நாட்டின் நிர்மாணத்தில் தமிழர்கள் / Tamils in Nation-Building
தமிழர் பேரவையின் ஏற்பாட்டில் கடந்த் 4-9-2010 அன்று தேசியப் பல்கலைக் கழக கலாச்சார மண்டபத்தில் நடைபெற்ற், "நாட்டின் முன்னேற்றத்தில் தமிழர்கள்" என்னும் கலைவிழா சுமார் 1,600 பார்வையாளர்களை ஈர்த்த்து.
தமிழ் முரசின் 75-வது நிறைவு ஆண்டை நினைவுக் கூறும் வகையில் இவ்விழாவிற்கு ஏற்பாடு செய்தது தமிழர் பேரவை.
முழுவதுமாக சிங்கப்பூர் கலைஞர்களையேக் கொண்டு ஏற்பாடுச் செய்யப்பட்ட இவ்விழா, காண்பவர்கள் அனைவரையும், ஆச்சிரியத்தில் மூழ்கடித்தது என்றால் அது மிகையாகாது.
மூத்தோர் இல்லத்தைச் சார்ந்தவர்கள், மாணவர்கள், கல்வியாளர்கள், வணிகர்கள், சமூகத் தலைவர்கள் எனப் பலதரப்பட்ட மக்களும் இதில் கலந்துக்கொண்டனர்.
நமது மாண்புமிகு அதிபர் திரு எஸ் ஆர் நாதன், திருமதி நாதன், பொருளாதார அமைச்சர் திரு தர்மன் சண்முகரத்தினம் அவர் மனைவி, சட்ட மற்றும் இரண்டாவது உள்துறை அமைச்சர் திரு சண்முகம் அவர் மனைவி, கல்வி மற்றும் வர்த்தக, தொழில் துறைகளுக்கான மூத்த துனை அமைச்சர் திரு ஈஸ்வரன், முன்னாள் அமைச்சர் திரு தனபாலன், தமிழ் முரசின் தலைவர் திரு சந்திரதாஸ், வெளிநாட்டு தூத்ர்களான திரு கோபிநாத் பிள்ளை, திரு கேசவப்பானி, திரு இராஜாரம், மற்றும் முன்னோடி வர்த்தகர்களின் சிறப்பு வருகையும் விழாவிற்கு சிறப்பு சேர்த்தன.
தமிழர் பேரவையின் தலைவர் டாக்டர் தேவேந்திரன் தலைமையில், ஏற்பாட்டுக் குழு கடந்த் 6 மாதக் காலமாக இவ் விழாவிற்கு தீவிர ஏற்பாடுகள் செய்து வந்தது. தமிழர் பேரவை இது போன்ற விழாக்களை ஏற்பாடு செய்வதற்கான முழு திறனும் இருக்கிறது என நாம் நம்பலாம்.
இது பேன்ற தேசிய விழாக்கள், தமிழர்கள் முன்னேற்றத்தை பறைசாற்றுவதோடு, நமது கலைஞர்களின் திறன், ஈடுபாடு, நமது சமூகத்தினரின் ஆதரவு, நமது சமூகத்தின் ஒற்றுமை போன்ற கூறுகளை எடுத்துக்காட்ட உதவுகிறது.
இந்நிகழ்ச்சிக்கு ஆதரவு அளித்த அனைத்து அன்பர்கள் மற்றும் அமைப்புகளுக்கும், விழா வெற்றிகரமாக நடக்க உதவி புரிந்த அனைத்து உள்ளங்களுக்கும் எங்களின் நன்றி.
Saturday, 4 September 2010 will be a living memory in the minds of more than the 1,600 people who gathered at the National University Cultural Centre to celebrate the Tamil Community’s contribution towards Nation Building and to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Tamil Murasu.
The concert was organized by a group of independent Community Leaders led by Dr R Theyvendran, President of Tamils Representative Council. Full administrative and secretarial support was provided by Tamils Representative Council (TRC) itself.
Everyone who attended the concert was simply left wondering whether this was a concert organized by a Tamil organization. Such was the impact, vibrancy, colour, efficiency and fire. The whole event could be summed up in two words: Extraordinary and Heavenly!
That TRC was able to support, raise funds and immaculately execute the event shows the evolution of TRC as a mature, robust and effective Tamil organization, worthy of its mission to be the leading Tamil organization in Singapore.
