Legendary Sufi singer Barkat Sidhu, 67, who had been suffering from throat cancer for a long time, passed away at his hometown in Moga district early Sunday morning.
The singer, who was undergoing treatment at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Ludhiana, for the past two months, was discharged from there a few days ago and was presently staying at Dashmesh Nagar here in a rented house with his younger son.
Barkat Sidhu was born at Kaniya village in Jalandhar district in 1946. He was a cousin of renowned Punjabi Sufi singer Puran Shahkoti and was an exponent of the Patiala Gharana.
He was buried at the cremation ground here in the presence of known personalities of various organisations.
Barkat Sidhu was one of the most popular Sufi singers of Punjabi and Urdu languages, appearing on television in the 196os and recording songs for music as well as the film industry without any money interest.
He had got "A" class Sufi singer award for five years in a row from the All India Radio. Besides, he had also achieved "Top" grade award from Doordarshan. Barkat Sidhu performed along with Bismilla Khan and Gulam Ali at the India Gate, New Delhi, as well as at various places in India, Pakistan, US, Canada and other western countries.
Barkat Sidhu was known for his most popular songs like 'Rabba mere haal da mehram tu...', 'Gorie main jana pardesh...', Har surat vich tu, Rom rom vich tu...', 'Dekho ni ki kar gaya mah...'i, 'Deedar mahi da...', and many more. Known for his clean and pure style of music, Barkat Sidhu stayed away from vulgarity and bawdy lyrics all his life. Leaving apart all commercial interests, Barkat Sidhu remained dedicated to pristine pure music till his death.
Renowned writer Jagdev Singh Brar who wrote a book about the personality of this singer, said, "It was the time when late Gulshan Kumar had offered to pay `60 lakh to Barkat Sidhu for singing some commercial songs for a film, but he had denied the offer and made it clear to all film makers that he will never sing any song for a price at any cost."
More than 236 national and international organisations, including the Punjab government, had honoured Barkat Sidhu for his excellent performances.
Many other well-known personalities including Gurdas Maan, Puran Shahkoti, Hans Raj Hans, Jagdev Singh Jassowal, Gurbhajan Singh Gill, former president of Punjabi Sahit Akademi, social worker Rachhpal Singh Sosan and Saabar Koti have mourned the sad demise of the singer.