Why Punjab is glorifying gun culture

By making guns look cool and macho, pop culture is normalizing violence among the youth of Punjab. Electoral politics isn’t helping.

It was a noisy winter wedding in Kotkapura town of Punjab's Faridkot district in November of 2017. The occasion was “ladies’ sangeet”. It is a loud pre-wedding festivity where the family dances and sings traditional Punjabi songs. Amid multiple rounds of whisky and rum, no one noticed when the celebratory firing began. At that wedding, a .32 bore revolver—a symbol of assertive male prestige—got more attention than the groom himself.

Three men had already fired four bullets. It is when the groom's maternal uncle Balwinder Singh took the stage, allegedly snatched the gun from another uncle, and opened fire. That …


Srishti Jaswal

Srishti is an award-winning independent journalist based in India. She has written on a variety of subjects, such as politics, tech, rural connectivity, maternal health, human rights, and governance for national and international publications including The Caravan, Newslaundry, Vice World News and Al Jazeera.