Guns, no roses: In Moose Wala’s death, ends a possibility pregnant with purpose
- Sidhu Moose Wala, 28, was shot dead near Mansa, Punjab Sunday
- Moose Wala’s music had global reach, was slammed for its violence
- Moose Wala represented the Congress in the recent Punjab polls
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.
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.”
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.