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Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan: Secularism doesn’t exist anymore in this world

Veteran Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan talks about his recently released album and why he won’t make music for commercial purposes.

music Updated: Aug 10, 2017 17:49 IST
Samarth Goyal
Samarth Goyal
Hindustan Times
Gurdas Maan,Punjab,Shabd
Singer Gurdas Maan recently released the video for his song, Mittar Pyare Nu: Shabd from his album titled Punjab.

Gurdas Maan, who brought Punjabi folk music to the forefront, refuses to follow the typical commercial pattern of music. Thus, in the age of singles, the 60-year-old talks about his new album called Punjab, the evolving industry and his resistance to change. Excerpts of the interview:

Your album comes after three years. What took you so long?
There were other things I was involved in. I was doing shows in England and the US, and was also a part of a film.

What was the idea behind your current album?
People have become more hateful towards each other. They are constantly creating barriers on the basis of religion and gender. Secularism to bacha hi nai hai duniya me (There is no secularism left in the world). People should realise that everyone is free to practice whatever religion they want, and that they should treat fellow humans with love and respect.

Punjabi musicians often get accused of objectifying women and glorifying alcohol in their songs. Your music steers away from that. Do you think musicians need to be more responsible towards the their work?
What other musicians are doing is their business and I am no one to comment on that. Having said that, I do believe musicians have a certain responsibility towards the masses. Unka farz banta hai ki woh janta ko batayein jo bhi galat kaam ho rahe hain aaj kal. ( It’s their duty to make people aware about whatever wrong is happening in the world these days). In my song, I narrate the story of a man, who loses his family twice in a lifetime. Once during the riots of 1947 and then, 37 years later, during the riots of 1984. This is what I want to talk about. The hatred is spreading everywhere, and we have to stop it.

In the time of singles, you are still focussing on albums. Why so?
I am very old school and love the concept of albums. I think people will appreciate that I have a few rules in my career; one of them is not to release singles.

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First Published: Aug 10, 2017 17:47 IST