Shubh Faces Controversy Over Concert Hoodie
Popular Punjabi rapper Shubhneet Singh, also known as Shubh, has called for an end to the spread of “hate and negativity” following a recent controversy surrounding a hoodie he displayed during a concert in London.
The controversy erupted when some Indian social media users alleged that the hoodie featured imagery supportive of the Sikh separatist movement.
Shubhneet Singh, who is based in Canada, explained that a fan had thrown the hoodie onto the stage, and he had not examined its content before displaying it.
The issue of Sikh separatism is a highly sensitive subject in India, and Shubhneet Singh has previously found himself embroiled in controversies related to this matter.
In September, his India tour was abruptly cancelled due to a dispute over an old social media post in which he had shared an inaccurate map of India. He was accused of endorsing the demand for Khalistan, a separate Sikh homeland, which had led to a violent insurgency in India during the 1980s. At that time, he urged his critics to refrain from labeling every Punjabi as a separatist or anti-national.
This controversy occurred amidst strained relations between Delhi and Ottawa. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had stated that Canada was investigating the potential involvement of Indian government agents in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada—an accusation that India vehemently denied.
Canada boasts the largest Sikh population outside of India’s Punjab state and is home to several popular Punjabi diaspora musicians, including Shubhneet Singh.
The recent controversy began during Shubh’s weekend concert in London. Videos circulated on social media platforms, showing him picking up a black hoodie from the floor and displaying it to the audience.
Critics argued that the hoodie featured a map of Punjab, accompanied by an illustration depicting the assassination of India’s former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984, shortly after the Indian army conducted an operation at the Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh shrine in Amritsar, to root out separatist militants who had taken refuge there.
Due to the unclear and hazy quality of the online videos, it is challenging to definitively identify the image on the hoodie.
On Tuesday, Shubhneet Singh posted a statement on his Instagram story, explaining that during his London show, “a lot of clothes, jewellery, and phones were thrown at me by the audience.” He emphasized that he was there to perform and was not in a position to inspect the items that were thrown at him.
The rapper has received support from fans who shared videos from his other performances, demonstrating that he had similarly picked up items thrown onto the stage and displayed them to the audience.
Note: Shubhneet Singh’s recent India tour was cancelled in light of previous controversies.
News Source: BBC