The murder of Sidhu Moosewala shows why it is important to limit references to gun culture
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“Enmity against me is like enmity against God
I’ll pull the trigger and it’s game over!”
Guess where these lyrics come from.
I’ll give you a hint – They were sung by the same singer who was recently shot while pulling a trigger.
It is terribly tragic that Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala was shot dead on May 29, 2022.
A rising star, who left us too soon.
But more than that, he was a son. To parents now broken.
He was a future husband. To a now undead fiancé.
My condolences to his loved ones. OM SHANTI.
But there is an ugly truth hidden in his death. A truth that all of us, especially Punjab, must dare to face.
That the death of Sidhu Moosewala was an inevitable and obvious result of the violence; hyper-aggressive; irresponsible gun ownership culture – now so pervasive in the Punjabi entertainment industry.
Siddhu Moosewala – the budding gangster
Punjabi singer Siddhu Moosewala came out with the song “Sanju” from which the opening lines of this piece were lifted.
In the song, the singer could be heard bragging about joining the elite club of people reserved under the Arms Act 1959.
The same act under which Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
The singer had released this track after being arrested by the Punjab police for illegal possession of weapons.
And yes, he boasted of his “success”. Do not repent, do not regret, but boast!
If you hear this song further, you’ll realize that Moosewala wore his “unlawful possession of weapons” indictment as a badge of honor.
‘Sanju’ was not a unique Moosewala song where he glorified or even romanticized gun violence and run-ins with the law.
With few exceptions, choose one of his greatest hits –
So High/ Same Beef/ Just Listen/ Famous/ Badfella
All of these songs have references to gang violence; murder; irresponsible possession of firearms, etc.
Moosewala’s logo is also a simple yet elegant glimpse of the spirit he buried in crime.
He proudly presented himself as this 20th-century-style Indian bandit who hid his identity by looting travelers and trains.
But the sad thing is that Moosewala was not the odd one out.
So many big names in Punjabi entertainment – like
Badshah/ Honey Singh/ Mankirat Aulakh/ Babbu Maan
all promote hyper-aggressiveness; toxically masculine behavior in their music videos/social media posts.
Most of them revolve around taking up arms and settling disputes not by established Indian law, but by the law of the jungle.
While the legal possession of weapons is not something to be frowned upon. But the callousness and irresponsible freedom with which the display and firing of weapons is promoted in these music videos/movies is something to be reckoned with.
Moreover, it would be unfair to target Punjab or even Sidhu Moosewala in a country where celebratory shootings are common at weddings.
But to ignore that Punjab and Punjabis have paid the most (in all of India) for this self-destructive culture, would also be bliss in ignorance.
Much-needed change: Punjabi cultural appropriation
If there’s one lesson to be learned from this tragic but seemingly inevitable death of a gangster-style singer, it’s this – BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU MASS POPULARIZE.
Several studies conducted have shown that –
Culinary choices/ Fashion trends/ Baby names/ Philosophical ideas/ Lifestyle choices
Have a ripple effect in society.
Societies, consciously or unconsciously, imitate what they see their “heroes” doing on and off screen.
So now that we know this and what is mainly promoted by the Punjabi Stars, it is easier to understand Punjab’s fall from favor.
1. Punjab SGDP per capita
a. 1981 – ranked #1
b. 2020 – ranked #16
2. Punjab SGDP Per Capita Growth Rate
a. 1970-1980- Highest
b. 2000-2010 – Lowest except Manipur
And on the other hand
- The number of licensed firearms per capita in India is now the highest in Punjab
- Actively addicted and addicted drug addicts in Punjab now make up 1.2% of its adult population.
All this in a state that has one of the most fertile lands in the country; receives the third highest remittances and is the crown jewel when it comes to a hard working population.
The remorseful death of Sidhu Moosewala is very similar to the mysterious death of the late American rapper Tupac Shakur in 1996.
Both self-proclaimed gangster rappers; mixed up with the wrong people and shot in cars. At a tragically young age.
What the promotion of gun violence has done to American streets and schools is a sad truth that we hear about from time to time. And in tears as well.
The question is: are we heading down the same path?
These articles are published as received – they have not been edited/verified by ThePrint.
Read also: The murder of Sidhu Moose Wala was planned “6 months ago” but “bodyguards intervened”