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Balbir Chotia popularising Punjabi folks songs
by Avtar Gill

      Abohar: For centuries folk songs have treasured people who passed it on from one generation to another. People still enjoy listening to folk songs. Balbir Chotia, a music teacher by profession in a government school, is keeping the joy of singing folk songs alive. Balbir is not a mass singer. But his style of singing is a rage in the Malwa region of Punjab. He has been singing Punjabi folk songs since childhood and remains devoted to Punjabi culture. His first audiocassette `Nindo da Badla' - the revenge of Nindo, was a super hit. And since then Balbir never looked back. Folk songs showcase the rich tradition of Punjab. And, the reason it could maintain its importance unfazed by changing times is because of individuals like Balbir Chotia, who are devoting their lives to the popularisation of folk culture here. Balbir Chotia has been singing for 15 years and has dedicated himself completely to popularise Punjabi folk music. "By taking up pop music. people are forgetting their rich culture. They are singing pop for the sake of money. People laugh once at a comedy but if we repeat it no one will laugh. Pop is like a comedy. But, the folk songs are evergreen and will remain so forever. Any of the pop songs can be heard on television. But they are soon forgotten by the people, said Balbir Chotia, the Punjabi folk singer. "DJs show vulgarity. And only people can encourage or discourage such things. If they oppose pop and promote their folk songs - then only a change will come. A change is impossible if you try to bring it about forcibly. For example, if you use force to stop drug addition it will not work. Music is also like an addiction and only people can decide what they want to listen. But, one must never forget his or her roots."
-Apr 29, 2009

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