29th of May – The day that many considered to be a ‘Black Day’ as a Punjabi Singer named Sidhu Moose Wala was shot dead by unknown assailants. The Punjabi singer, who was with two others in his car, was sprayed with bullets.
Hours after Sidhu Moose Wala passed away, Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar took the responsibility for the attack. Goldy Brar is believed to be the close aide of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang. Moreover, the incident has also forced people to criticise Punjab Government.
However, many underlying factors led to the killing of Sidhu Moose Wala. Let’s talk about these factors.
AAP Government’s failure
First and foremost, if there’s anyone who should be questioned is the AAP government. The killing of Sidhu Moose Wala has led many to demand action against the Chief Minister of Punjab Bhagwant Mann. But why is the government to be blamed here?
Well, there’s a reason for that. Moose Wala was one of those persons among 424 VIPs whose security was curtailed or withdrawn as per an official order. Moose Wala had four police gunmen on his security detail, out of which two were withdrawn after the Punjab government decided to withdraw the security. Just a day after his security was curtailed, Moose Wala was shot dead.
AAP government leaked details of his security withdrawal on social media for some political brownie points. The greed for political benefits took the life of a human being. Shamefully, not only these “strictly confidential” were leaked but were also shared on the WhatsApp groups linked with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
“It is highly unprofessional and unethical on the part of the officers to expose the names of those whose security has been curtailed or completely withdrawn. Unfortunate that the governments nowadays make such sensitive information public irrespective of the security threat,” a former DGP said.
Former MLA Kanwar Sandhu, who has been repeatedly raising the issue, said: “Was the AAP and the DGP not throwing the opposition leaders and others whose security has been withdrawn or cut to the wolves?”
Shouldn’t the AAP government be called out for the killing of Sidhu Moose Wala? Well, they definitely should be.
Drug Culture in Punjab
According to the 2011 census, total Population of Punjab is 2,77,43,338. This is 2.30% of the total population of India and Punjab is at 16th rank amongst all 28 states of India. Despite having a population of only 2%, Punjab ranks second among the states which consume highest quantity of drugs.
Believe it or not but drug addiction can make you go beyond the extent. In the absence of drugs, addicts develop physical reactions and symptoms such as severe body pains, vomiting, insomnia, diarrhoea, and watery nose and eyes. The inability to deal with these symptoms forces them to either seek treatment or do anything beyond the limits to suppress the craving and get rid of the pain.
This is what gives rise to crimes such as murder, extortion, and whatnot. These drug addicts simply join the gangs to earn profits and commit such crimes.
Gun culture in Punjab
While it is true that Sidhu Moose Wala was once arrested for encouraging gun culture and violence through his lyrics, it cannot be denied that the gun culture has always been on a rampant rise in the state of Punjab.
It is the burgeoning gun culture in Punjab that has led to multiple acts of violence, aided by changes in the police administration. In Punjab, there is a strange obsession with gun culture with abundant money coming in from land sales in the countryside and migration towards the capital Chandigarh, where almost every youth hailing from rural areas, wants to mark their presence.
Reportedly, while Punjab has only 2% of the country’s population, it has 10% of the total gun licenses. It is also one of the states having the highest number of gun licenses. According to data published by S. Karuna Raju, the state’s chief electoral officer, on 19 January, “There are more than 390,275 active licensed weapons in the state. There are about 13 gun licenses for every 1000 people in Punjab.”
Many believe that the promotion of gun culture in Punjabi music is to be blamed for this weird obsession with guns. These songs portray men dressed in expensive clothes, shoes, watches, gold chains around the neck, and showing off guns and rifles. The lyrics normalize the usage of guns as if it is a status symbol.
Existence of Gangsterism
But, what is scarier than the existence of these gun culture and drug culture in the border state is the existence of gangsterism in Punjab. The fact that elite gangsters have millions of social media followings is a clear indication that youth are attracted towards the gangster culture. When gangsters pose with luxurious automobiles, weapons, and rifles, many seem to be inspired by their “macho” appearance and actions.
These gangs have also begun involving in college and university student elections which have led to an increase in campus violence. These gangsters mostly belong to the lower middle class. Moreover, they have been unemployed for a long time.
In recent years, state police arrested a lot of offenders, but security services have failed terribly to prevent them from committing crimes while in custody. Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora said that “the police had formed an Organized Crime Control Unit that had detained around 180 offenders in the previous year and a half when announcing the encounter with Gounder and others.”
You see, multiple factors led to the killing of Moose Wala. Shockingly, he is not only the one who has been killed by the gangs but the last 3-4 decades have witnessed killings of around 4-5 Punjabi singers. It is high time state police and administration take strict actions against these gangsters to prevent more killings in the state.