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India's Manjit Singh Gill pays homage to Shaukat Ali with realistic sculpture

Pakistani folk singer's bust made by Moga-based Gill has been installed at a park in India's Ghal Kalan village

By Web Desk
April 04, 2021
Legendary Pakistani legend Shaukat Ali (L) and a bust of him made by Moga-based Indian sculptor Manjit Singh Gill (R). The News/via & Indian Express

MOGA/KARACHI: Famed Indian artist Manjit Singh Gill has paid homage to celebrated Pakistani folk singer Shaukat Ali, who passed away earlier this month, with a realistic sculpture.

The late Pakistani legend had passed away at the age of 77 on April 2 after prolonged liver illness in Lahore.

Now, however, the Moga-based Gill has made what appears to be a larger-than-life-size bust of Ali to honour him and his works.

The Pakistani singer been equally popular in Chadhda Punjab, or East Punjab in India, according to an Indian Express report, which came just two days after the singer's death.

Ali's passing was also mourned in India's Punjab, where he — along with Dil Mohammad, a Pakistani teacher of Punjabi in Gurmukhi script — were highly regarded.

The Pakistani singer was one of the "veteran personalities known for their extraordinary work in promoting Punjabi folk music, language, and culture", the Indian publication added, noting that Gill's artwork was installed at a park in Ghal Kalan village in India's Moga city.

In its report, it quoted his son, Imran Ali, as saying the singer had liver cirrhosis since almost a year back and was being treated since then.

"He had recovered but four months back his condition again deteriorated and his liver stopped working completely. He died at a hospital in Lahore Friday," he told Indian Express over phone.

Ali sang his first song — "Pagdi Utaar Chora" — in 1962 and was honoured with a silver jubilee award for it, his son added.

According to Geo Urdu, Gill has also made statues of world-renowned philanthropist and humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi — who passed away in 2016 — and Punjabi poet Baba Najmi (Bashir Husain Najmi) in the past.

On April 2, the ghazal maestro passed away in Lahore after his health deteriorated and he underwent treatment at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Lahore.

The 77-year-old folk singer experienced multiple health issues, including diabetes and a liver transplant, and underwent a coronary artery bypass surgery a few years ago as well.

One of the most prolific artists of the Pakistani music industry, his career spanned five decades. He sang ghazals, songs, national anthems, and Punjabi folk tunes.

His song "Jaag Utha Hai Sara Watan" became very popular across the country and his patriotic songs reignited passion among the Pakistanis during the wars of 1965 and 1971.

A familiar face at the state-run channel, PTV, since the 1970s, Ali was awarded the Pride of Performance (1990), Pride of Punjab, and Voice of Punjab (1976) award.