Canada-based Punjabi singer Shubhneet Singh
Canada-based Punjabi singer Shubhneet Singh, popularly known by his stage name Shubh, has expressed his disappointment after his India tour was cancelled following allegations of his support for Khalistan.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, Shubh said he was "extremely disheartened" by the cancellation of the tour and that he was "highly amped up and enthusiastic" to perform in his home country.
The singer's tour was cancelled by BookMyShow on Wednesday after the ticket-booking app faced a boycott call on social media. The boycott was sparked by Shubh's sharing a distorted map of India on his Instagram story in January, which omitted the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and the Northeastern states.
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Along with the picture, the singer wrote, "Pray for Punjab", for which he was slammed massively on social media. The singer later deleted the map and replaced it with a message that read "Pray for Punjab" without any picture.
Shubh has denied any wrongdoing, saying that he only shared the map to Pray for Punjab after reports of electricity and internet shutdowns in the state.
"My intent in resharing that post on my story was only to pray for Punjab as there were reports of electricity and internet shutdowns throughout the state. There was no other thought behind it, and I definitely didn't intend to hurt anyone's sentiments," he said in his Instagram post.
Since the controversy, Virat Kohli, along with fellow cricketers KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya, have unfollowed the singer on Instagram.
Notably, the controversy surrounding the singer's tour unfolds against the backdrop of strained relations between India and Canada. Canada on Monday accused India of involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June and expelled New Delhi's intelligence chief in Ottawa in retaliation. The diplomatic move sent relations between the two countries, already sour, to a dramatic new low.
India, meanwhile, rejected Justin Trudeau's government's allegation, describing it as "absurd" and "motivated". In a reciprocal move, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat and gave him 5 days to leave the country.