Folk culture impresario Rajpal Singh passes away
Singh,76, retired as a lecturer from Government Mohindra College,PatialaUpdated: Mar 01, 2018 23:53 IST
Well-known folk culture promoter Rajpal Singh, 76, former general secretary of the Punjab Arts Council, known for taking gidha and bhangra troupes overseas, passed away on Thursday at the PGI. He was admitted to the PGI a week ago with chest infection. He is survived by his wife Kuldip Kaur Tiwana and son Gorki. His cremation is likely to be held on Saturday after his daughter-in-law reaches here from Australia.
He retired as lecturer of from Government Mohindra College, Patiala, and had also taught at Sunam and Sangrur colleges.
He belonged to the Bagrian family of Punjab and was closely related to Mohali SAD leader Sukhdev Singh Patwari. Essentially, a self-made man, he was a bhangra dancer in his college days and trained innumerable dancers for youth festivals and presentations in and outside Punjab.
His talents as a promoter surfaced with the opening of the North Zone Cultural Centre in Patiala in the 1980s. Paying a tribute to him, film and television director-producer Harjit Singh said, “He had an eye for spotting the best folk artistes from the countryside and the Malwai gidha he presented at the opening was something the urban artists had not seen.”
Not many would know that the concept of a cultural parliament which the cultural affairs and tourism minister, Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu, has been promoting was the brainchild of Rajpal. Sidhu expressed profound grief at his demise. Sidhu said: “Rajpal served the cause of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiyat all his life which was evident from the way he participated in meetings held to finalise the cultural policy of Punjab.”
Condoling the demise, Punjab Kala Parishad chairman Dr Surjit Patar termed it as a big loss to Punjabi folk art, culture and literature. Rajpal was also the former president of Punjab Sahit Akademi and secretary of Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi.
Singer Pammi Bai also mourned the immense loss at the death of his mentor. Rama Rattan, who runs Saranglok, a cultural organisation in Mohali, said, “He was a great inspiration to students.”