BOOK REVIEW: WHO KILLED SIDHU MOOSEWALA? THE SPIRALLING STORY OF VIOLENCE IN PUNJAB
On 29 May 2022, Punjabi rapper Sidhu Moosewala left his haveli in Moosa for a quick ride to his aunt’s house in the neighbouring village. He was never to return home. The singer was ambushed and gunned down by six assailants. He was only twenty-eight.
The news of his death spread like wildfire; fans thronged to his village in Mansa district to pay their last respects. Others mourned him on social media. An icon for many, the rebellious young man had also been a controversial figure. There were allegations that he promoted gun culture and violence, and rumours that he had ties with certain gangs. With his sudden and violent death, the questions about his life became louder—as also those around his death. Who had killed Moosewala? Everyone wanted to know.
As the police made arrests and the investigation started in earnest, a story began to emerge—one of old enmities, uncomfortable truths, disgruntled youths and the violence that simmers in Punjab, just below the surface of everyday life. In this gripping and fast-paced book, seasoned crime reporter Jupinderjit Singh closely follows the investigation into Moosewala’s death and also offers us glimpses into the man he was behind the mask of celebrity. The story of the slain singer and those behind his murder, this book is also a rumination on the growing unrest in Punjab.
In the book 'Who Killed Moosewala' Author Jupinderjit Singh probes the life of the most influential punjabi rapper, singer and songwriter Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, popularly known as Sidhu Moosewala, who was brutally murdered at the young age of 29 on 29th May 2022. Sidhu Moosewala had risen from humble origins and had earned global acclaim for his hard work, dedication and his unique ability to mix traditional and rap music. He also earned love of millions of fans across the world, because for Moosewala, music was food for his soul. His worldwide fans found his songs to be authentic and his lyrics to be visceral. I was not a fan of Sidhu Moosewala when he was alive, but now I am a big fan of his work. Not that I didnt like his songs, but I never got chance to explore his music earlier. Coming to the question why I picked up this book to read, I would like to share that it was for one of my friend's love for Moosewala's work, his voice, the power he brought to his music and singing, his song writing and his community work too. Moosewala was and still an inspiration for him and many other fans. Moosewala's death feels personal now. I wanted to know more about Sidhu Moosewala through this book, as in this book Author has tried to understand Moosewala as a person and about what may have led to the killing of such a charismatic personality.
The book 'Who Killed Moosewala' by seasoned crime reporter and Author Jupinderjit Singh gives a detailed account of the death and subsequent investigation into the murder of Sidhu Moosewala. This book is divided into 17 chapters and author has tried to unravel the mystery related to Moosewala's death in these chapters. The story explores how Moosewala received extortion calls first, how attempts were made to kill him and how ultimately police failed to prevent Moosewala's killing. The book raises many questions on Punjab Police and AAP government, like why Punjab Police could not prevent the death of Moosewala when they had been aware of the threat Moosewala had been facing? Also Moosewala had contested the elections and he lost and the newly-formed AAP government had pruned his security. And then the leaking of security withdrawal details to media. This book also highlights the lacunas in the investigation by Delhi and Punjab Police, as both the teams concealed information from each other. If they both had worked together, perhaps the case would have been solved.
I also got to read about the rise of gang culture in Punjab which is one of the main reasons for unrest in Punjab. Author explains how from the land of bravehearts and warriors to the land of drug menace, Punjab's reputation has seen a marked shift. Young lives in Punjab have been drawn into the tight grip of drug abuse, leading to a life of crime, and eventually dying an untimely death. This is well explained through the life stories of Roopa and Mannu Kusa. Author Jupinderjit Singh explores the reasons as to why these young people choose criminal way of life, whether it is the increased drug abuse or unemployment, etc.
It was not an easy read for me but an emotional one. What was more painful to read was about the pain of aged parents of Moosewala who are still waiting for the justice to be delivered. After reading the book I can say, this is a powerful book and Author took many months of painstaking research to write this book and has tried his best to stick to the facts of this murder mystery, without adding any of his personal views. I found it to be a gripping read and I read this book in one sitting. I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you're a fan of Sidhu Moosewala. Sidhu Moosewala will stay forever in our hearts because LEGENDS NEVER DIE.
RATING- 5/5 STARS
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