When the gangs of Punjab’s mediocrity shoot straight at the cultural landscape

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NEW DELHI: ‘Gangster Yaar’, ‘Gangster Munde’, ‘Gangster Jatt’, ‘Gangster-Devil’, ‘Gangsta’, ‘Gangsta Blood’, ‘Gangster Scene’, ‘Gangster Look’, ‘Love of Gangster’, ‘Fake Gangster’ , ‘Gangster Yaar Kudhe’, ‘Gangster vs Jatt’, ‘Mafia Style, ‘ ‘Black Window Gangster’ – some of the Punjabi hit songs…

The murder of Sidhu Moosewala (Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu) has reignited multiple debates – gun violence, the glorification of weapons, celebrity safety and the role of Punjab’s mainstream entertainment industry in not only spreading violence , but also in the deepening of caste divisions.

Of course, they will all die within days.

While Moosewala’s death is unfortunate, and the conversation on social media that he “almost invited” to such an end is downright crude, it’s paramount to understand that he was no martyr.

The best tribute to Moosewala would be to acknowledge that he was a popular entertainer whose numbers had a significant following in Punjab and among the overseas diaspora.

Moosewala and many of his contemporaries, despite the aggressive branding of being a representative of all things Punjabi subaltern, are completely out of place. Many mainstream Punjabi songs of recent years are mostly about an imagined pride of Jatt (read upper class), violence as an accepted norm, toxic masculinity, objectification of women and celebration intoxicants.

Anyone who has a little deeper idea of ​​Punjab, or even reads it, understands that the state cannot be seen through a Yash Chopra lens. Its countryside is not only made up of beautiful fields, but also of extreme oppression when it comes to Dalits and day labourers.

The series “Paatal Lok” honestly admitted that there was nothing surprising that lawsuits were filed against the manufacturers. A deep caste society that will refuse to accept its flaws. And if you point it out, either you’re a ‘foreigner’ (although you’re a Punjabi) or you’re not ‘proud of your roots’.

Yes, a group of extremely affected people continue to believe that fantastic folk tales are still being played out in 2022.

Several sociologists have pointed to an increasingly drastic change among many Punjabis — selling farmland in Punjab and moving to posh Chandigarh. With high unemployment comes abundant disposable income.

It is therefore no surprise that it is almost impossible to negotiate the famous ‘Geri road’ in Chandigarh when the girls’ colleges are operating. This surface life does not really precipitate uselessness, but unfortunately pride.

Moreover, contemporary Punjabi singers, judging by the number of songs that revolve around gangsters, seem to be some kind of idols for the former.

Surprisingly, the last decade and a half has seen a proliferation of college graduate students turning into major gangsters. Some from Panjab University, Chandigarh include Lawrence Bishnoi, Sampat Nehra, Inderjeet Singh Perry, Gurlal Brar and Dilpreet Berry.

UT Chandigarh, sandwiched between Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, has over the years become a major base for gangsters. There’s no shortage of accommodation or contacts (as they researched here), and it’s a modern city with an active nightlife.

Capital of Haryana and Punjab, it is an ideal place for the gangsters of this region, whose reach is said to extend to Rajasthan and UP, not to mention the politicians who spot them in their early years. ‘studies.

It’s an open secret that many singers regularly receive extortion calls from gangsters, and several are also promised “security.”

The argument about the need to carry firearms for farmland safety, given that this is a pastoral society, falls flat given the growing number of demands from those who reside in urban areas.

Data shows there are 3, 90, 275 active licensed guns in the state.

The state’s mainstream entertainment industry is becoming increasingly toxic with the cocktail of vulgar posting, gangster ties, and complete alienation from social and political realities. You don’t really have to look far for inspiration.

While gangster films are made at lightning speed, there are also sensitive filmmakers, many of whom have made their mark internationally – Gurvinder Singh, Anup Singh, Jatinder Mauhar and Rajeev Kumar. Many singers also composed songs during great movements like the peasant unrest.

The answer does not lie in banning or establishing a censorship board for Punjabi songs and films, as was proposed a few years ago. Prohibition must be prohibited in advanced societies.

The answer, if there is one, has to come organically from Punjabi society – and then it will become truly great.

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