Renowned singer Barkat Singh passes away

The voice of the noted proponent of Patiala Gharana and well known Punjabi Sufi singer, Barkat Sidhu, became silent and left this world, on Saturday. The death of the noted Punjabi sufi singer, Barkat Sidhu, at 10.45 p.m. on 16th August 2014, came across as a huge loss to the Punjabi folk and Sufi music. The renowned singer was battling cancer, which was diagnosed two and a half months ago at the last stage, and died at his home. He was 68.

He was under treatment at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Ludhiana and with the initiative of the Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, the Punjab Government was bearing the expenditure of Sidhuji’s treatment in respect and recognition to his contribution to the local culture.

Laddi, the deceased singer's son, said that he brought his father here from Ludhiana yesterday as his condition was ‘critical’. The pole-star of Punjabi sufi music, who had shown way to many singers, himself couldn’t find a way out of his poor health condition. He had been reduced to a mere living skeletal. Laddi Sidhu added that the doctors could not provide chemotherapy to his father, because of his excessively weak body. "Doctors could not provide chemotherapy at the hospital in Ludhiana due to his acute weakness," his son said.

Born in 1946 at Kaniya village near Shahkot, district Jalandhar, Sidhu was a ‘Ustaad’ singer and had trained many upcoming singers. Barkat Sidhu was the cousin of another noted sufi singer, Puran Shahkoti. Some of his famous compositions are ‘Alif Allah’, ‘Rom Rom Vich Tu’, ‘Uth Gaye Gwandon Yaar Rabba Hun Ki Kariye’ and ‘’Dekho Ni Ki Kar Gaya Mahi.’

His albums include ‘Deedar Mahi Da’, ‘Rom Rom Vich Tu’, ‘Harr Surat Vich Tu’ and ‘The Best of Barkat Sidhu.’

Condoling the death of Sidhuji, Gurbhajan Gill said that it was sad to see singers who sang well and meaningful lyrics had to struggle in the world of music and were not taken care of either by the society or by the government.

Meanwhile, Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal expressed grief over the demise of Sidhu, an official spokesman said. They described Sidhu as a ‘shining star’ in the galaxy of peerless sufi singers of world. Through his decade long singing he left an indelible message of love and concordance, they said. His cremation was attended by friends and family.