"The singer often challenged his enemies"
The dramatic life of the late rapper Sidhu Moose Wala is about to hit the screens as the book Who Killed Moosewala? gets the green light for an audio-visual adaptation.
Penned by crime journalist Jupinderjit Singh, this literary work delves deep into the Punjabi music industry, with bone-chilling accounts of the intertwined elements of crime, fame, and tragedy.
Moose Wala, an iconic presence, skyrocketed to stardom as his lyrics and themes struck a resonant chord with youth worldwide.
Notably, his artistic endeavours were no stranger to controversy, as he fearlessly explored unfiltered and raw issues, ultimately becoming a powerful voice for many.
However, his meteoric rise was tragically cut short, and Who Killed Moosewala? seeks to unveil the truth behind this shocking and mysterious event.
Sriram Raghavan, the guiding force behind Matchbox Shots, who produced Andhadhun, Monica O My Darling, and Scoop, has just secured the rights for the on-screen project.
Speaking on the relationship with Matchbox Shots, Jupinderjit said:
“The moment the book was published there was a lot of interest from various production houses.
“I was really impressed with the kind of work Matchbox Shots is producing and I am thrilled that they have taken the rights to the book to develop it further.”
Furthermore, Sarita Patil of Matchbox Shots shared her perspective:
“We have always found the macabre relationship between the music industry and gang wars in Punjab extremely intriguing.
“With Jupinderjit’s book, Who Killed Moosewala?, we know we have a strong foundation for our story.”
On May 29, 2022, Sidhu Moose Wala left his ancestral home in Moosa for a brief visit to his aunt’s house in a neighbouring village.
Tragically, the young singer fell victim to a harrowing ambush, gunned down by a group of six assailants, aged 28.
Describing the moments that led up to Moose Wala’s assassination, Jupinderjit writes in his book:
“They had barely left the gates of the haveli when they were greeted by expectant fans.
“Sidhu slowed down and people thronged the SUV, clicking selfies and screaming about how much they admired the rap star.
“Amidst this crowd were two men, later identified as Kekda and Nikku, who took selfies with the star.
“Nikku even walked ahead of the rolling Thar and seemed to be shooting a video on his phone.
“In reality though, Nikku was not shooting a reel for Instagram or Facebook.
“He was on a video call with someone through the Signal app, sharing real-time intel on Moosewala’s movements.
“Nikku would confess to this after his arrest, but the police would never recover the phone he had used. Nikku had destroyed it according to plan.”
Further into this opening chapter, entitled ‘The Last Ride’ in an ode to Moose Wala’s final song release when he was alive, the book explains:
“Sidhu Moosewala’s music videos were often criticised for their violent content.
“In them, he brandished guns as luxury cars flew past in the background.
“The aggression and hypermasculine behaviour that he exhibited in his videos was not an entirely alien concept.
“In the region where he came from, it was considered a show of strength.”
“His public persona was in line with his position in the caste and class structure of the state.
“His videos consolidated his image of a rebellious young man unafraid of confrontation.
“The singer often challenged his enemies to come face to face.
“‘I can surely handle many of you’, he said in a video while responding to those making threatening phone calls to him.
“The Thar moved along the road. Moosewala placed his pistol, a .455 bore Chrome-plated US-made Ithaca, in the accessory pocket of the driver’s door.
“He had bought this weapon a year ago and had an arms licence to carry it.
“He drove past rows of keekar, tahli, neem and eucalyptus trees that lined the road on either side.”
Without revealing too much of the book, Jupinderjit does well to create an eerie and tense atmosphere, despite the millions of people who already know this story.
But, what makes Who Killed Moosewala? so compelling is that it looks at the potential reasons and motivations for the singer’s tragic death, without disregarding his accomplishments.
The news of Moose Wala’s demise spread like wildfire, triggering an outpouring of grief and support from fans who flocked to his village in the Mansa district to pay their final respects.
Meanwhile, the digital world buzzed with mourning and remembrances as people, both near and far, grappled with the loss.
Sidhu Moose Wala, an icon to many, was a complex figure.
He was known for his rebellious spirit and was also shadowed by allegations of promoting gun culture and violence, as well as rumours of connections to certain underworld elements.
Jupinderjit pens in the book:
“Analysing Sidhu’s lyrics over his short career, one can observe a shift away from the themes of Jatt supremacy and hypermasculinity that were integral parts of his earlier songs.
“He had begun to sing about Punjab’s socio-political issues, such as political prisoners.
“Perhaps the greatest loss in all this is that Moosewala was killed just when he had begun to call for change.
“He often threatened his enemies in his songs and made bold statements against the lack of tolerance of religious leaders.”
With his abrupt and violent passing, the questions surrounding his life grew louder, echoing the mystery of his death.
Everyone was eager to unravel the truth: Who had taken the life of Moose Wala?
As law enforcement made arrests and launched a full-fledged investigation, a gripping narrative unfolded, revealing a tale of long-standing feuds, uncomfortable realities, and simmering violence.
This book not only chronicles the story of the slain singer and those responsible for his murder but also serves as a thought-provoking exploration of the mounting unrest in Punjab.
It’s no secret that the testimonies, revelations, thoughts and opinions in Who Killed Moosewala? provide the backbone for a captivating on-screen tale.
And, as many still mourn and celebrate Sidhu Moose Wala, this new perspective on his life promises to be a riveting spectacle.