What Led BookMyShow to the Cancellation of Shubh's India Tour Amid the Khalistan Controversy?

Industry Watch | September 21, 2023 | News


The highly anticipated India tour of Canada-based singer-rapper Shubhneet Singh, popularly known as Shubh, was abruptly canceled by BookMyShow, an online ticketing platform. The decision came amidst a storm of controversy and widespread clamor on social media regarding Shubh's alleged support for Khalistani elements, a sensitive issue that has strained relations between India and Canada. 

The Cancellation

On 20 September 2023, BookMyShow released an official statement announcing the cancellation of Shubh's "Still Rollin Tour" in India. The statement did not explicitly state the reason behind the cancellation but confirmed that all ticket holders would receive full refunds within 7-10 working days. Shubh's tour was originally set to kick off in Mumbai on September 23 and run through 11 other Indian cities.

The Controversy

The controversy surrounding Shubh's tour began earlier this year when he posted two Instagram stories that omitted the states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir from the map of India. This omission, perceived by many as disrespectful, triggered a massive outcry, especially given the ongoing police crackdown on alleged Khalistan supporter Amritpal Singh and his associates. Singh led a group called 'Waris Punjab De' and is currently incarcerated in Assam's Dibrugarh jail.

The Khalistan Connection

The Khalistan issue is a deeply sensitive and divisive topic that pertains to the demand for an independent Sikh state. Shubh's alleged support for Khalistani elements, even indirectly, fueled the controversy surrounding his tour. India has long maintained that Khalistan is a threat to its sovereignty and has accused some individuals and groups of promoting terrorism to achieve this goal.

Canada's Role

The controversy surrounding Shubh's tour gained international attention when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of orchestrating the killing of Canadian national Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a known proponent of Khalistan. Nijjar was shot dead in Surrey, Canada, and was designated a terrorist by India. In response to Trudeau's allegations, India expelled a top Canadian diplomat, further escalating tensions between the two countries.

The Social Media Outcry

The cancellation of Shubh's tour was largely attributed to the growing chorus of voices on social media, demanding its cancellation due to his alleged ties to Khalistani elements. This online activism highlights the power of social media in shaping public opinion and influencing decisions made by event organizers and promoters.

The cancellation of Shubh's India tour shines a spotlight on the complex and multifaceted issue of Khalistan and its impact on international relations. While the exact reasons for the tour's cancellation remain undisclosed, the controversy surrounding Shubh's alleged support for Khalistani elements underscores the importance of artists and public figures being sensitive to geopolitical issues and the potential consequences of their actions. As tensions between India and Canada persist, this incident serves as a stark reminder of the delicate balance between artistic expression and political sensitivities in today's interconnected world.

The decision came amidst a storm of controversy and widespread clamor on social media regarding Shubh's alleged support for Khalistani elements.

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