Baljinder Sekha carved a niche for himself and the Punjabi community in Canada. He has come a long way from Kalan village of Moga district in Punjab, India to being honored by Canadian Government for his accomplishments.
He had a very humble beginning. He did his matriculation from the village local school and completed his high school at a nearby village Malke. He has Diploma in Library Science from Punjabi University. Since childhood, Baljinder Sekha was in love with music and singing. His passion got him to meet and work for famous Punjabi artist Raj Brar. In 1995, Baljinder’s love for acting blossomed when he acted in a play at the Youth Festival of Punjabi University, Patiala. The play ranked first and gave Baljinder the taste of success.
Meanwhile, he met General Ghuman, who produced a comedy cassette ‘Chhitro-Chhitti’ with Baljinder and General Ghuman as the main cast. Due to the family hardships, Baljinder had to manage his own expenses. He didn’t have any financial support from his family.
He was a fast learner and an all-rounder. He had the skills to conduct the stage and thereby worked with Harbhajan Shera, Inderjit Nikku, Balkar Sidhu, Nirmal Sidhu and others in managing the stage. After that, he went to Chandigarh with Raj Brar. He put his sweat and blood in making of Raj Brar’s cassette “Sade waari rang mukiya’. The cassette brought great success for Raj Brar and Baljinder continued to manage backstage for Raj Brar. Due to the success of this cassette, Baljinder was flooded with more work. But, his destiny had something else planned for him.
He got married in 1999 and in 2000 he came to Canada. He faced huge obstacles because he did not speak English and had to do survival jobs. He knew he needed to do something. Through his artistic intuition, hard work and enthusiasm, he started working with Gursimrat Grewal and Lakhwinder Sandhu; the team behind ‘Punjab Star’ newspaper. His well-liked and courageous nature led him to present shows like ‘Bhand Canada de’ program on radio and TV. He was again flooded with work to manage stage and be the official host of parties on the weekend.
Meanwhile, in 2005, he joined the Sahib Singh Thind’s Prof. Mohan Singh Foundation in Canada. Every year the foundation organises a great fair ‘Gadri Babian Da’. Baljinder Sekha also started to contribute immensely for the fair. The fair takes pride in providing platform to famous singers not only from India but also the likes from Pakistan like Shaukat Ali, Ghulam Ali, etc.
Life was back on track. Suddenly, he got the news of his ailing mother; Mrs. Charanjit Kaur. She was battling her life from cancer. He left his life in Canada to be by his mother’s side. He did everything within his reach to save her. Even after every worthwhile effort his mother could not be saved. This gave him emotional and financial setback. As a supporter of ‘organ donation’, he made sure his mother’s eyes were donated. Two lives were changed and were filled with light because of his selfless act. He is a pragmatic man and firmly believe in organ donation and other social causes.
He gave words to his experience about donating organs and recorded it as a song with music by Dilkhush Thind. This heartfelt song ‘Das kihnu aakha maa’ received considerable appreciation. This appreciation encouraged him to come up with a special song for celebrating Canada’s 150th on July 1, 2017. This song “Go Canada represented the emotions of Punjabi community towards their lovely Canada. The song had music by world renowned musician Dilkshush Thind. This song was translated into English and French. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the entire media appreciated Baljinder’s work. On the Canada’s 150th celebration, ‘Go Canada’ was echoing and Baljinder Sekha’s efforts were praised.
This was the first time in Canadian history when CBC (Canada Broadcasting Service) interviewed a Punjabi artist. Apart from this, CP24, CTV and other channels appreciated the journey of Baljinder Sekha from Punjab to dedicate his song to his new country.
After this song, Navdeep Bains, Union Minister and local MP’s and the MLA’s honored him at the city level. Baljinder Sekha was given a special award by the Prime Minister of Canada; Justice Trudeau in the Parliament. To add to this, Ruby Sahota; member of Parliament lauded the work of Baljinder Sekha and the Parliament gave him standing ovation.
April is celebrated as the ‘Sikh Heritage Month’ in Toronto. A symbol for ‘Sikh Heritage Month’, a button was designed by Baljinder with the help of the Punjabi community. The supporters of this special heritage month wore the button with pride during the month of April.
On the very important event in May 2016, when the Prime Minister of Canada apologized for the ‘Dark chapter’ in Canadian history; Komagata Maru episode of 1914, Baljinder Sekha appreciated the thoughts of the government. To support the strengthening of communal harmony, Baljinder planned an event. In July 2017 at the ‘Ghadri Babian Da’, Baljinder appreciated the act of government by offering a Thanks painting. This painting was received by Defense Minister Harjeet Singh Sajjan on behalf of Justice Trudeau.
Baljinder; son of Sardar Satpal Sekha and Late Mrs. Charanjit Kaur has always seen his uncle Harchand Singh and aunt Jagdish Kaur as his mentors. His sister Jatinder Kaur lives in USA and brother Kulwinder Singh lives in Moga; India. He enjoys his life in Canada with his wife Veerpal, daughters Praneeth and Anisha. He has always sought the advice from people he considered his mentors; they helped him to persevere when he most needed strength and hope.
To honour his grandfather late. Mandir Singh, Baljinder Sekha dedicated his company BabaJi Enterprises to the memory. The company is coming up with a new music release, Happy new year. The peppy number hopes to win hearts of all.
Undoubtedly, the efforts of Baljinder Sekha are enhancing the Punjabi community’s glory in Canada, which is also emerging as a symbol of unity and peace among different communities. At such a time when Indian people are especially stressed by the persecution of Punjabi racism in foreign land, such efforts are a means of harmony between people of different regions of Canada. Hopefully his efforts to link humanity will continue as such.
Writer -SUKHVIR JOGA
English Translation-Mrs Pooja Mehndiratta