'Gangland' To 'Asla': Stop Playing Such Music; Show A Warning Before Songs Glorifying Guns

'Gangland' To 'Asla': Stop Playing Such Music; Show A Warning Before Songs Glorifying Guns

8 June 2022
Petition to
Shri Bhagwant Mann (Chief Minister, Punjab)
Signatures: 10,900Next Goal: 15,000
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Why this petition matters

From the windows of my classroom, around the college entrance, and while travelling in public transport, I listen in horror as the Punjabi youth, with their headphones on full volume, blare songs such as ‘Gangland’ and ‘Asla’. While clicking selfies, they pose as if shooting a gun, imitating Punjabi pop stars. 

In 2000, a song called ‘Kabza’ glorified the use of guns for settling land disputes. The lyrics, “Khedenge Jatt aj khoon diyan holiyan…Karde oh waajee aj maar maar goliyan”, translated in English would mean, “Punjabi Jatt will play with blood today amid the sound of firing everywhere.” Since then, the glorification of guns, drugs, alcoholism and violence has only grown in Punjabi pop culture. 

I moved here in 2003, from Karnataka, to teach Sociology. The people here welcomed me with open arms for they embodied Punjabiyat. But our songs today run against the essence of Punjabi culture.

Today, our state is seeing murders in broad daylight, while gangsters issue threats to the entire public from jail. The youth at large, though, continues to remain enchanted with firearms and wants more violence as retribution. If someone asks me how things came to such a pass, I would tell them our songs brought us here. 

Today, Punjab’s youth sees toting firearms, posing with them for selfies and firing in the air as essentials for conveying their caste pride and masculinity

In 2016, Kulvinder Kaur, a 25-year-old dancer who was pregnant, lost her life because of celebratory firing. That is when I felt that Punjab’s gun culture had assumed worrying proportions and that the state needed to clamp down on the glorification of weapons in Punjabi songs. I did what I knew best and started walking the roads with placards in hand, talking about the glorification of violence in Punjabi songs. I even met the mothers of Punjabi pop singers and requested that they ask their sons to stop promoting a gun culture through their songs. Meanwhile, I also filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In response to my plea, the Court, in 2019, directed the Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh police to ensure that no songs glorifying liquor, drugs and violence were played or performed. 

However, as is often the case in India, implementation of such directives is lax. 

So what next? 

These songs should not be played in anywhere, as per the order of the High Court. Punjab Police should act on this. For the songs that have already released, audio platforms such as YouTube, Gaana and Spotify should run a DISCLAIMER before such songs.  

The disclaimer should talk about how posing with a gun in photos or firing it could invite prosecution. The disclaimer should be an appeal to the youth to tone down their fascination with firearms, talk about incidents where people have lost their lives because of celebratory firing, and, on the whole, urge the youth to exercise some discretion and common sense before being swayed by pop culture, or in a lot of cases, succumbing to peer pressure.

On the whole, Punjab and perhaps the entire country needs a censor board to certify non-film songs, which is a majority of the Punjabi songs that glorify the use of firearms.

We must act now, or else, “Pind humaara Gangland ban jaana hain”!

Sign the petition to support my years-old cause. 

Support now
Signatures: 10,900Next Goal: 15,000
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Shri Bhagwant MannChief Minister, Punjab