Amar Singh Chamkila's Mentor: From Learning Music At 4 To Being Accused Of Singer's Assassination

Punjabi singer, the late Amar Singh Chamkila, was first mentored by another acclaimed singer, Surinder Shinda. The latter was even accused of Chamkila's assassination.


By Poulami Bhandari Last Updated:


Amar Singh Chamkila's Mentor: From Learning Music At 4 To Being Accused Of Singer's Assassination

Imtiaz Ali’s film, Amar Singh Chamkila, starring Diljit Dosanjh as the titular character and Parineeti Chopra as the singer’s second wife, ‘Amarjot Kaur’, has captivated the audience with its impeccable filmography and gripping storyline. The film encapsulates the life of the controversial Punjabi singer, Dhani Ram, aka Amar Singh Chamkila, who became popular for his distinctive style and poignant lyrics. As depicted in the film, the singer was born into a Dalit Sikh family and used to work in a socks-making factory before finally meeting his mentor, Surinder Shinda, who is named ‘Jatinder Jinda’ in the film.

Who is Amar Singh Chamkila’s mentor, Surinder Shinda?

Dhani Ram became ‘Amar Singh Chamkila’ with the help of Surinder Pal Dhammi, popularly known as Surinder Shinda. In 1979, Chamkila first met his mentor, and when Surinder heard him for the first time, he instantly knew that he found his protege. The duo changed the history of Punjabi music forever. Chamkila wrote several songs for his mentor, before venturing on his solo journey.

Recommended Read: Who Are Amar Singh Chamkila's Kids? Meet Amandeep, Kamaldeep, Jaiman Following Father's Footsteps

As shown in the new Netflix film, ‘Jinda’ (Surinder Shinda) was once late to one of his stage shows. The audience got visibly angry, and to pacify them, the host persuaded Amar Singh to handle the crowd until Shinda arrived. While he was a bit hesitant at first, he went up to the stage and started singing. Initially, the audience was unimpressed by his singing, but eventually, they started grooving to Chamkila’s voice. Since that stage performance, Chamkila never looked back.

Surinder Shinda started learning music at the age of 4

Although Chamkila became a popular name in Punjabi music, his mentor, Surinder Shinda, was not left behind. According to a report by the Indian Express, Surinder was born into a carpenter’s family in 1953 and learned music from his father, Bachan Ram, when he was just 4 years old. After completing higher education, he took admission to get a diploma in mechanical engineering and briefly worked at a private firm before becoming a full-time singer. 

Surinder Shinda has also acted in films

Well, his career in music started in 1959, and he released close to 165 albums. Surinder was popular for his ‘Kali’ style of singing, and he had even mentored several other young artists later in his life. His songs, like Jeona Morh, Badla Le Layeen Sohneya, and Uchha Burj Lahore Da, are some of the hit songs in Punjabi music. Surinder also starred in several Punjabi films such as Ucha Dar Babe Nanak Da, Patola, Jatt Jeona Maur, and Badla Jatti Da, among many more.

Don’t Miss: Amar Singh Chamkila Sensed His Death Just Hours Before Being Shot: 'Jis Goli Pe Mera Naam Likheya..'

Surinder Shinda was allegedly accused of Amar Singh Chamkila’s assassination

As shown in Imtiaz Ali’s film, when Amar Singh Chamkila and his wife, Amarjot Kaur were assassinated in Mehsampur on March 8, 1988, people even doubted if Surinder Shinda was behind this or not. However, in an interview with Brit Asia Podcast in 2023, one of Chamkila’s band members falsified these allegations and said that a father can never kill his son. In his words:

“Main sacchai hi kahunga kadde pyon apne puttar da nahi maraunda. (No father would ever kill his own son).”

Check the video here.

Surinder Shinda's personal life

Surinder Shinda was married to Joginder Kaur and had a son, Maninder Shinda. Unfortunately, on July 26, 2023, he breathed his last and left for his heavenly abode at the age of 70 due to multiple organ failure. Throughout his illustrious career, Surinder Shinda was bestowed with several accolades, including the Punjab Government’s prestigious 'Shiromani Gayak Award' and the Punjab Gaurav Rattan title from the Kala Parishad.

What do you think of Surinder Shinda’s bond with Amar Singh Chamkila? Let us know.

Also Read: Who Killed Amar Singh Chamkila And His Wife, Amarjot, And Why? One Of Their Shooters Is Still Alive

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