Chamkila’s Songwriter recalls when Singer received Threats

Amar Singh Chamkila’s songwriter recalled when the singer received threatening letters that urged him to stop singing his “vulgar” songs.

Chamkila's Songwriter recalls when Singer received Threats f

"He showed me all the threatening letters."

Swaran Sivia, the songwriter of the late Amar Singh Chamkila, recalled when the singer started getting threatening letters.

The letters urged him to stop performing his “vulgar” songs.

Swaran explained that when Chamkila showed him the letters in 1986, he was sceptical about their authenticity.

He said: “He wanted me to see if those letters were true or if someone was trying to fool him.

“He showed me all the threatening letters.

“One was from Bhindranwale Tiger Force which was signed by Rashpal Singh Chandra. The other letters were from Khalistan Commando Force and Khalistan Liberation Force.”

Swaran said that after consulting with a few ‘Kharku Singhs’ who happened to be in his village, he learnt that the letters were real and Chamkila was visibly shaken.

In fact, when Chamkila was dropping him off home in his Ambassador car, they happened to cross the village of Rashpal Singh Chandra.

When Chamkila learned that they were so close to Chandra’s village, “he was shaking, he lost his grip on the steering wheel for a second”.

Meanwhile, Swaran found a connection so Chamkila could visit Amritsar and meet the seniors of the ‘Kharku Singhs’ at the Golden Temple.

He continued: “They (the men arranging the letter) said that proceed with caution. Tell them that you will sing good and decent songs and they won’t threaten you anymore.”

When they reached the Golden Temple, Swaran went in alone and sought permission for the singer to enter.

“I told them that Chamkila is a soft-hearted man that if you look at him sternly, he might have a heart attack.”

But when Swaran asked the singer to join in, he started “crying”.

“He said I am scared. He was a little sceptical of me as well that I might get him killed in Amritsar.

“I said they might have weapons but they are not going to shoot you inside.

“They have made a promise in front of Guru Granth Sahib, they won’t do something like this. He then gained some confidence.”

Swaran recalled the instructions he gave Chamkila before entering the room.

“I told him that you don’t touch their feet. I said you only pray to god inside. When we entered inside, Baba Wassan Singh Zaffarwal was standing so he immediately hugged Chamkila.

“He told him that you have a roaring voice, you do the right thing, sing some good songs. They did not scold him at all.

“Chamkila folded his hands and apologised. He said I have made a huge mistake, please forgive me.”

“They said you apologise to God and then speak to us. While praying, he offered Rs 5,100 (£48) there.”

As they left, Chamkila tried to donate Rs. 25,000 (£240) but they refused and suggested that he would be better off donating it to needy children.

These moments are depicted in the Netflix film Chamkila, which stars Diljit Dosanjh.

The film releases on April 12, 2024.

Dhiren is a News & Content Editor who loves all things football. He also has a passion for gaming and watching films. His motto is to "Live life one day at a time".

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