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Mind the lyrics: Punjab cops ask singers not to ‘glamourise liquor, gangsters’

As part of a campaign to save youth from moving towards illegal activities, Punjab DGP has directed all district SSPs to meet singers living in their areas and appeal about avoiding singing objectionable lyrics.

punjab Updated: Feb 12, 2018 23:35 IST
Gagandeep Jassowal
Gagandeep Jassowal
Hindustan Times, Faridkot
Liquor,Punjab singers,Punjabi lyrics
Punjabi singer Ranjit Bawa with SSP, Batala, Opinderjit Singh Ghuman. (Facebook)

Switch on the TV, tune into the radio, or just Google — the relationship of Punjabi pop music with guns, liquor, drugs, and lately gangsterism, is everywhere. The police in Punjab are seeking to pull the plug now, by talking to singers.

As part of a plan by the force’s state chief, director general of police Suresh Arora, senior superintendents of police (SSPs) have been told to hold meetings and urge singers not to fan this culture. One such meeting was held on February 9 by the Batala SSP, Opinderjit Singh Ghuman, with singer Ranjit Bawa.

Bawa appeared encouraged, if one goes by his Facebook post the next day. Sharing a photo with the SSP at the latter’s office, he praised the action against “sangeetak (musical) pollution”; and further wrote: “Bahut changa uprala hon jaa rehae; aas karda haan ki Punjabi sangeet aun wale samey vich kafi changa hovega (Very good initiative being carried out; I hope Punjabi music in future will be much better),” adding, “Hathyaran, sharaab ton hatt ke gaane gaye jaan; sunann wale vi changa sangeet suno, geetkar v changa likho. (I hope that songs without guns and liquor are sung; and the audience too listens to good music and that lyricists too write good lyrics).”

Also read: New Punjabi song glorifies ‘reach’ behind bars: ‘Will call you from jail... update Facebook too’

SSP Ghuman told HT that Bawa gave “very good response”. He added, “Basically, our motive is to urge singers not to promote gangster culture, because they are followed by the youth and thus have social responsibility.”

Faridkot SSP Nanak Singh, who will hold such meetings on Tuesday with singers from the area, too said youngsters are “easily fascinated” by weapons or drugs shown in songs “because they are unaware of the consequences”. He also opined, “Older people never get attracted because they know the results of a gangster’s life.”

Calls for a censor board for songs and videos over the years has not led to any concrete results. Commenting on the culture, noted writer Gurbhajan Singh said, “Singers need to become icons. It is a welcome step by the police, but the main responsibility is of social organisations.”

Singer Jasbir Jassi appreciated the initiative too. “I have been raising voice against objectionable lyrics for the last 10 years. Such effort should have been made earlier to save our youth,” Jassi was quoted as saying by PTI news agency.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 18:45 IST