The Concert had several unique features:
It was planned and flawlessly executed by the TRC Executive Committee, comprising entirely of volunteers.
Local artistes anchored the Concert. This helped again showcase the talent of our local artists and the vibrancy of our local Tamil arts scene.
The items reinforced Tamil Culture and Arts without sacrificing modernity.
A good number of non-Tamils participated in the Concert, demonstrating yet again the strong allure our Tamil culture and Arts has among fellow Singaporeans. This is something all of us can be proud of.
Special efforts were made to make it an inclusive event. Hence more than 50% of the tickets were sold at a subsidized rate of only $20. Our seniors from Sun Love Home were invited as special guests together with more than 50 Junior College Students.
The event’s significance was further enhanced by the presence of the who’s who in the Indian Community including, His Excellency, President S R Nathan and Mrs Nathan. Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Mrs Tharman,Minister for Law & Second Minister for Home Affairs Mr K Shanmugam and Mrs Shanmugam, Senior Minister of State for Education and Trade & Industry Mr S Iswaran, Chairman Temasek Holdings and former Cabinet Minister Mr S Dhanabalan, Chairman of Tamil Murasu Mr S Chandra Das, our Ambassdors Mr Gopinath Pillai, Mr Kesavapany and Mr M Rajaram, Captains of Industry like Mr Jayachandran, Chairman of Olam International and Mr Mustaq of Mohd Mustaffa & Samsuddin, the well known Departmental Store.
TRC wishes to thank all donors, sponsors and the many individuals who had supported it in ensuring that the community’s celebration will be a success. We are confident that such support and success will spur TRC to take on more challenges and organize more National events to uplift our community.
Speech by DR R Theyvendran, Chairman Organising Committee, ‘Tamils in Nation Building’ jointly with the 75th Anniversary of Tamil Murasu Celebration Concert.
“His Excellency, the Honourable Mr. S R Nathan,
Republic of Singapore
Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam,
Minister for Finance
Mr. K Shanmugam,
Minister for Law and Second Minister for Home Affairs
Mr. S Iswaran,
Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Ministry of Education
Mr. S Chandra Das,
Chairman, Tamil Murasu
Professor Cham Tao Soon,
Deputy Chairman SPH Board
Ladies and Gentlemen
Welcome to this ‘Tamils in Nation Building’ event jointly celebrated with Tamil Murasu’s 75th Anniversary Concert. My Committee and I are humbled and honoured by the spontaneous and over-whelming support from all of you for today’s event. Tickets were sold out ten days before the event.
Open Support from National Leaders
Today marks an occasion of great pride for the Tamil community as we gather to celebrate two achievements. Tamil Murasu, our Tamil daily, has turned 75. Along with this milestone, the Tamil community celebrates its role in Singapore’s nation-building. Today, the newspaper and the community celebrates as one.
The presence of several of our National leaders on this occasion adds stature to the event and has been a great motivation for the Tamil Community. Let me at the onset take the opportunity to thank and welcome our national leaders: President SR Nathan and the First Lady, Mr. Tharman, Mr. Shanmugam, Mr. Iswaran and Mr. S. Dhanabalan. We thank you for gracing this occasion.
Contributions of Tamil Murasu
Tamil Murasu is more than just a newspaper. It is an icon that is intricately intertwined with the development of the local Tamil Community for three quarters of a century.
Launched in 1935 by Mr. Thamizhavel G. Sarangapani, the newspaper served the early Indian migrant population with news and information on Singapore and the Indian sub-continent. From its modest beginnings, Tamil Murasu has evolved with the times and is more than just a newspaper. Three-quarters of a century later, the newspaper remains relevant to its readership.
With its eye focused on its core mission of serving the needs of the Indian Community within the context of multi-ethnic Singapore, I am sure that Tamil Murasu will continue to prosper as the “voice of the Community” for years to come.
On behalf of everyone here and the community at large, let me wish Tamil Murasu a Happy 75th Birthday.
TAMILS PLAYED A CRUCIAL ROLE IN NATION BUILDING
The history of Tamils in modern Singapore can be traced back to the many immigrants and settlements from our colonial times in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They arrived as labourers to construct public housing, buildings and roads. They worked in the colonial British government, or as spice merchants and moneylenders as well as in other sectors. Through all these, they have contributed to the economic foundation of our nation.
As the nation gained independence, the new breed of educated Indians played an instrumental role to foster a vibrant and new economy.
