April 15, 2014 | By Jasmine Singh (The Tribune)
Chandigarh/ Punjab (April 15, 2014): As you surf Punjabi television channels these days, you find singer-actor Harbhajan Mann telling viewers in his mellifluous voice, “Kuch saal pehlon tak, Punjab ch bilji sirf badlaan ton hi garajdi si. Par pichley panj saalan ch Badal sarkar ney bijli di aisi lishk khilaari hai ki gali-gali, pind-pind lishk reha hai. (Till a few years ago, the only electricity that Punjab got was from the clouds. But the last five years have changed it all. The Badal government has ensured power to every nook and corner of the state)”.
And, he is not alone. Jazzy B talks about Badal and Modi as “chaati vich madaani” (churner in a pot of buttermilk). Gippy Grewal in his advertisement talks about the development in the state.
The advertisement may have got Harbhajan Mann a lot of praise from Akali Dal cadres and perhaps some moolah too. But it has also got him unexpected brickbats on social networking sites.
Like Harbhajan, other artistes like Diljit Dosanjh, Gippy Grewal and Jazzy B too are facing flak from many fellow artistes and fans. A youtube video titled “Diljit Dosanj, Harbhajan Mann and Jazzy B on sale — Sold to Punjab Government Akali Dal Badal” gets hundreds of hits every single day!
As the momentum for the Lok Sabha elections picks up, famous Punjabi singer-actors find themselves being targeted through hate mails on various social networking sites for appearing in the advertisements that promote the government in Punjab.
Fans across Punjab, Canada, Australia and Germany have been condemning the singers for siding with SAD.
None of the singers had expected such a strong reaction from their fans. Website “The Sikh Activist Network” that features the Jazzy B video got a comment from Miss Kaur (at 12.01 am on April 4): so embarrassing!!! this lil john look alike would do anything for money, what a disgrace! (sic).
The description of this video says “Jazzy B has released a video endorsement in praise of Badal and Modi. Jazzy B has been one of the few singers who has openly supported the ‘shaheeds’ of 1984, praised the call for justice and more. Jazzy B definitely has a soft spot for the struggle in his heart, so why this video? Is Jazzy B simply endorsing what he may view as the lesser of two evils when contrasted with the Congress or was he bullied into it?”
Gippy Grewal, who is surprised with the situation, said, “It was only a commercial advertisement, but I didn’t expect that it would be taken in the wrong sense. I apologise to the people who felt hurt because of it. As an artiste, I would only want people to come out and vote. In the near future, I wouldn’t attach myself to any political party.”
On being asked about the hate mails he is getting on his facebook page, Gippy says he knows about it. “I can only say that I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”
Four days ago, the website had a comment by Vik Sembhi “Yr harbhajan ne dil todta ..jeda e kehnda si ki main Punjab bolda haan (sic). (Harbhajan, you have broken our heart, you used to represent Punjab).”
Singer Jazzy B clears his stance. “First, I did not do the advertisement for money. I am all for the sports and development of Punjab irrespective of anything.”
Punjabi folk singer Pammi Bai, who was recently involved in mud slinging with Bhagwant Mann, says that an artiste has all the right to make his independent decision. “I only go for political promotions or rallies for personal reasons. In the last Vidhan Sabha elections, I campaigned for Muhammad Sadiq on one side and Parminder Singh Dhinsa on the other. I am not supporting the Akali Dal, Congress or AAP.
“I only attend rallies because of my personal relations with the person concerned. Why should I join any political party. I am not a political person.” Pammi Bai is aware of the vehement opposition to the singers on youtube. “I have seen the strong remarks people have left for the singers who have supported the government. But I want to ask the people, can’t an artiste decide what to do? It is their choice and it should be respected.”
Popular singer Diljit Dosanjh, whose is basking in the success of his recent release “Disco Singh”, is drawing flak because of a misunderstanding. He said, “In the advertisement — that I did free of cost — I am only talking about ‘saanjh kendras’. I am not asking anyone to vote for the party.” However, sources in the Punjabi film industry say that the singers supporting the ruling party are being criticised by fellow singers and actors. Jassi Jasraj of Punjabi film “Bikkar Bai Sentimental” is totally against the singers who are supporting the state government.
“An artiste is answerable to the public. Today, if they are getting hate mails and people are grouping against them, then they are responsible for it,” he said.
NOTE: Above write-up was originally published at website of “The Tribune”, under title: “Netizens fret and fume over Punjabi singers humming SAD tunes” at source page: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140415/main6.htm . It is reproduced as above, for the information of readers/ visitors of the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN).
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