In recent days, videos of a truck from Pakistan carrying a huge portrait of Sidhu Moosewala on its back have gone viral on social media, with users appreciating the Pakistani fan’s tribute to the murdered Punjabi singer.
In the videos, the truck driver can be seen proudly posing with Moosewala’s portrait while the singer’s songs play in the background. Several people who saw the truck driving on the roads of Pakistan also clicked on the photos and shared them on social media, saying: “It is said that if you have your photo on a truck in Pakistan, it means you are in the hearts of the people.”
In a telephone conversation with The Indian Express, truck driver Shahzad Bhatti, 30, said he was a resident of Arifwala in Pakistan’s Punjab province. Bhatti is engaged in transport and owns six trucks, one of which has the portrait of Moosewala painted.
“I am a die-hard Moosewala fan. The day he was shot in India, I was so heartbroken that I couldn’t believe it for four to five days. I was so pained by his death that I wanted to do something big and unique in his memory. I decided to pay him tribute by doing something so that everyone in Pakistan and India would know that I was his biggest fan. So I decided to have his portrait painted on my truck for his birthday, which was June 11. I never thought my videos would go viral in India too. It was only a small effort on my part to keep Moosewala alive in Pakistan,” Bhatti said.
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Rapper Shubhdeep Singh aka Sidhu Moosewala, 28, was shot dead in Mansa, Punjab, on May 29. Bhatti added that he entrusted the job of painting Moosewala’s portrait on the truck to a local painter, but he was looking for more days to finish the job. ‘But I wanted this portrait to be finished by June 11, Moosewala’s birthday, anyway. Wherever we take this truck, people gather to take selfies and ask where we had it done,” he said.
In Pakistan, trucks are not just a means of transporting goods, but a part of the post-independence heritage, where drivers have long shown a fascination with decorating vehicles “like a bride”. With its roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan, truck art is an internationally recognized art form, with not only murals, but also hand-painted portraits of well-known personalities adorning the large vehicle. However, an Indian Sikh singer occupying that space – which is usually reserved for Pakistani national heroes and local actors or singers – is quite rare.
The avid Moosewala fan said he has already assigned work to have the singer’s portrait painted on his five other trucks. “Not just me, but all my friends and relatives who own trucks and are fans of Moosewala will also have his portrait painted on their trucks. In Pakistan, truck art is very famous and a way of expressing whether we like a personality. My trucks will have Moosewala’s portraits for as long as I live because he and his songs were very close to my heart,” said Bhatti.
“His song ‘295’ has always been my favorite, especially when he sang the reality of today’s world – ‘Karenga tarakki putt hat milugi (The more you progress, the more you are hated)’…,” he said. . Bhatti said his truck carrying the now famous Moosewala portrait has attracted a lot of attention in Pakistan. “Other truck drivers ask me where I had this painting made. There are thousands of Moosewala fans in Pakistan and they are all heartbroken by his passing,” he said.