New Delhi: The Congress has spoken out in support of Sidhu Moose Wala, a Punjabi rapper-singer and its candidate in the recently concluded state assembly polls, in response to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP’s) jibe that his latest song referred to Punjabi voters as “traitors”.
Moose Wala, who had contested the elections from Mansa and lost to AAP’s Vijay Inder Singla by a margin of over 63,000 votes, released a song called ‘Scapegoat’ on YouTube Monday. The AAP has alleged that the popular singer called the voters of Punjab ‘gaddar‘ (traitors) in the song for making AAP win.
The word ‘traitor’ features in a line in the song that goes: “Who chose this government, tell me? Tell me now, who’s a traitor?”
The song also has references to farmers, activist Bibi Khalra — who contested on a Punjab Ekta Party ticket from Khadoor Sahib in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and lost — and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann, who contested from Amargarh this year but lost to AAP’s Jaswant Singh Gajjan Majra. It also refers to actor Deep Sidhu, one of the accused in last year’s Red Fort violence, who died in a road accident last month.
The AAP also claimed that Moose Wala’s song perpetuates the Congress’ “anti-Punjab” mentality, and has demanded an answer from the party’s newly-appointed state unit president, Amarinder Raja Warring, on whether he endorsed the singer’s views.
The Congress, on the other hand, has called the AAP’s criticism “completely unwarranted”, and asked the ruling party in the state to first get its own affairs in order.
ThePrint sought a comment from Moose Wala and his media team on the matter and the exact meaning of the lyrics of his song via calls and messages, but did not receive a response. The article will be updated if a response is received.
‘Who is the traitor?’
Shubhdeep Singh Sandhu alias Sidhu Moose Wala, who has millions of followers on social media, released the song ‘Scapegoat’ on his YouTube page Monday. By Wednesday, it had raked in over 39 lakh views and was trending at number 3 on the site in the ‘Music’ category.
“Kinne dindi chunni sarkar daaso kaun. Hun mainu loko oye gaddar daso kaun. Jit gaya kaun gaya haar dasso kaun. Hun mainu loko oye gaddar dasso kaun,” says Moose Wala in the song.
The lyrics roughly translate to: “Who chose this government, tell me? Tell me now, who’s the traitor? Who won and who lost, tell me? Tell me people, who’s the traitor?”
Moose Wala did not appear to make any direct references to the voters of Punjab.
The later part of the song goes (translated):
“Here, many have lost before,
I’m not the only one,
The people took down many truthful leaders,
These two-faced people defeated Bibi Khalra,
They stood with farmers, but defeated them,
They made Simranjit Mann lose,
They pretend to pay respect,
But they forget Deep Sidhu.”
Here too, it is unclear who Sidhu is referring to as “they”.
‘Anti-Punjab mentality’, says AAP
The AAP has hit out at Moose Wala, alleging that his song perpetuates the Congress’ “anti-Punjab” mentality.
“Sidhu Moose Wala has addressed 3 crore Punjabis in his latest song and referred to them as ‘gaddar’, which presents the Congress’ anti-Punjab mentality, attitude and history. Sidhu not only defamed Punjabis who are warriors, but also used foul language against them,” AAP spokesperson Malwinder Singh Kang said at a press conference in Chandigarh Tuesday.
AAP leader Neel Garg, at the same press conference, said, “Raja Warring must clarify his stand and apologise over the new song of Moose Wala.”
Punjab minister Harjot Bains tweeted Tuesday: “Our guru sahib has taught (us) that humbleness is the greatest virtue. Defeat should be taken as a lesson of introspection. (sic) But Sidhu Moose Wala seems to have lost his mind in arrogance. People of Punjab have voted from their hearts, calling the voice of people gaddar is shameful.”
‘Nothing anti-Punjab in it’, says Congress
The Congress has retorted saying that there is “nothing wrong” with what Moose Wala said in his song.
“This (the controversy) is completely unwarranted. Music, films, art tell people a lot of things in shorter versions or via indirect messages. He may have chided the electorate for not electing someone like a Bibi Khalra, who is a widow. And there’s nothing wrong in it,” Sukhpal Khaira, the Congress MLA from Bholath, told ThePrint.
“There is nothing anti-Punjab in this whole story. In fact, it only brings out the pain of Punjab,” he further said, adding that the AAP should first get its own affairs in order.
“The AAP should look into their own house first. How Kejriwal is calling officers to Delhi to run the Punjab government on remote control. How all these members who are not from Punjab are being sent to the Rajya Sabha. Suddenly they are so concerned about Punjab,” said Khaira.
(Edited by Gitanjali Das)