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Punjab Diary: A Friend And Politician Remembers The Revolution Called Sidhu Moosewala

"Every verse of Sidhu Moosewala's songs carried a meaning. He has left behind a legacy that will perhaps remain unmatched," writes Kittu Singh, a politician and solo traveller

Punjab Diary: A Friend And Politician Remembers The Revolution Called Sidhu Moosewala
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Music and the man

I still remember that day. I was in Chandigarh.  I had just posted an Insta story on my way toa beauty salon. By the time I reached the salon, he had seen my story. He was always among the earliest ones to comment on my posts. A little later, still at the salon, I learnt that he had been shot. Moosewala was my close friend. I know many Punjabi singers and celebrities, but he was an extraordinary human being. He didn’t come to politics for fame. He came from one of the most backward districts, and contested the assembly elections from his home seat, Mansa. A few days before the election results, he came to meet me. When he removed his shoes, I could see blisters on his soles. His feet were swollen, indicating his hard campaigning. He lost the elections, but in the bypolls he supported Simranjit Singh Mann against the AAP candidate from Sangrur. It was said that the AAP can never lose from Sangrur, but they did.

Moosewala was not just a singer. He was a revolution in himself. He wrote and composed his songs. Every verse of his songs carried a meaning. He has left behind a legacy that will perhaps remain unmatched. Crime in Punjab has increased after the new government came to power. It has created insecurity among the people. But don’t link it to Khalistan, these are gangster crimes. I see a pattern in these criminal incidents. Consider this. Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali are tri-cities. But there are hardly any such crimes in Panchkula and Chandigarh, only in Mohali. It seems that some people are trying to disturb Punjab.

A little Bihar in Punjab

When I was about to enter politics, I had an option to choose between the Akali parties and the Congress. Since I had seen these parties getting elected by turn and failing, I chose Janta Dal (United), believing that a new party alone can make a difference. Not many politicians understand the culture of Punjab. The Congress brought Charanjit Singh Channi right before the elections. But the CM soon made remarks against the migrant Biharis in Punjab. He perhaps didn’t know that Punjab and Bihar have long ties that go back several centuries. Guru Gobind Singh was born in Patna, which is now a major seat of Sikhism. His 350th birth anniversary was celebrated in 2017 in Patna, which cemented the ties between the two communities. Bihar has always lived in Punjab.

My party has full respect for Biharis. We recently had an alliance with Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and supported Simranjit Singh Mann. He has his stand on certain issues, but Khalistan is not a negative term. Khalis means pure. Khalistan denotes a pure land. We believe in the ideology of socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia.

Flying solo

I come from the rural district of Muktsar Sahib, but I have also lived in metros. I am a solo traveller. I drive a Thar. I recently drove to Lahaul and Spiti. Last year, I was in Russia. I felt alive along the River Moskva.  My Sikh upbringing has given me immense courage and strength to live my life. Punjabi women are very strong, but their participation in politics is very low. Of the 1,304 contestants for the recent assembly elections, less than 100 were women. People have very high expectations of a woman. I have an MBA and a PhD, and have also done modelling before I entered politics. I am expected to do well in my profession, look after my house, and give time to the family.

Drug addiction is also rampant among women in Punjab. I recently came across a tragic case. After a man committed suicide, his wife and her two young daughters were left without any mo­ney. She started working at someone’s home. Once when she had a headache, her employer gave her some medicine. The next day, he gave her some medicine again. He actually had been giving her drugs. She soon became an addict and he started to physically abuse her as well as her elder daughter, before the younger daughter made a complaint, and the man was arre­sted. People don’t want to talk about it because they fear it will bring disrepute to Punjab. But, I want to be the female voice of Punjab. 

(This appeared in the print edition as "Punjab Diary")

Kittu Singh Is a politician and solo traveller

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