Following in the footsteps of Punjabi singers who promote weapons in their lyrics and music videos, youngsters of the region not only flaunt pistols, rifles and revolvers at social functions but also post such pictures on social networking platforms.
The way they pose with the weapons and give eccentric captions speaks volumes about the pride they have in possessing them. The pictures get hundreds of likes and positive comments, which no doubt boost their confidence. Some of such captions noted by this correspondent are ‘Jatt nu shaunk hathriya da (jatt has a passion for weapons)’, ‘Rifle nal sardari (sardari with rifle)’, ‘Real Punjabi’ and ‘Josh Punjabiyan da (‘spirit of Punjabis)’. The comments made by their friends include ‘nice picture’, ‘your pistol is stunning, I also want to buy a similar one’, ‘love of Jatt’ and ‘Born to kill’.
Rana Ranbir, a comedian, poet and author, said he, too, has noticed the fascination of weapons among youngsters on social media, but suggests that parents can play an active role in stopping their children from following this culture.
Psychologists say such a culture is getting stronger, as youngsters get influenced by their environment, in which songs openly promote weapons and crime.
“If you watch any Punjabi music channel even for 10 minutes, you will come across many shocking songs that are spoiling the youngsters. Banning them is the best solution,” said Dr BP Mishra, a clinical psychiatrist at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.
Jatinder Kaur Gulati, head of the human development department at Punjab Agricultural University, said: “There is no doubt that young minds imitate what they see. They do use social networking sites to flaunt their gadgets, including weapons, and others follow them. Parents need to keep an eye on their children to keep them away from negative influences.”
One of the reasons that there is no check on such “negative influences” is that there is no censor board in the state. Whenever questioned about its status, cultural affairs minister Sohan Singh Thandal has said that he is making efforts, but no concrete results have come out so far.
What youngsters say
I feel most youngsters who post pictures with weapons on social media are just trying to show-off. Seeing the alarming crime rate in the state, we must discourage such a trend.
Swaranjeet Singh, Young Writers Association, PAU, president
Not all youngsters flaunt these weapons under the influence of songs. Some of them also take to shooting as a hobby or sport, without any intention of committing crimes.
Balkaran Singh Gill, Ferozepur resident
The grave facts
Pictures through which youngsters flaunt weapons get hundreds of likes and positive comments
Even youngsters below the age of 18 are part of this trend
Some youngsters display their huge collection of guns, rifles and pistols along with cartridges
Punjabi singers keep sharing such videos on social networking pages and thank youngsters for following them