Sidhu Moose Wala,
the gangster rap artist in whose songs many of Punjab’s rural youth have found
expression of their angst, was shot dead miles away from Mansa on Sunday. This
temperamental, easy-going man from Mansahad already become a musical super
star. His music, full of guns and violence, had fans and critics galore. But his
art was not without a social conscience, the form and premise of which agreed
with many in Punjab.

While Moose Wala’s
YouTube channel was never shorn of subscribers, his name on the ballot was. He
was Punjab Congress’ star candidate, apple of the eyes of former Chief Minister
Charanjit Singh Channi and former state party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. Moose
Wala’s campaigns
, however, were different from the general fanfare that follows
poll campaigns in Punjab.

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Moose Wala would never
make tall claims. He would speak urgently about the need to do something with
regard to pollution and the environment in general. In his appeal to Punjab’s
people, he would say, “We need to clean up the air we breathe, the water we
drink, the food we eat, and our political system.”

Moose Wala, whose
songs often put him in crosshairs with law enforcement, had also written a song,
apparently about his electoral defeat. The song, titled “Scapegoat” goes: Jeet
gaya kaun gaya haar dasso kaun/ Hunn mainu loko ae gaddar dasso kaun
, which
roughly translates to, “Tell me who won and who got defeated/ Now, tell me who
is the traitor.”

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When Moose Wala
joined the Congress, he told The Indian Express that he was not coming into
politics for status or to earn praise. “I am joining Congress as the party has
leaders, who come from common families,” he’d said.

On Sunday, Sidhu
Moose Wala was shot dead by assailants while travelling in his car. The
incident took place near Jawahar Ke village. Punjab police chief VK
Bhawra said, “Lawrence Bishnoi gang is involved in the murder. Lucky, a member of
the gang has taken responsibility from Canada.”

The Punjab
Director General of Police (DGP) further said Moose Wala’s manager Shaganpreet’s
name had come up in the murder of one Vicky Middukhera last year and Moose Wala’s
murder have been in retaliation. Punjab police have set up a special
investigation team (SIT) to probe the incident.  

For many of Moose
Wala’s fans, the rapper had seen death before it knocked on his doors. In one
of his latest releases, titled “The Last Ride,” Moose Wala wrote that the gleam
on Moose Wala’s face tells that he will die young. An engineer by training, a
musician who had made a name for himself globally, and a budding politician,
Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu aka Sidhu Moose Wala did die young, all of 28 years old.