Gandhi Jayanti: Singapore Chinese Orchestra’s musical launches Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebration

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Singapore | Published: October 3, 2018 1:43:39 PM

A four-minute video was also played on the life of Gandhi on Singapore's largest video screen, 60mX15m, at the Suntec City Convention Centre as the community here paid respect to the Mahatama.

Singapore leader of those days, Rajabali Jumabhoy, created a committee that raised SGD 100,000 then to erect the statue of Mahatama Gandhi as a way of expressing tribute to him. That statue came up in 1953. (PTI photo)

Singapore Chinese Orchestra played a musical of “Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram” on Tuesday night as the city state started celebration of Mahatama Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.

A four-minute video was also played on the life of Gandhi on Singapore’s largest video screen, 60mX15m, at the Suntec City Convention Centre as the community here paid respect to the Mahatama.

The five-minute musical was earlier composed for the unveiling of plaque in memory of Mahatama Gandhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with Singapore’s Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, at the Clifford Pier on June 2, 2018.

It is composed by Chinese musicians — Ang Kok Wee, Chen Shanghai Indra, Hoong Rozie, Huang Ming Xiang, Wong Wai Kit. The music was arranged and conducted by Aravinth Kumarasamy in June.

“Singapore has a ‘fascinating connection with Mahatama Gandhi as we all know that Mahatama Gandhi never visited the Malay Peninsular or this region or Singapore. But people were touched by him,” said India’s High Commissioner Jawed Ashraf as he launched the celebration at the convention centre.

“When he died, this place was enveloped by a huge sense of grief with some people fasting for 13 days as if one of their own had died,” recalls Jawed Ashraf from then media reports.

Singapore leader of those days, Rajabali Jumabhoy, created a committee that raised SGD 100,000 then to erect the statue of Mahatama Gandhi as a way of expressing tribute to him. That statue came up in 1953.

In 1948, almost as a response to this grief, a portion of the ashes of Mahatama Gandhi were brought to Singapore and immersed in the sea off Clifford Pier while a plane showered rose petals. A procession of 10,000 participated in that immersion, according to a report by Sunday Tribune of that time.

Elsewhere in Singapore, Indian schools held various activities for students including quiz contest on Mahatama Gandhi’s life.

Meanwhile, Elaben Gandhi, Grand Daughter of Mahatama Gandhi, will join Singaporeans in the ongoing celebration from Sunday (October 7) through to Tuesday, sharing his messages that are still regarded relevant for the world.

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