boAt Withdraws Sponsorship for Punjabi singer Shubh’s India Tour Amid Khalistan Controversy: A Closer Look

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boAt Retracts Sponsorship of Shubh’s India Tour

boAt Retracts Sponsorship of Shubh’s India Tour

September 19, 2023

Electronics brand boAt withdraws sponsorship from Shubh’s India tour

boAt, a popular electronics brand, has made headlines today by officially retracting its sponsorship of the upcoming India tour of the renowned Canada-based singer-rapper Shubneet Singh, popularly known as Shubh. This decision has been taken in light of Shubh’s alleged support for Khalistan, a controversial issue that has been straining relations between Canada and India.

Withdrawal comes amidst escalating tensions between Canada and India

The concerts of the 26-year-old artist were originally slated to take place aboard Cordelia Cruises in Mumbai from September 23 to 25. This abrupt withdrawal of sponsorship comes amidst escalating tensions between the two nations.

Allegations and Expulsions

  • Trudeau has accused India of involvement in the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
  • In response, Canada expelled a senior Indian diplomat, Pavan Kumar Rai.
  • India vehemently denied Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations, dismissing them as “absurd and motivated.”

Controversial actions lead to boAt’s decision

boAt’s decision to withdraw its sponsorship is primarily rooted in Shubh’s controversial actions earlier this year when he shared a distorted map of India on social media in solidarity with Khalistani terrorists.

In a statement released on their official social media channels, boAt reaffirmed its strong Indian identity and emphatically distanced itself from any association with Khalistan.

The company’s statement read, “At boAt, while our commitment to the incredible music community runs deep, we are first & foremost a true Indian brand. Therefore, when we became aware of the remarks made by artist Shubh earlier this year, we chose to withdraw our sponsorship from the tour.”

Public backlash on social media

The public’s response on social media played a significant role in influencing boAt’s choice to end its sponsorship, with users tagging the company’s Co-Founder, Aman Gupta, and questioning its support for an artist with controversial views.

BJYM takes action against Shubh’s event

Just a few days ago, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), took action against Shubh’s upcoming event by removing promotional posters and urging fans and organisers to boycott his shows.

In the lead-up to the G20 summit, pro-Khalistani graffiti with slogans such as ‘Delhi Banega Khalistan’ (Delhi will become Khalistan) and ‘Khalistan SFJ Referendum Zindabad’ (Long live Khalistan SFJ Referendum) surfaced at several metro stations in the national capital. Delhi Police has initiated an investigation into this matter and is pursuing legal action.

Tajinder Singh Tiwana, President of BJYM, strongly voiced his opposition to Shubh’s performance, declaring, “There is no space for Khalistanis who are the enemy of the integrity and unity of India. We won’t allow Canadian singer Shubh to perform on the revered land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Mumbai. If appropriate action is not taken, the organizers will have to face our opposition.”

Edited by: Shoma Bhattacharjee

First Published: Sept 19, 2023 6:25 PM IST

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