Tamils have contributed significantly to Singapore’s nation-building. Talented individuals from the community have excelled in various fields, be it the education scene, the economy, sports or culture. The Tamil presence is found in all aspects of Singapore life – the Government and private sectors and politics to name a few. And the community is doing its part towards fostering multi-racial harmony.
May I also add that it is just these local talents who will be performing for your entertainment tonight. To paraphrase the title of a popular television series, Tamils got talent!
Towards forging an alliance of Tamils
Today’s event is a result of many independent Tamil organisations coming together, with the Tamils Representative Council taking a leading role.
Now, it is time to explore the possibility of the many Tamil organisations forming a single, unified entity, an alliance of Tamils, so to speak. The challenge is UNITY amongst the myriad of Tamil Organizations.
This is a happy occasion but it is also an opportune moment for all the diverse groups of Tamil Organizations to come forward and think as one and be one for the future upliftment of the Tamil community. TRC is prepared to join others under one umbrella for the future progress and success of the Tamil community. I, myself who came in as an unknown is prepared to fade away to facilitate better leaders to come to the fore.
A round of thanks
I would like to thank all the people who have sacrificed their time and energy to make today’s event a success.
First, the organising committee would like to thank our advisor, Mr. S. Chandra Das, who has given us his unstinting support and valuable advice, despite the many challenges.
We would also like to thank the Secretariat of the Tamils Representative Council for the success of this inspiring event. The Secretariat, made up entirely of volunteers, unselfishly donated valuable time and resources to make today’s celebration special and indeed, remarkable. Of special mention are the youthful members, led by Mr Viva, and the not-so-youthful and recycled teenagers like me.
Thanks also go to Nirmala, the hard working editor of Tamil Murasu, and Rajendran, editor of tabla!.
Finally, our finest gratitude will be not just to listen, utter or even speak great words, but to live by them.
To round up, let me again thank our national leaders for showing so much support for this event, and to all the rest – your presence has brightened, enlightened and added significance to this event.
May you all have a very enjoyable and memorable event.
Thank you really everyone.
President with TRC Secretariat
Tamil paper in Singapore celebrate 75th anniversary
(Deccan Herald, 4 Sept 2010)
Hundreds of Indian-origin people joined President S R Nathan in celebrating the 75th anniversary of Tamil Murasu, a daily newspaper promoting the language in Singapore
Speaking at a gala concert held for the celebration this evening, Tamil Murasu editor Murugaian Nirmala assured that the newspaper would continue to preserve the Tamil language in Singapore, where it is fourth official language along with Malay, Chinese and English.
The newspaper as one of the oldest Tamil dailies in the world has come a long way to be a trusted source of information for Singapore Indians, she said. Singapore President S R Nathan was also present on the occasion. Tamil Murasu has daily coverage of Singapore and India with a special focus on South Indians.
Its circulation has grown to 13,000 copies on weekdays and 20,000 copies on weekends from just a nominal 200 copies in the initial days when it was launched in 1935 by Thamizhavel G Sarangapani, an Singapore Indian pioneer.
The newspaper then served the early Indian migrant population with news and information on Singapore and the Indian sub-continent.
"From its modest beginnings, Tamil Murasu has evolved with the times and is more than just a newspaper. Three-quarters of a century later, the newspaper remains relevant to its readership," added R Theyvendran, President of Singapore's Tamils Representative Council and Chairman of Concert Organising Committee. The event was attended by at least 1,600 Indian-origin people.
"With its eye focused on its core mission of serving the needs of the Indian Community within the context of multi-ethnic Singapore, I am sure that Tamil Murasu will continue to prosper as the 'voice of the Community' for years to come," he said, in a speech to the community at the concern.
Recalling early days of Tamils in Singapore, he highlighted the Tamils community work and contribution to the city state, starting from the colonial times in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
"They arrived as labourers to construct public housing, buildings and roads. They worked in the colonial British government, or as spice merchants and moneylenders as well as in other sectors," said Theyvendran of the Tamils immigrants to Singapore.
"Through all these, they have contributed to the economic foundation of our nation," he added." Today, the Tamil presence is found in all aspects of Singapore life – the Government and private sectors and politics to name a few.
And the community is doing its part towards fostering multi-racial harmony," he told the community at the concert which was also attended by Singapore ministers from the Tamil community.