacefully in his sleep in his Ludhiana residence. His beautiful and articulate poetry was appreciated by critics and the public alike. His passing was mourned by world-class Punjabi artists like Diljit Dosanjh and Satinder Sartaaj. They shared heartfelt messages on their socials mourning the loss of one of the greatest poets in Punjabi literature. But did you know, HMV had once released audio cassettes featuring Surjit Patar’s moving ghazals? However, their sales failed to number even in thousands thanks to none other than Amar Singh Chamkila. Here is the story:


Sometime in 1995, the people of Sahitya Sabha (Literature Society) in Dhuri, Sangrur organized a function in Malwa Khalsa High School where Surjit Patar was invited as a guest. Amidst the ongoing debate about clean writing and singing, Surjit Patar told that the famous audio company HMV had released the first cassette of his ghazals, which did not sell even a thousand units. This was the period when Chamkila's songs obscenity-filled songs were being played everywhere.


However, Patar said that he wasn’t surprised, saying to HMV “I knew that this would happen”. The record company had felt that the society liked clean writing more. However, their illusion was dispelled with the dismal sales of Patar’s audio cassettes. Patar said that HMV reps came to his house and expressed regret and told him that even if five thousand cassettes were sold, they would have taken the risk once again.


Imtiaz Ali’s Amar Singh Chamkila reassured Patar’s viewpoint

Surjit Patar understood the stark reality of how the flashy, obscene and controversial lyricism attracted a wider audience of proposer and critics alike, than the deep, profound writing. Although people still appreciated Chamkila’s singing, it also brought in a fair share of critics. However, his legacy cannot be denied as he has once again been immortalised by names with the calibre of Imtiaz Ali, Diljit Dosanjh and Parineeti Chopra.