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You can’t ban a song hoping that vulgarity will end, says Satinder Sartaj

Punjabi singer Satinder Sartaj feels that Punjab Government’s move to set up a Cultural Commission to put an end to vulgar songs will not solve anything.

music Updated: Apr 20, 2018 17:26 IST
Samarth Goyal
Samarth Goyal
Hindustan Times
Sai,Soohe Khat,Satinder Sartaj
Satinder Sartaj is best known for his sufi songs such as Sai, Hun Der Nai, and Ammi. In 2017, he acted in an American film — the Shabana Azmi-starrer The Black Prince.(Photo: Shivam Saxena/HT PHoto)

Punjabi singer-songwriter Satinder Sartaaj doesn’t rule out the existence of ‘vulgarity’ in Punjabi music industry, but he is of the opinion that it’s not right to solely blame the artists for the trend. Reacting to the Punjab Government’s decision of setting up Cultural Commission to put an end to vulgar and violent songs, the singer says that he doesn’t feel it will solve anything.

“You cannot bring about this kind of a change by saying we will put a ban on this. It doesn’t work like this. You may put a ban on such songs, and people might follow it for a few days. But then, after some time, the trend will start again. It’s a kind of a problem that needs to be eliminated from its roots,” he says.

The 36-year-old, who is known for his songs such as Sai (2010), Yamaha (2010) and Soohe Khat (2013), feels that the government should invest time, money and energy in educating the masses, “especially youngsters” about such issues. “I have been saying this for the last four years now. People [in power] have to go to colleges and universities. Our country is a land of traditions, and people respect that. You have to teach youngsters to follow right ideals. You cannot ban artists and expect things to be alright,” says the sufi singer.

Sartaaj feels that it’s the “demand” that sets a trend. “I want to tell the audiences that if they want vulgarity to stop, they have to take the first step. If they like listening to a song, they should [first] think if their mother, father, brother or sister will also be able to enjoy the song,” he says, adding that musicians should be “responsible role models”.

“My appeal to musicians and lyricists is that if they can, [they should] refrain from writing ‘such’ songs — it’s obviously better. Freedom of speech is practiced everywhere in the world, but you have a responsibility towards your social environment. So, artists should be a bit more careful,” he says.

Talking about the fan culture in Punjab, he says, “When they (fans in Punjab) see some Punjabi singer, who probably was from their own town or college, they relate [to him or her], and start to behave like them as well.”

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First Published: Apr 20, 2018 17:25 IST