indian cinema heritage foundation

Sukhdev Ahluwalia

  • Born: 1932 (Punjab)
  • Primary Cinema: Punjabi

A popular name in commercial Punjabi cinema, Sukhdev Ahluwalia directed successful films like Dharamjeet (1975), Taakra (1976), and Jai Mata Sheranwali (1978). Born in 1932, he started his film career as an assistant cinematographer at Modern Studios. In his initial career, he worked as a cinematographer in Suraj Prakash’s films. He turned director with Do Sher (1974) starring Dharmendra and Rajendra Kumar. He shifted to Punjabi cinema with the Veerendra-Aruna Irani starrer Dharam Jeet (1975). His film Taakra (1976) was about a former black marketeer who is accused of killing his girlfriend. Most of his films were rural melodramas, centred around themes of exploitation of the poor. They often presented contradictory notions on religious devotion, like in Jai Mata Sheranwali (1978) and Sajjre Phull (1981). He also made a film for the Children’s Films Society called Kashmira (1983). Other films include Til Til Da Lekha (1979), Kunwara Mama (1979), Ambe Maa Jagadambe Maa (1980), Maanwan Thandian Chhanwan (1984), Takraar (1985), Maahi Mera Chan Varga (1987), Sounh Menoo Punja Di (1990) and Tara Rani Ki Amar Katha (1994).