Biography: Living in the sleepy village of Bajrawarpur in Hoshiarpur , the prodigious child, Satinder was too naïve to understand and realize the phenomenon of ecological growth.
Curiously, he used to marvel at the beauty and fragrance of flowers, spectrum of rainbow, the water springs in the calm surroundings besides the melodic strains of music that flowed from a flute and sarangi which the wandering folk and sufi musicians played.
As a child he developed a taste for the pristine Punjabi folklore and the sufiana qalaams though seemingly it was not within his conceptual grasp. However an intense yearning to learn and imbibe the rich mysticism of sufiana music dominated in his educational career.
Following the dictates of his inner soul, Satinder concentrated on his sufiana musical career having done his M. Phil in Sufi gayan and is pursuing a doctorate in Sufi gayan from Punjab University. With a view to have an intimate feel of the divine effulgence and mystic experiences of the greats like Jalludin Rumi , Shams Tabrezi from Iran , Satinder had secured a diploma in Persian with distinction.
Reveling in the glory of the mysticism of Baba Farid, Bulle Shah, Sultan Bahu, Shah Hussain and others, the accomplished singer Satinder Pal had just recorded an album of Sufi gayan being released shortly.
Writes like Waris Shah, Dresses like Waris shah.
Early life and education
Satinder Sartaaj was born in the village Bajrawar in Hoshiarpur, Punjab. From his childhood he developed a keen interest in the Folk traditions of the land. He did his schooling from the government schools in his village and the nearby villages Chabbewal and Patti. He started performing on children stages by the time he was in class 3rd. After that, he joined Government College, Hoshiarpur to complete his graduation in Music with Honours. He also joined Sangeet Visharad, a five year diploma in classical music from Jallandhar. After completing his graduation and diploma, Satinder went to Panjab University, Chandigarh for a Masters in Music. He went on to complete his M.Phil and then a PhD with specialization in Sufi music. Satinder also completed a Certificate Course and Diploma in Persian language which allowed him access to the rich Sufi literature in that language. It was in college, when he also started writing poetry and adopted his Takhallus (poetic name) Sartaaj.
Dressing style and performances
Satinder dresses in a very traditional Punjabi attire, similar to what the likes of Waris Shah used to wear, and unlike the common practices of turban-wearing-Sikh, he sometimes keeps his hair flowing free, on top of which he wears his turban. This practice has been likened to the eccentric styles of some modern punjabi singers by a few but some have come forward in his defense saying that his dressing sense is in harmony with the Punjabi culture and a positive influence on the Punjabi youth.
Accusations of plagiarism
In April, 2009 Tarlok Judge, a Ferozepore based Punjabi poet, accused Satinder of using one of his couplet “Aasan aag de vastar paune ne, nazdik na ho” published on page 24 of his book Ehsaas de Zakham in his song. Tarlok went on to claim that in this song, Satinder has used couplets by various Punjabi writers without giving due credit. He warned of leveling charges in court in the case he refuses to aplogize. In his defense, while on a radio show outside India, Sartaaj stated that up till 2004 he used to sing the writings of other poets and acknowledged them where ever he performed, and that he has never employed any other writer’s work in the songs that he has released in the market. He also said that he is ready to apologize to anyone he may have offended.
Dr. Satinder has been teaching at the Department of Music in Panjab University in Chandigarh for the last ten years.