He allegedly violated the election code of conduct
Sidhu Moose Wala, the popular Punjabi singer, songwriter, and actor, garnered both fame and notoriety throughout his career.
While he amassed a significant fan base with his energetic music and unique style, he also found himself embroiled in several controversies that have ignited debates.
There’s no denying that he was a patriarchal figure during his time. And, he made numerous strides to raise awareness of social and political issues within India.
However, with this came a string of backlash or differing opinions that split audiences.
Although, before his death, Sidhu was an immensely popular musician who redefined the landscape for South Asian artists, which was especially evident after his passing.
His music speaks for itself but what notable controversies surrounded the famous singer? Here, we will shed light on the events and examine their impact.
In May 2019, a video circulating online showed Sidhu Moose Wala firing weapons at a Punjab shooting range.
The video not only raised eyebrows but also led to accusations of unlawful possession of firearms, sparking a heated debate.
Critics argued that it set a dangerous precedent, potentially encouraging youth to engage in illegal activities.
The controversy was fueled by concerns over the message it conveyed, questioning whether it was responsible for an artist with a significant influence to be seen using weapons.
However, it’s crucial to evaluate the legal implications surrounding the possession and use of firearms in that specific context.
Firstly, the artist was in the presence of Indian police officers.
Although, they were seen as unlawfully facilitating the musician’s use of an AK-47 which led six officers to be suspended.
In contrast, Punjab’s culture has a historical association with firearms, with numerous shooting ranges around the region.
Understanding the cultural context helps to grasp the significance and perception of such actions within the region.
Controversial Song Lyrics
Sidhu Moose Wala’s music has often courted controversy due to explicit lyrics and the showcase of violence.
Songs like ‘Warning Shots’ and ‘So High’ have faced criticism for their content, which some argue promotes a culture of aggression.
Critics believe that such songs can have a negative influence on impressionable minds.
In another instance, the song ‘Jatti Jeone Morh Wargi’ came under the scanner as it made a reference to the 18th-century Sikh warrior Mai Bhago.
His portrayal of the female warrior was deemed inappropriate and some Indian leaders demanded a ban on the song.
In March 2020, Sidhu apologised on social media.
Even with these incidents, it’s essential to acknowledge that music is a form of artistic expression, and interpretation can vary among individuals.
Whilst thousands have come out against Sidhu, saying his lyrics are glamourising violence, others have a different view.
For example, the lyrics in question may reflect personal experiences, social commentary, or storytelling.
Additionally, artists often use provocative language and imagery as a way to resonate with their audience, push boundaries, or reflect the realities of their surroundings.
This is especially important given that Sidhu’s prime influence was hip hop, a genre known for highlighting reality, poverty, crime, and pain.
Sidhu Moose Wala’s career has been marked by legal issues.
He has faced charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those related to violence, intimidation, and promoting enmity between different groups.
These legal entanglements have fueled controversy and resulted in debates over the artist’s behavior and its impact on society.
In February 2020, he ran into trouble for promoting gun violence through his song titled ‘5 Golian’.
He was booked under Sections 509 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 294 (reciting obscene songs), and 149 (unlawful assembly).
In May 2020, Sidhu was booked again for offenses under the Disaster Management and Arms Act after the video of him firing guns at the shooting range with police officers went viral.
It’s worth noting that allegations and charges do not equate to guilt, and individuals are entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
However, the frequent encounters with the legal system raised concerns about the artist’s personal conduct and the influence it may have on his followers.
Sidhu Moose Wala has occasionally made statements that have stoked controversy.
Whether through interviews or social media posts, his words have provoked strong reactions from both supporters and critics.
Some of his comments have been interpreted as inflammatory or insensitive, leading to outrage within specific communities or social circles.
One instance is in his 2020 track ‘Sanju’. Sidhu compared himself with controversial Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt who was booked for illegal possession of a firearm at the time.
Sidhu, in this song, boasted about the cases registered against him. That again attracted the attention of law enforcers.
The power of social media amplifies the impact of these statements, enabling them to reach a wider audience and garner swift reactions.
However, it is important to consider the context in which these statements were made and the intent behind them.
Artists often express their views, emotions, or personal perspectives, and it is necessary to differentiate between genuine harm caused and differences in opinion or interpretation.
Feuds with Other Artists
Sidhu Moose Wala’s public spats with fellow Punjabi artists have also generated considerable controversy.
These feuds often play out on social media platforms, capturing the attention of fans and the media alike.
Such conflicts have led to accusations, name-calling, and a tense atmosphere within the Punjabi music industry.
