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A Karnataka man’s fight against Punjab’s gun culture, vulgar songs 

Ranjeet Jamwal | Chandigarh |

With  celebratory firing leaving a trail of deaths at weddings in Punjab,  a man from down south Karnataka has launched a campaign to make Punjabis shun their love for songs encouraging guns, liquor and vulgarity at social functions.

An assistant professor in sociology at Government College, Sector 46 Chandigarh,  Panditrao Dharennavar, 42, lands at marriage palaces or public palaces with a placard asking Punjabis to not dance on the songs promoting guns, liquor and vulgarity .

By holding the placard over his head, Dharennavar simply stands at a place or outside the marriage venue for up to four hours to spread the message after his duty hours.

“I started this campaign after an orchestra dancer died in celebratory fire in Bathinda in 2016.  Songs promoting drugs, alcohol and flaunting weapons are maligning the reputation of hardworking Punjabis, who brought green revolution in the country,” he told The Statesman at Sector 43 Inter-State Bus Stand which was the venue of his campaign on Sunday morning.

On Monday, he  travelled to Hoshiarpur where a 22-year-old MBA student, Sakshi Arora, was killed in the celebratory fire on Saturday night. In an application to the deputy commissioner (DC),  Dharennavar demanded the arrest of the disc jockey (DJ) who “may be playing vulgar, alcoholic, and weaponry songs”.

“The sad incident of celebratory firing in which Sakshi was killed is a matter of great concern because the DJ party was taking place after 10 pm which is clear violation of Supreme Court order,” he said in the letter to the DC.

In order to seek a ban on ‘anti-social’ songs, Dharennavar has already filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against songs promoting guns, liquor and vulgar dance  after 10 pm by DJs.

Born in Shirashyad village of Bijapur district in Karanataka, Dharennavar’s has been in news in the past too for his love for Punjabi language too. “I came to Chandigarh in 2003 for teaching sociology. But as I didn’t know Punjabi language, I faced problems in communicating with my students coming from rural areas. So, in order to form a rapport with them, I started learning Punjabi and soon fell in love with the language and the rich culture,” he said.

Besides starting a campaign for the promotion of Punjabi and seeking the language on top of all sign boards on national highways in the state, Dharennavar has also received appreciation for his translation work on Gurbani scriptures into Kannada language.

Death trail in celebratory firing

February 10: A 22-year-old MBA student, Sakshi Arora,  killed after being hit by a bullet during celebratory firing by the bride’s father at a function in Hoshiarpur.  Sakshi was watching the function from the terrace of her house in the neighbourhood when a bullet hit her.

November 19 (2017): An eight-year-old boy died and another ’s suffered injuries after celebratory  gun fire by a groom’s uncle at a function in Faridkot.

December 3 (2016): A celebratory fire killed an orchestra dancer, while performing on the stage, in Maur Mandi of Bathinda.