There are millions of artists in the Indian entertainment industry, millions of them in the regional entertainment industry, and a similar number of people in the Indian music industry. Yet, the Punjabi Music industry has always been on the radar of the gangsters. Why? What makes the La La Land of Punjabi Music industry the target of gangsters? Let’s find out.
A whopping revenue of Punjabi music industry
According to Vikram Mehra, the managing director of Saregama and the current chairman of the trade body the Indian Music Industry, which represents the interests of over 200 labels across the country, the current monetary value of India’s music industry is Rs 1,300 crore.
Hindi is the most streamed language on the platform in India given the popularity of Bollywood music, but Punjabi music is almost as popular.
Out of the whopping Rs 1300 crore, the annual turnover of the Punjabi music industry is around Rs 200 crore with an additional Rs 500 crore coming from live shows.
Punjabi music has the largest share of approximately Rs 700 crores in the independent music industry of India which is almost five times the size of the Telugu music industry, the second-largest market in the category.
Read more: The Punjabi music scene is riddled with anti-Modi, Khalistani propaganda. Here are some of the worst videos
“Punjab is a rich market and it keeps acknowledging new talent every now and then. That’s why even small artistes manage to get a show for Rs 50,000,” says Bhushan Kumar, chairman of T-Series. Bhushan further informed, “Punjabi music currently accounts for 40% of his company’s music business. Its artiste Guru Randhawa is making Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh per show.”
Bollywood, too, has always had a Punjabi influence in its song-and dance routine. All thanks to the Chopras and the Johars running Yash Raj Films and Dharma Productions.
Connection between Gangsters and Punjabi music industry
The whopping revenue of Punjabi music industry is the reason which makes it lucrative for gangsters to give extortion calls to artists and producers. Few of the gangs also invest extortion money in music companies.
If the reports are to be believed, last year, the Mohali Police cracked down on two music companies, Thug Life and Gold Media. They were believed to be directly run by gangsters from abroad. The then Mohali SSP, Satinder Singh, had also reported that Davinder Bambiha’s gang was investing extortion money in music companies.
Sidhu Moose Wala’s death has exposed the dark underbelly that connects the Punjabi music industry to gangsters. Many social media users have claimed that Moose Wala’s track ‘Bambiha Bole’ was a sign of his connections with the Davinder Bambiha gang.
Read more: Gangs of Punjab: A story way more complicated than ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’
However, Gabbar Sangroor, a Punjabi music producer, said that “Bambiha Bole is an old track associated with Punjab’s rural music, the one which was sung by Amrit Mann and Sidhu Moose Wala was only a recreation.”
Sangroor has also informed that the proximity of the artists with gangsters leads to unfortunate incidents. “Some of these singers don’t know when to distance themselves from these gangsters. At the end of the day, these gangsters were common people studying in colleges. That is why they easily come in contact with these singers. When singers need to get their money from producers, they often seek help from the gangsters. And the link continues,” said Gabbar Sangroor.
Notably, renowned singer Mankirt Aulakh’s name is also associated with Sidhu Moose Wala’s death. It is because whenever a singer is promoted by any gangster, he is assumed to be part of the respective gang.
In a now deleted post dating back to 2014, Aulakh had written about his performance in Ropar jail and mentioned the names of some known gangsters. His post in Punjabi read, “Show ta bahut laye ya par jail chal kal pehli var laya. Kal c ji apna show Ropar jail, which mere veer Lawrence Bishnoi hora kol, Nale Rabb mere yaara te mehar kre jaldi ehh sab bahar aoan”.
However, Aulakh has now demanded security cover, citing a threat to his life.
It is pertinent to note that Moose Wala is not the first artist who is alleged to have been killed by gangsters. Amar Singh Chamkila, also known as the Elvis of Punjab, was quite popular among the masses in the 1980s for his real and raw singing and song writing. He was also murdered by unidentified gunmen in 1988.
In 1988, revolutionary poet Avtar Singh Sandhu, was assassinated by militants at his Talwandi Salem village in Jalandhar district.
Dilshad Akhtar, another popular Punjabi singer, was allegedly murdered during a wedding at a Gurdaspur village in 1996. In 2018, singer Parmish Verma was also injured in an attack by gangsters in Mohali.
Actor-singer Gippy Grewal was also threatened by the same gangster Dilpreet Dhahan who had attacked Parmish Verma.
Mankirat Aulakh increased his security in April as he also received threat calls from the Davinder Bambiha gang. Apparently, the gang has also issued threats on Facebook after Moose Wala’s death.
Now, the popular singer Moose Wala has become the victim of ‘gangsterism’ in Punjab. It is high time the Punjab government and the police take swift action and crack their whip against the gangsters or Punjab will keep bleeding for indefinite years.
Leave a Reply