AP Dhillon has more than 3 million followers on Instagram
Indo-Canadian singer Amritpal Singh Dhillon, known professionally as AP Dhillon, has shared a lengthy post on Instagram Story on the controversy around Canada-based fellow Punjabi artist Shubhneet Singh. Shubh, as the singer is known, was scheduled to perform in India in coming weeks but the tour was cancelled over his alleged support to the Khalistan issue. Shubh had shared a distorted map of India on his Instagram handle, which omitted the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and the Northeastern states.
Now, breaking his silence on the issue, Mr Dhillon said people should "spread love and not hate". He also explained why he stays away from social media.
Ap Dhillon shared the long note on Instagram a few hours ago.
"I try to stay out of all the social mania as it is clear to me that regardless of what I say or do, it is a lost cause... someone, somewhere is going to spin the narrative to their liking and create more division. As an artist it has become almost impossible to stay focussed on your craft and do what you love. I try to be mindful of everyone's sentiments, but it's gotten to a point where we have to second and triple guess our every move due to fear of unintentionally fuelling even more division," The musician said on Instagram Story.
"Special interest and political groups constantly use our (artists') public image as a chess piece to further their agenda, while we are just trying to make art that helps people on an individual level, regardless of their colour, race, religion, nationality, gender etc," Mr Dhillon added.
The 'Brown Munde' requested people to focus on spreading love and peace and not get influenced by "man made social constructs" that spread division.
What happened with Shubh?
Ticket booking platform BooyMyShow posted on X (formerly Twitter) on September 20 that the musician's show has been cancelled. The company also said that it has initiated a complete refund of the ticket amount for all consumers who had purchased tickets for the show.
A day before, electronics brand boat had withdrawn its sponsorship from Shubh's India tour.
The diplomatic row between India and Canada
The Khalistan issue has led to an escalation of diplomatic row between India and Canada that saw each expelling a senior diplomat. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged New Delhi's hand in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, in British Columbia in June this year. India quickly dismissed Canada's assertion as absurd.