The Sikh community in India and Australia has condemned the new rendition of the sacred ‘Sikh Gurmantar’ Waheguru that surfaced online, a few days ago.
Members of Sikh community have expressed anger after a ‘controversial’ video ‘Wahe Guru’ emerged online, claiming it to be ‘extremely offensive, blasphemous and hurtful to religious sentiments.’
The video titled ‘Wahe Guru’ by Chakrazuma featuring Nitty Scott has received widespread criticism on social media platforms, including Facebook and Youtube.
Speaking to SBS Punjabi, Amar Singh of Turbans 4 Australia said that he considers the recitation of religious words and the presentation ‘highly offensive and unacceptable’.
“It seems like a deliberate and malicious act that is intended to hurt our religious sentiments," he said.
There should be a fine line between culture and religion that should be respected. But people like them believe in the fact that any publicity is good publicity.
Mr Singh said that he is afraid that it could be a 'cheap publicity stunt'.
"I don’t understand why they would use our sacred religious hymn in such a derogatory way. There are million other things that you can use in your video," he said.
He added that the community wants artists to adopt a ‘careful’ and ‘considerate’ approach before launching such projects online.
“I would encourage people involved in showbiz and music industry to first consider taking a bit of advice from Sikh scholars or organisations before committing to such projects that affect Sikh sentiments,” he said.
“I am worried about the implications. The video is there to stay. We’re in the digital age and even if it gets deleted from YouTube it will still be flying around through Whatsapp, TikTok or other platforms.”
Mr Singh said the community demands an ‘unconditional apology’ and a commitment from the artists to refrain from such acts in future.
Listen to the above-mentioned audio conversation with Mr Singh to access his full statement.
Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DDMC) President Manjinder Singh Sirsa has also condemned the video.
In a statement on Facebook, Mr Singh wrote – “This is not meditation nitty_scott - This is BLASPHEMOUS and downright HURTFUL. Waheguru is the Faith that millions of people chant from their soul and its done with peace & dignity; which is totally missing in your video.”
“I demand the immediate removal of this objectionable content from YouTube and on all SM platforms ASAP. We will take severest Legal action against the artist & their videographer for this vulgar representation.”
Juan Johnson aka Chakrazuma is claimed to be a Dallas, US- based yoga and meditation guide.
In a promotional statement, he mentioned that he wanted to promote video 'Wahe Guru’ as a meditation track.
“This song is dedicated to every soul in the world. We know that the power of ourselves is the greatest experience. Meditation can save the world,” Mr Johnson had said at the time of the video’s release.
“I'm so blessed to have a song with rap games little Buddha. Nitty Scott her deep roots in hip hop and spirituality helped our creation WAHE GURU,” he wrote on Facebook.
The artists have since had to face heavy backlash from the community on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Mr Johnson also shared a video teaser on YouTube which was later amended with the following information:
“Video being remade. Do not watch if you are a Sikh or true follower. Very Offensive! The rectification for the huge errors is being made.”