Published 11:48 IST, April 24th 2024

Imtiaz Ali Defends Amar Singh Chamkila Objectifying Women In His Songs: He Was Not Sexist

Amar Singh Chamkila, starring Diljit Dosanjh and Parineeti Chopra in the lead roles, is currently streaming on Netflix. The film is directed by Imtiaz Ali.

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Imtiaz Ali | Image: IMDb

Imtiaz Ali is currently basking in the success of his latest film Amar Singh Chamkila. The film is headlined by Diljit Dosanjh and Parineeti Chopra and received an overwhelmingly positive response from critics and audiences alike. The movie is based on the lives of Punjabi artist Amar Singh Chamkila and his wife Amarjot Kaur, whose songs became massive hits in the 1980s. The slain singer received flak from a section of society who dissed his songs for their ‘sexist’ lyrics. In a new interview, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali defends the singer and the song. 

Imtiaz Ali defends Chamkila’s lyrics

While Amar Singh Chamkila gained popular acclaim and fame in Punjab and across the country, his songs were laced with lewd lyrics. His songs were often suggestive, contained sexual innuendoes and made a mockery of the relationships between in-laws. Therefore, a section of the society labelled him as ‘sexist’ and ‘vulgar’. The filmmaker refused this POV and shared his defence in an interview with Mid Day. 


The director stated, “He might be saying things that were not acceptable to society, but he was not a s**ist kind of a person. He was quite liberal in his way.” He added, “You must have noticed that even during the performances, it was the woman who was teasing the man first. His and Amarjot’s songs were more of play-acting.” He cited the example of the song Patt Deon Chugath Ni and commented, “This old man says he is young and virile, and the woman is making fun of him. It is not like the women were always being objectified. It’s a very equal relationship.” He admitted that Chamkila did sing ‘double-meaning songs’ but he argued that women more often than not engage in such songs in their private gatherings. He added that it is usually the women making fun of the men.

Imtiaz Ali admitted Chamkila was ‘flawed’, says biopic did not glorify the singer 

In the same conversation, Imtiaz Ali asserted, “I never thought I would make a biopic. However, in Chamkila’s story, there were so many things I felt I should address since they’ve been hidden from the audience.” He added, "However, when depicting someone’s life, you should have the liberty — not to change the facts, but to represent all aspects of them. If you don’t show the mistakes they made, then what’s the point of glorifying them? I do not like those biopics that endlessly glorify the person they are based on. That becomes very boring."


Amar Singh Chamkila, starring Diljit Dosanjh and Parineeti Chopra in the lead roles, is currently streaming on Netflix. The singer was killed in an unresolved assassination along with his wife and singing partner Amarjot Kaur.

11:48 IST, April 24th 2024