After the Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala’s death in May, his song “Vaar,” about General Hari Singh Nalwa’s bravery, became a sensation with 8 million views in just 12 hours.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1791-1837) was the Maharaja of the Sikh Empire from 1801 until his death. Under his leadership, the Sikh Empire expanded to the west up to Peshawar and the Khyber Pass. He was supported by several generals during these wars, but one general in particular, Hari Singh Nalwa, is known for his role in conquering these territories and expanding Sikh authority over them.
The video released on Gurpurab, the birth anniversary of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak, has a line that starts with, “Nalwa is a lion-hearted son of Dashmesh and pride of Punjab.”
Sidhu Moose Wala originally released the song on their official account at 10 am on Tuesday. The song was widely shared on Instagram where the singer has 11.4 million followers. Moose Wala’s Instagram caption for the song read, “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. Vaar Playing Now..!”
The first song that was released after Moose Wala’s death, SYL, which focused on the more than four-decade old political dispute between Punjab and Haryana. Besides SYL, the singer talked about post-Partition Punjab; sovereignty, 1984 riots, Sikh prisoners release, hoisting of the Khalsa at Red Fort during the farmer agitation on Delhi’s border.
This second song from Sidhu Moosewala was released shortly after his heart-breaking death. The first song released was SYL, which had success on the Canadian Hot 100 Chart.
Following a legal complaint by the Indian Union government, YouTube removed the SYL song from its platform in India. Released on June 23 evening, the song got 27 million views and 3.3 million likes on the singer’s YouTube page in less than three days before it was withheld.
Sidhu Moose Wala was killed on May 29th at the village of Jawahar Ke in the Punjabi district of Mansa, just one day after the Punjab government reduced his security. He was driving in a jeep with his cousin and friend when he was ambushed and killed. His family promised to keep him alive through his music.
The Punjab Police special investigation team filed an 1800-page charge sheet against 24 suspects. Meanwhile, song #JusticeForSidhuMooseWala was trending on Twitter.