Glorifying violence and drugs has become a trend in Punjabi music industry, leading to the protests from within the Punjabi community living in India and abroad.
The Indo-Canadian community, who is struggling to curb the problem of gang violence among the Punjabi youth, has criticised the projection of violence and gang wars that have become a common feature in Punjabi songs.
The Punjabi diaspora is quick to embrace their music industry that is expanding exponentially lately with great songs popping up time and again. But not all are happy with this rise!
Jiwan Singh from Surry, British Columbia told SBS Punjabi that he is concerned over the bad influences of the glamorous and violent lifestyles often promoted in Punjabi songs and movies.
“They are so influenced that we struggle to give them values and ethics that we carried from our elders,” he said.
“Gone are the days when the role models were our freedom fighters and spiritual leaders, now they follow movie stars and singers.
“The community is struggling to tackle the gang violence that is engulfing Punjabi youth in Greater Vancouver Area.
“The Indo-Canadian gangs are ranked third behind the Outlaw Motorcycle gangs and Asian gangs in the organized crime statistics, which is our major concerns.
“Although, there is no single explanation for why these gangs have emerged, but there is a culture that promotes these types of things.
Sgt. Jag Khosa, gang intervention officer with Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit BC (CFSEU BC) said he has no doubt in informing that there is an over-representation of South Asian youth in gangs.
“Music is something that teenagers connect with instantly,” Simran Walia told Global News.
“If this is the kind of music that’s going out there, with a video that explicitly shows how to think, how to act, then it is very disturbing,” she said.
Not only in Canada but it is a general concern within the Punjabi diaspora over the projection of violence and gang wars that have become a common feature in Punjabi songs.
Many big names in Punjabi singing have used these types of songs to gain name and fame with a great success.
Singer like Honey Singh, Dlijit and Jazzy B have many predecessors and followers who not only like these songs but also promote this new culture in Punjabi singing industry.
A few years back, Honey Singh teamed up with Diljit Dosanjh to sing "Mitran nu shauk golian chalan da (We are fond of firing from our guns)".
The recent wave has seen Sidhu Moose Aala, Mankirat Aulakh and many more who often showcase songs with prominent gun culture and violence.
Gurbhajan Singh Gill, a Punjabi poet and chairman of International Punjabi Lok Virasat Akademi told Hindustan Times that songs with bad content have great influence on society, especially on youngsters.
“The need of the hour is surveillance by the government, which should at least monitor the content of songs being aired on TV and radio.
“There are good singers and writers in the industry but the production companies don’t find them profitable, which is very disappointing, he says.