"It's bullying and it's unfortunate"
The highly anticipated India tour of the beloved Punjabi sensation Shubh was abruptly derailed on September 20 by the Indian government.
The controversial decision stems from earlier this year when Shubh shared a map of India which was deemed “distorted”.
Ticketing platform BookMyShow said on X (formerly Twitter):
“Singer Shubhneet Singh’s Still Rollin Tour for India stands cancelled.
“To that end, BookMyShow has initiated a complete refund of the ticket amount for all consumers who had purchased tickets for the show.”
The picture showed a map of India where Jammu, Kashmir, and parts of the Northeast were blacked out along with “Pray for Punjab” written beside it.
The story was posted in March 2023, when there was a lot of political uproar in India as the Punjab Police were searching for the now-arrested Amritpal Singh.
Despite online allegations, Shubh has no prior history of supporting one specific movement.
The picture itself was created by well-known artist, Amandeep Singh, otherwise known as Inkquisitive.
On September 16, Inkquisitive responded to the backlash:
“My brother Shubh, shared my art.
“It was a visual expression of a policeman taking the plug out of Panjab due to the ‘blackout in Panjab’.”
He clarified his comments on Instagram on September 20, saying:
“People see ONLY what they want to see – especially in artwork.
“The narrative and hidden agenda is often already set in place, especially those in higher power.”
“It’s bullying and it’s unfortunate.”
Doubling down on his view, he said to The Indian Express:
“[The image was] not done intentionally to provoke any sort of separate state agenda.”
However, the artist has been getting huge amounts of comments, one was posted to his Instagram story on the evening of September 20, which read:
“All this is happening because of you. Imagine you never existed.”
Mere hours before Shubh’s eagerly awaited India tour faced its unexpected cancellation, the renowned Indian electronics brand, boAt, made a significant announcement on September 19th:
“At boAt, while our commitment to the incredible music community runs deep, we are first & foremost a true Indian brand.
“Therefore, when we became aware of the remarks made by artist Shubh earlier this year, we chose to withdraw our sponsorship from the tour.”
Shubh had a series of thrilling performances lined up, with Mumbai as the kickoff destination from September 23 to 25.
Additionally, fans in New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad were eagerly awaiting his spectacular shows.
On the streets of Mumbai, a youth wing initiated a spirited protest against the singer, dismantling posters that had been promoting the concert.
Simultaneously, keen-eyed observers noticed Virat Kohli, who had frequently shared videos of himself enjoying Shubh’s melodies, unfollowed the singer on Instagram in the midst of the controversy.
Shubh is yet to speak on the matter.