Perhaps the most well-documented interaction was between Sidhu and singer Karan Aujla.
The origins of their rivalry can be traced back to an incident where a leaked video of Sidhu targeting Karan Aujla in one of his songs reached Aujla’s management.
Allegedly, threats of physical confrontation followed, leading to a series of heated exchanges on social media between the two artists.
The tension simmered momentarily until Aujla released a diss track titled ‘Lafaafe’ in 2018.
Sidhu responded with his own fiery track, ‘Warning Shots’.
Interestingly, during an interview, Karan Aujla clarified that he did not personally write ‘Lafaafe’. He refrained from divulging specific details about the supposed rivalry.
Instead, he praised Sidhu Moose Wala’s artistic prowess, acknowledging his talent in the music industry.
Moreover, after Sidhu Moose Wala’s unfortunate demise, Aujla paid tribute to his fellow artist with a heartfelt song titled ‘Maa’.
Sidhu joined the Indian National Congress on December 3, 2021.
This decision marked his entry into the political arena with aspirations of contesting the 2022 Punjab Legislative Assembly election.
However, his candidacy faced opposition and controversy.
Nazar Singh Manshahia, the Congress MLA from Mansa, openly revolted against Sidhu’s candidacy, presenting a significant challenge within the party.
Despite the challenges, Sidhu continued to campaign, hoping to secure victory for the Congress party.
During the election campaign, Sidhu found himself embroiled in legal issues.
A case was filed against him under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. He allegedly violated the election code of conduct.
It was believed that he conducted a door-to-door campaign in the Mansa constituency after the permitted campaign period had ended.
These legal complications added a layer of intensity to the already high-stakes political contest.
After a closely watched election, Sidhu faced defeat in the 2022 Punjab state assembly elections.
In a poignant response to his election defeat, the singer released ‘Scapegoat’.
The song conveyed his feelings of disappointment and reflected on his perceived failure in the political arena.
However, the song sparked controversy, with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) interpreting the lyrics as insinuating that the voters of Punjab were “traitors” for electing the AAP.
They accused Sidhu of perpetuating the Indian National Congress’ “anti-Punjab” mentality and demanded an explanation from the party’s state unit president, Amrinder Singh Raja Warring.
Sidhu’s foray into politics proved to be an eventful and controversial chapter in his journey.
Perhaps one of the most controversial moments involving Sidhu Moose Wala was his actual death.
Tragedy struck when the iconic figure was mercilessly shot dead by unidentified assailants on May 29, 2022.
The incident sent shockwaves through the community and sparked a series of investigations to uncover the truth behind this heinous act.
The initial response from the police indicated that the Lawrence Bishnoi gang had claimed responsibility for the murder in an unverified Facebook post.
However, Lawrence Bishnoi himself denied making the post.
Despite the denial, the Punjab Police continued to hold him as the “mastermind” behind the murder.
In the aftermath of this heartbreaking event, questions were raised regarding the adequacy of Sidhu’s security.
Just a day before the incident, the police had reduced or entirely removed the security details of 424 individuals, including Sidhu Moose Wala.
This left Sidhu with only two commandos instead of the previous four, and he was traveling in his private car accompanied by two others instead of the bullet-proof vehicle with police commandos.
It was explained that his chosen vehicle, the Thar SUV, could not accommodate more than five people, leading to the absence of his security personnel.
The Lawrence Bishnoi gang’s motive for the murder was purportedly to avenge the killing of an Akali leader named Vicky Middukhera in 2021.
Sidhu’s aide was accused by the gang of having a role in the assassination of Middukhera, although no legal evidence supported this claim.
Canadian gangster Goldy Brar claimed responsibility for the murder on behalf of the “Punjab Module” gang associated with Lawrence Bishnoi.
Both Brar and Bishnoi faced criminal cases in India, solidifying the involvement of Bishnoi in the eyes of Punjab police.
Lawrence Bishnoi allegedly admitted his involvement and revealed a rivalry with the musician.
Within three months of Sidhu’s death, four of the shooters were arrested, providing a small sense of relief to those seeking accountability.
The investigation and legal proceedings continue, striving to unveil the complete truth behind the murder of this beloved cultural icon.
Sidhu Moose Wala’s journey through the music industry has been marred by controversies that have captured public attention and stirred debates.
From song lyrics to legal entanglements, his career has been anything but smooth.
While it is crucial to address the concerns raised by these controversies, it is equally important to consider them from a broader perspective.
As the artist continues to have a lasting impact on the music industry, even after his death, these challenges have helped shaped his historic legacy.