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Punjabi Songs and their Obsession with Lawlessness, toxic Masculinity and Aggression


The recent decade has seen the Punjabi songs reaching new heights. Punjabi singers have been using social media Platforms such as Youtube and have gained considerable popularity over the decade. We have seen Punjabi singers reaching new heights of popularity throughout Bollywood in the form of singers such as Honey Singh, Badshah, Sidhu Moosewala and many other such names. Although such songs are entertaining in their nature but have considerable problems when it comes to their content and lyrics.



Punjabi songs over the decade have shifted from Pure Romance and cultural aspects to new topics. However, these topics contain discussions such as Lawlessness, weaponry, killing, murder, assault, drug abuse, aggression and toxic masculinity. You name it and it is there. With Honey Singh’s songs getting popularity with lyrics such as in Goliyan and Panga referring to lawlessness and assault and others such as Dope Shope and 4 bottles which refer to drug abuse, resulted in a popularity of such lyrics among the new Punjabi singers. It led to many other such problematic songs to a level that now almost most of the Punjabi songs rotate around such problematic issues. To imagine that these songs have no impact whatsoever on the Punjabi youth is totally wrong. Recently sidhu Moosewala released a song named “Sanju” in which he boasted about getting arrested on the charges of terrorism and illegal weaponry such as sanjay dutt. Throughout the song he refers to this act as an act of bravery and courage. Such songs and ideologies when istilled into the minds of the youth can result in problematic conditions specially in countries such as Pakistan and India where we are currently coping with such problems. We should realise that these songs are not progressive or helpful in any way but rather are a bad influence and should be dealt more seriously than it is right now.

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I don’t even get why people are making Punjabi songs a thing..? I mean exdoer from the upbeat tune if you really focus on the lyrics you will be like wait what...!

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The song "Badnam" by Mankirt is also along these lines where it focuses on violence and aggression and being "badnam". It follows a boys life where he grows up to be known as "badnam". Towards the end you see that it wasn't real but rather the boy was dreaming about such a life. Shows how a life like this is idealized and glorified for boys as something they should want

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Sara Arif
Sara Arif
Jul 08, 2021

This reminds me of a song by Honey Singh where he sexualizes women and talks about a strong man. also, with aggression, many Punjabi songs are literally so problematic! Even though these songs are super up beat, they're super problematic

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safa.imran11
safa.imran11
Jul 08, 2021

It is merely reflective of a culture of a very specific Punjabi masculinity. The man is meant to be wild, rough and tough, and a philanderer. This kind of reminds me of the imagery that we associate with Maula Jatt too, a hero who is meant to be big and powerful and brave and wehshi. Although he isn't portrayed in an immoral manner at all, but you can still see him as the ideal of masculinity.

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Agreed! Punjabi songs have this edge that many people in India and Pakistan find them to be up beat and listen to them on repeat irrespective of the problematic lyrics , and this is why they are played everywhere from mehndis to snooker clubs and even uber/rickshaw rides. Reinforcing toxic masculinity,the idea of drugs, being a thug, having weapons and being a womaniser are actually celebrated.

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