“Bhagat Singh fulfilled his duty in 1932, but when will you pay your debt to his duty?” –Gurdas Maan
A leader in the Indian music industry, Gurdas Maan aims to provoke political and social change through his new song, “Punjab,” a creative combination of musical affinity and nostalgic nationalist fervency.
The power of Maan’s “Punjab” lies in revolutionary prodigy, Bhagat Singh’s undying devotion to overthrowing British colonial rule in his homeland. His 23-year life feuled an Indian revolution long after his execution. Singh gave his life Punjab’s freedom—a debt which all loyal Indians owe him.
Carried from 1917 to 2017, Maan depicts Singh’s reaction to modern Punjabis’ willful slavery. Maan uses a child’s innocent bewilderment to shock his countrymen from sleep.
Gliding through the last 100 years in India’s history, Maan uses the “Punjab,”video to lament his state’s present battle with addiction and the way it’s undoing a culture.
In a state where drug usage is three times the national average, Punjab’s culture is now feeling the effects of addiction. A recent estimate by Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar revealed that while the extent of usage remains unknown, as many as 70% of Punjabi young men are hooked on drugs. Not exclusive to adult males, youth are also falling rapidly to addiction, says a student from Tarn Taran, Punjab; “I reckon that most of the 18 to 25 year olds here take drugs.”
Beyond drugs, Maan’s music video calls attention to various consumerist addictions: Alcohol, shopping, social media, food, money, beauty, production. He poses the terrifying truth: what addict will be able to rise as the next revolutionary? Who will carry the honor of their country along with their shopping bags?
Though focused on Punjab, Maan’s passionate message reaches all people. Look around you: Where are the colors and cultures of old? Where is your motivation to create? Wake up, sleepers, pay the debt you owe your ancestors and invest in a future for your children.
Father Time is sounding the alarm, warning a preoccupied generation of its coming destruction.