On November 3, rapper and singer Sidhu Moosewala joined the Congress party in the presence of Congress leader (for now) Navjot Singh Sidhu and the current Chief Minister of Punjab, Charanjit Singh Channi. Moosewala said he joined the party to “raise the voice of Punjabis”. Sidhu Moosewala is a well-known name in Punjab and has gained immense popularity among the youth with his music. But alongside the fame, millions of fans and songs with over 2 billion views in total on YouTube, Moosewala is also a controversy magnet.
Moosewala praised Bhindranwale in his songs
Though the majority of the Punjabi singers who sympathise with the Khalistani narrative do not speak in the open about it, Moosewala is one of such singers who have gained fame to a level that his fans prefer to ignore the narrative he injects in some of his songs. During the farmer protests, he came up with a song titled ‘Panjab’ in which he openly praised Khalistani leader Bharpur Singh Balbir. The song started with his visuals in 1982 in the presence of Bhindranwale. The speech that was used by Moosewala talks openly about separatism. ‘Raj di gal Kyun na kariye. Assi maala phad ke Hindustan de kisi math de pujaari ni banna chauhnde’ (Why not talk of self-rule? We don’t wish to just hold prayer beads and become priests in some math in Hindustan) is one of the excerpts from the song.
In the course of the song, Bhindranwale appears several times. Once in the video, he appears with an arrow in his hand while the lyrics said, ‘Oh Santa de Hathan Vich Fadeya Teer De Warga Ni, Dhake Naal Jihnu Dab Loge Kashmir De Warga Ni’ play (This is not like the arrow in the hand of saints. It is not like Kashmir that you can suppress it by force).
In the song, Moosewala also threatened “Delhi”. The lyrics said, ‘Mud Toh Bade Khilaaf Tu Ditte Order Dilli’ae Ni, Oh Bhulli Na Mainu Vi Lagde Border Dilli’ae Ni’ (You have given orders against me from the beginning, oh Delhi. Don’t forget I am a border-State).
This is not the only song by Moosewala that caused controversy. He has been accused of promoting gun culture in his songs and social media posts. There was a song titled ‘Jatti Jeone Morh Wargi’ that stirred controversy as he compared the girl she was talking about in the song with the Sikh Warrior Mai Bhago, also known as Mata bhag Kaur, who led the Sikh soldiers against Mughals in 1705. He had to apologise in front of Akal Takht in Amritsar and remove the portion from the song. In the same song, the lead actress was seen donning guns.
In ‘Me and My Girlfriend’, Moosewala ‘proudly’ carried an assault rifle and called it his girlfriend. He has been charged multiple times for promoting gun culture, but the law failed to stop him from promoting guns in his songs. Above all, five Police personnel themselves were booked after a video of him surfaced shooting in the presence of them at a shooting range amidst lockdown in May last year.
Sidhu used cases against himself in songs and ‘proudly’ showed guns repeatedly. In one of the songs, the lyrics compared his case to the case against actor Sanjay Dutt who was booked and jailed under similar charges.
There is one more controversy linked to one of his songs titled ‘Power’. In the song, the lyrics he says, “I don’t keep ‘tumbi tambi’, I keep 3.15. I am Sidhu Moose wala and not Chamkila. The word Chamkila in the lyrics has a lower volume compared to the rest of the song.
Tumbi is a one-wired musical instrument famous in Punjab. Dhanni Ram alias Amar Singh ‘Chamkila’ was a popular Punjabi singer who was famous for his political satire-based songs. Chamkila was often seen playing Tumbi while singing. He was killed along with his wife Amarjot in 1988. His death remains unsolved to date. As per one of the theories around his death, he was killed by Khalistani terrorists who were not pleased with the lyrics of his songs. Other theories suggest it was honour killing or that he was killed by a rival.
There are some speculations about the word Chamkila in the song as at most of the places, the word is shown as Cham**. Some listeners have speculated that the word is not Chamkila but Chamar, and Moosewala were allegedly demeaning the Dalit community.
Moosewala’s Instagram is filled with photos with guns
On his Instagram account, there are at least 15 posts where he can be seen carrying guns. Despite numerous cases against him and strict laws against guns in India, he could be seen holding pistols, assault rifles, shotguns and other weapons in Instagram posts. They are real or not is another matter. Being a popular singer among the youth, his promoting guns is a serious red flag that needs the attention of the authorities. But now, as Punjab CM himself has accepted him in the Congress party, it would be more difficult for the law enforcement agencies to take any action against him.
Who is Sidhu Moosewala
Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu alias Sidhu Moosewala hails from Village Mossa, district Mansa, Punjab. Born in a Sikh family, Moosewala completed a degree in Electrical Engineering in 2016. Moosewala started promoting his short singing videos that slowly gained fame on social media platforms, after which he slowly gained popularity as a rapper and singer in Punjabi Music Industry.