A consistent trend within Punjab politics has been to utilize the influence of celebrities and singers in an attempt to promote a political agenda to sway voters. For example, The People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) has extensively leveraged Bhagwant Mann, who is also a candidate, to consolidate support for their party, even going as far as having him produce a song to persuade a much younger voter base by releasing his own version of the hit Tamil song, Kolaveri Di (You can view it here).
Although, it can be argued that this is part of the political game, the latest celebrity to be exploited by a political party is of great concern. A recent endorsement that has been used as an instrument to spew party propaganda has added an additional element to this emerging phenomenon. Jazzy B, an internationally known Punjabi singer has crossed into dangerous territories when he recently came out in support of the SAD-BJP party, despite the fact that he is not running as a candidate in the current election.
Jazzy B has spent numerous years in Canada and cannot claim ignorance. As a celebrity who has grown up primarily in Canada, he is not a product of Indian propaganda and should be well aware of the problematic nature of what he has done.
To elaborate on this, Jazzy B was exposed to the very same issues many of us in the diaspora have been, growing up. For example, in the aftermath of the 1984 Sikh Genocide, Jazzy B felt the way many of us do today and even released a socially conscious album alongside Moranwali Dhadhi Jatha, in which he discusses the false encounters and illegal detentions committed by the Punjab Police against the Sikh youth in their attempt to exterminate the community. (Listen here)
However, in an appalling move, he has since come out in support of the Shirmoni Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP alliance), as can be seen from this video, which indicates a change in attitude or revelation of his true intent.
So we ask:
Jazzy B-trayal, if you are aware of even a single component of the genocide, you should know one of the master minds and architects of the illegal detentions and false encounters that you refer to in your track is Sumedh Saini, who also happens to be a key ally of Parkash Singh Badal (who has even been offered a promotion should they secure their victory in this election).
In addition, you should be aware that the BJP is a radical Hindutva organization that is known for their attempt to distort Sikh philosophy and history in an attempt to devoid the Panth of its sovereignty. Including, launching vicious assaults such as the massacre at Harminder Sahib in June of 1984 with the support of its federal leader, L. K. Advani.
So why is that if you are aware, that you have endorsed the SAD-BJP Political alliance that additionally supports numerous Deras and Babbey that break Ekta in the Panth and manipulate the masses for their hidden political agenda?
Well, we don’t expect to get an answer, so we’ll assume that Jazzy B-trayal has caved into the peer pressure of many other Punjabi singers. It is unfortunate, but true that he is not the only celebrity to support the BJP-SAD alliance; Harbhajan Mann has also come out in support, much earlier than him.Well, we don’t expect to get an answer, so we’ll assume that Jazzy B-trayal has caved into the peer pressure of many other Punjabi singers. It unfortunate, but true that he is not the only celebrity to support the BJP-SAD alliance; Harbhajan Mann has also come out in support, and Hans Raj Hans did as well.
Sad isn’t it? What do we do you may ask? Well, as we await the results of the 2012 election, we shouldn’t let our memories fade, when supporters of the Badal Regime come to our local concert halls seeking our dollars, we should seize the opportunity and send our message loud and clear. As supporters and lovers of peace and human rights, our money will not be given to actors in Badals Natakentitled “The Demise of Punjab”.