Sidhu Moosewala murder: Fans invade singer’s house for one last look, markets fall silent
From Punjab to Canada, At Sidhu Moosewala fans have been united in expressing their grief and demanding justice for the singer who was shot dead in broad daylight in the village of Jawaharke in Mansa on Sunday evening.
On Monday, a huge crowd descended on Moose Village in Mansa where the singer was from, all Moosewala fans.
Cars and bicycles were spotted parked on both sides of the Talwandi Sabo-Mansa road from point T of the road that goes towards Moose village on Monday. Sidhu Moosewala’s house is barely 100 meters from the main road.
While uncertainty remained throughout the day as to the actual time of the cremation of Moosewala’s body, the crowd outside and inside Moosewala’s house continued to grow. Although the family finally decided to hold the cremation on Tuesday, the crowd remained in place for most of the day at the newly built house in Moosewala.
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Moosewala’s new house is divided into two parts. While family, relatives and politicians sat in the main house, fans of the singer crowded into the other part, which is mainly a garage for tractors, cars and other farm machinery belonging to the family.
“I came here because I like his songs. His songs gave me strength. His songs will stay with me for life. I had never met him in real life. Therefore, I am here hoping to see him at least once,” said Mandeep Singh, who had traveled from Kalinwali in Haryana.
Among the people who had gathered near the singer’s house on Monday were fans from all walks of life – from children of wealthy farmers to farm workers – in the 14 to 30 age bracket.
Another man, Jatheinder, 18, from Ferozpur, said: “Sidhu Moosewala was killed because he wrote the truth. He was a rebel. Governments do not want such icons for young people. He was criticized from day one. People who speak the truth have always faced opposition. His fans never stopped loving him. He had potential. And he touched the heart of every Punjabi.
“Sidhu Moosewala was larger than life. But the government was not prepared to accept this fact. Sometimes people are only respected after they are dead,” said Pinta de Barnala.
Another fan, Bittu, said: “I work at a bike puncture shop. I liked his songs because they are full of motivation. His songs inspired me to do something big in my life. Who doesn’t want to be rich? Sidhu Moosewala was also from a family of small farmers. But never stopped him from realizing his dreams.
The “Sidhu Moosewala” market is silent
Just 100 yards from Moosewala’s house is a market at the T-Point on the road to Talwandi Sabo Mansa. The market flourished thanks to Sidhu Moosewala, his music and his fan base.
Surjit, who runs a tire repair shop in this market, said, “Moosewala would come to me to get his car tires repaired. People stopped to talk to him whenever they saw him in the market. Some fans actually used to hang out in the market daily hoping to meet Moosewala.
There are around 15 stores in the market, most of which depend on Moosewala’s fanbase. Owners of both kulcha and golgappa stalls in the area said most of their business was due to Moosewala fans. Both stalls were closed on Monday as the area was caught in a blanket of grief.
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“Who’s coming here now?” Our fortune was tied to him. Now there is nothing left. Mansa has lost its most valuable asset,” said Raju, a dhaba owner in the market.
“At least 50 cars came here every day. Sometimes I would feed over 100 customers in one day. The roar of the bikes never ended. They would all come and settle here and wait for Moosewala. Some would go to his house and come back happy after meeting him, then spend money in our stores. Others were eating, drinking and waiting for him,” Raju said.
A property dealer’s shop had also moved into the market. Gurdev Singh Sidhu, the real estate trader, said, “Moosewala had invested in farmland and as a result land prices went up. We would do business knowing we had his support. But everything came crashing down with his death. The value of the property went down with his murder.