Punjab: Man who led the fight against fake encounters gets a YouTube song

Divya Goyal
The song was written, composed and produced by a group of young men, running a music company 'Bhau Record'

A Punjabi song titled 'Laawaris Laashan Da Waaris: Khalra' (Protector of unclaimed and unidentified bodies), highlighting the struggle of human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra, who fought against alleged fake encounters of Sikh youths by Punjab Police during militancy, was released on YouTube Saturday. Khalra was allegedly abducted and killed by Punjab Police in September 1995. Four Punjab policemen were later sentenced to life imprisonment for his murder.

His wife Paramjit Kaur Khalra is contesting Lok Sabha polls as Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP) candidate from the panthic constituency of Khadoor Sahib and is garnering support even from leaders of some opposition parties. So much so that some leaders within the Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) wanted their own candidate former army chief General JJ Singh's candidature to be withdrawn in support of Bibi Khalra.

The song released on YouTube has been written, composed and produced by a group of young men, running a music company 'Bhau Record'. In the four-minute clip, they can also be seen making a vote appeal for Paramjit Kaur and also announcing that whatever revenue they will earn from the views on YouTube, will be donated for her poll campaign.

The lyrics of the song, narrating Khalra's fight against Punjab police, go like, 'Jaswant Singh si naam jodhey da, jiney waqt sarkaar nu si paaya…. Sach 1984 da soormey ne, oh dunia tak pahunchaaya… Oh Laashan Da banke masiha… (The name of warrior was Jaswant Singh, he dared to fight against the system. He took truth of 1984 to the people. He became messiah of unclaimed bodies).

'Kann kholte soorme khalsa ne, jehra system hoya bola si….paiyyan bhaajda jadd sarkaaran nu, soorme nu maaran da ailaan sunaaya… 6 September nu laashan de waaris nu, chuk ke laash banaya… (The warrior made the voices heard to the system that had gone deaf over the years. Government was rattled and decided to kill him. The messiah of bodies was himself picked and reduced to a body on September 6)," it says further.

Speaking to The Sunday Express, lyricist Ramandip Singh, who hails from Zira in Ferozepur said that he along with his friends composed the song in four days to support Paramjit Khalra and tell youths about Jaswant Singh Khalra. "Youth in Punjab do not even know who he was. Our main aim is to educate new voters about him and his sacrifice for Sikh community. Whatever revenue we will earn from views on YouTube, we will donate it for campaign of Paramjit Kaur. We have not made the song for our own profit."

Meanwhile, Paramjit Kaur said that she was yet to see the song but "appreciates the effort". "My husband had procured records of cremation grounds and it showed that Punjab Police killed youths and cremated unidentified and unclaimed bodies. The youths were killed and used to be cremated by Punjab Police in secrecy. He was able to procure record of at least 2,097 such bodies from three cremation grounds from 1978 to 1995. There were at least 25,000 such disappearances of Sikh youths in Punjab. He was killed in 1995 after he revealed his findings and United Nations (UN) took note of it. If people are supporting me and doing something at their own level, I appreciate it but I am yet to see this song," she said.