The cancellation of Canadian rapper, Shubhneet Singh's Still Rollin' tour in India sparked major controversy. Amid outrage for his alleged remark on Khalistan, BookMyShow issued a statement regarding the tour being canned. Now, AP Dhillon cryptically reacted to the matter.
On Instagram stories, Dhillon wrote, "I try to stay out of all the social mania as it is clear to me that regardless of what I say or do, it is a lost cause... someone, somewhere is going to spin the narrative to their liking and create more division. As an artist it has become almost impossible to stay focussed on your craft and do what you love. I try to be mindful of everyone's sentiments but it has gotten to a point where we have to second and triple guess our every move due to fear of unintentionally fuelling even more division."
He further added, "Special interest and political groups constantly use our (artists') public image as a chess piece to further their agenda, while we are just trying to make art that helps people on individual level, regardless of their colour, race, religion, nationality, gender etc. Spread love not hate. Let's start thinking for ourselves and not let hateful influences program our beliefs. We are ALL one. let's not let man-made social constructs divide us. Division has gotten us to this point but unity is the key to the future."
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Dhillon's comment came after Shubh issued a statement on Instagram. He wrote, "As a young rapper-singer hailing from Punjab, India, it was my life's dream to put my music on an international dais. But the recent happenings have tumbled my hard work and progress, and I wanted to say a few words to express my dismay and sorrow. I'm extremely disheartened by the cancellation of my tour in India. I was highly amped up and enthusiastic to perform in my country, in front of my people. The preparations were in full swing and I was practicing with my heart and soul for the last two months. And I was very excited, happy, and ready to perform. But I guess destiny had some other plans."
He further added, "India is MY country too. I was born here. It is the land of my GURUS and my ANCESTORS, who didn't even blink an eye to make sacrifices for the freedom of this land, for its glory, and for the family. And Punjab is my soul, Punjab is in my blood. Whatever I am today, I am because of being a Punjabi. Punjabis do not need to give proof of patriotism. At every turn in history, Punjabis have sacrificed their lives for the freedom of this country. That's why it's my humble request to refrain from naming every Punjabi as a separatist or anti-national."
Shubh concluded his statement by saying, "My intent in resharing that post on my story was only to Pray for Punjab as there were reports of electricity and internet shutdowns throughout the state. There was no other thought behind it and I definitely didn't intend to hurt anyone's sentiments. The accusations against me have deeply affected me. But as my guru has taught me "Manas Ki Jaat Sabai Ekai Pachanbo" (All the human beings recognized as one and same) and taught me not to be afraid, not to be intimidated which is the origin of Punjabiyat. I will continue to work hard. My team and I will be back soon, bigger and stronger together."