Chamak Actor Paramvir Singh Cheema: Punjab's Drug Issue Is Not As Rampant As It Is Often Portrayed

Chamak Actor Paramvir Singh Cheema: Punjab's Drug Issue Is Not As Rampant As It Is Often Portrayed

Directed by Rohit Jugraj, the show is now streaming on Sony LIV

Vijayalakshmi NarayananUpdated: Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 06:16 PM IST
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Actor Paramvir Singh Cheema is becoming the go-to choice for portraying stories of Punjab, as evident from his roles in Tabbar and now, Chamak. The Free Press Journal interviewed the dynamic actor to delve into his approach and the valuable input he provided during the filming of his latest OTT release.

Chamak highlights the concerning threats to life that artists in the Punjabi music industry face. Sharing his views about the same, Paramvir expresses, “We often come across incidents where artists receive death threats or fall victim to broad daylight murders. These occurrences instill fear in us as human beings. The impact of such tragic deaths extends beyond the individual and affects the entire society. For instance, when Sidhu Moose Wala passed away, even friends of mine who had not necessarily heard his songs before were deeply saddened by his death. Nobody should receive such a tragic and brutal ending.”

He further adds, “So, Chamak, for us, is an endeavor to convey that no artist should face the threat of death for pursuing their passion as a livelihood. Frankly, no one should be killed for that matter, but especially, artists should not bear the consequences for choosing the path of art.”

The actor shares how a crucial input on his part could go a long way in correcting the image of Punjab as a state. He says, “In the beginning, when my character was written, he was intended to be depicted as a drug user. Even when the trailer for Chamak was released, some drew parallels with Udta Punjab, anticipating references to drugs. However, I recall recommending to Rohit sir to eliminate the drug reference from the character, as Punjab's drug issue is not as rampant as it is often portrayed. And Rohit sir obliged, without even asking why. I have lived in Punjab and Delhi, before shifting base to Mumbai and I can say that there aren't so many drugs in the state as it is shown in the media. It's even worse when I see a lot of Punjabi people agreeing to this false claim. It disturbs me a lot.

So what does the purpose of art mean to the actor? “For me, art is present everyday, starting from the moment I wake up in the morning. Whether it's observing my local mechanic or watching a sweeper clean inside my building, I see a wealth of technique and skills in these mundane activities. Artists encompass more than just painters, singers or actors.”

He concludes our chat by sharing further, “Whenever I enact a scene, the sole thought I bear in mind is to deliver a performance that encourages the other person to remember me as his or her inspiration,” he signs off.

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