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How incendiary Punjabi songs are fueling dangerous narratives surrounding the ‘farmers protests’, fuel division between Punjab and rest of India

The word “Dilliye” is used commonly in 99% of the songs. Many may argue that the term refers merely the seat of the Indian government, hence the government itself. But the songs say something else.

The Khalistani face of the ‘farmer protests’ was out in the open on Republic Day when a Khalistani mob hoisted the Sikh flag at the Red Fort. While some have claimed that it is only the Sikh flag and not the Khalistan flag, it is pertinent to mention that the flag was allegedly hoisted by Deep Sidhu and his band of followers. Deep Sidhu is a known Khalistani.

During the entire protests, entertainers have played a critical role in promoting the Khalistani narrative. In this article, we look at some of the incendiary songs that are being manufactured by entertainers with dubious ideological inclinations.

“Waaris Nalwe De” really manhandling lion or running into rat traps?

Babbu Maan, a hugely popular Punjabi singer recently released a 24-minute song “Waaris Nalwe Da”, latest in the sheep-herd series of the farmers’ agitation-centred Punjabi songs. Till now over 75 such songs have been produced.

Of these, a large contribution is made from mainstream popular artists like Babbu Maan, Jas Bajwa, Kanwar Grewal, Ranjit Bawa, Sidhu Moosewala, Karan Aujla, Shree Brar and also international artists Bohemia, J Hind, The Game, etc. Though, all these and other artists are world renowned for their songs instigating violence, narcotics and sexism.

This is acting as another catalyst in provoking the youth in the current so-called farmers’ agitation on Delhi’s borders. Here, we discuss the narratives and agendas being set up by these Punjabi songs.

Raging war between Punjab and Delhi

The word “Dilliye” is used commonly in 99% of the songs. Many may argue that the term refers merely the seat of the Indian government, hence the government itself. But the songs say something else.

Kanwar Grewal says, “Bas 4-5 Ghanteya Di Waat Delhi-e Tenu Yaad Karva Deyange Aukaat Diliye, Teri Hikk Utte Chadd Ke Jaikaare Launge” in song Ailaan. Anyone who understand basic Punjabi can notice how Kanwar threatens “Delhi” to make it realise its ‘Aukaat’ by seizing on its borders. Who is affected by seizing Delhi’s borders? The seat of power or the citizens, majority of whom are non-Sikhs?

In another song, Punjab Bolda, Ranjit Bawa argues, “Rabb na kari je gora pher aa gaya, le leyo azaadi ohdoyoga karke”. Which roughly translates to, “Yoga won’t help if the British enslaves India again”. The same song also mocks Ayurvedic medicines and other constituents of Bharat’s cultural ecosystem. For merely attacking the central government? However, the above-mentioned songs merely give two instances out of a large chain of such songs and narratives. The term is being used in wide context to create divide between Punjab and the rest of Indian union.

Rejuvenation of Khalistan movement

Amid a lot of ruckus over the involvement of Khalistan movement in the farmers’ agitation, these songs force us to again peek into the agitation carefully. On the one hand, the above mentioned “Dilliye” narrative also leads to a bigger separatist picture.

On the other hand, pro-Khalistan artists Jazzy B, Sophia Jamil, Sidhu Moosewala and Pakistani artist AB Chatha vehemently showcased secessionist and the self-determination propaganda through their songs Bagawatan, Khalistan the Solution, Panjab and Baghi Punjab, respectively.

Two lines from Shree Brar-produced very popular so-called “Kisaan Anthem” also instigate secessionism for which he was even detained by Punjab Police. The song lyrics says, “Jinna nu tu attwadi kehndi Dilliye, Je attwadi hoge tetho sambhe ni jaane”. This threatens “Delhi” that those who are alleged of being terrorists may really become terrorists.

Another line says “Babe Nanak ne saanu si kisani bakshi Baajan wale ne kalma te khande Delhi ae”. Clearly promotes the Sikh self-determination propaganda by threatening that Guru Gobind Singh has bestowed dagger upon Sikhs.

Agra Fort vis-a-vis Raisina Hills

No, we won’t discuss the regimes of the Mughal empire and the current Indian government. But somehow the artists of these songs find interest in and are even obsessed with doing so.

The Kisaan agitation songs are constantly trying to invoke the 1984 Operation Bluestar and anti-Sikh riots, 1947’s partition, etc. The more concerning part is that the artists are repeatedly comparing these issues with the tyrannical and barbarous Mughal and other foreign atrocities in the medieval era. Repeatedly flaunting victory over Abdali and Alexander, and further misusing names of Sikh heroes to threaten others. Also claiming that Punjab has some previous uncleared accounts with “Delhi”.

For instance, the Kisaan Anthem says, “Khoon khaulda niyana ki siyana Dilliye, Hissab tere naal sadda ae purana Dilliye”. Which roughly translates to “the previous uncleared accounts provoke us”. Mentionable is that, this particular propaganda is more relevantly exhibited through visuals in these songs. So, the argument is that not only the lyrics are dangerous, but the visuals in the song videos are also vicious and under great suspicion.

“Kitte Modhe Te Bandook Na Aa Je”

Constant threats of grabbing arms if not convinced, and still calling the so-called farmers’ agitation peaceful. This single line basically defines the Punjabi songs centred around farmers’ protest.

Repeated threats of reviving insurgency in Punjab not only provokes the Punjabi youth but also challenges India’s integrity. Koroala Maan’s Weapon Shoulder, Anmol Gagan Maan’s Kisaan v/s Rajneeti, Kanwar Grewal’s Jawani Zindabad & Pecha, and many other extremist songs openly calls the youth to get armed. Might be a crucial logistic in the peaceful protest as per the artists.

But lest we forget, that the protest is also supported by gangster-turned-activists like Lakha Sidhana and Navdeep Guggu.

The article is not calling the administration to take stand against such songs, since an army of “human rights” advocates is standing just outside the court premises to defend the accused. But the brutal history of Punjabi music industry’s violent, alcoholic and sexist nature fairly narrates the vulnerability of Punjabi youth to such extremist songs. If the 80s-90s insurgency is revived in Punjab, the aftermath stands unimaginable.

The article is written by Devanshu Mittal, Student, Kurukshetra University.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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