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Dr Manmohan Singh in Singapore – January 6th, 2012

A marker for the first Indian Prime Minister Mr Jawaharlal Nehru joins other four such markers in the Friends to our Shores series of Markers by National Heritage Board (NHB) that commemorates the eminent personalities from abroad, who had a connection with Singapore.  Dr Manmohan Singh, who was in Singapore on the 20th November 2011,  unveiled the bust and commemorative marker dedicated to Mr Jawaharlal Nehru along with the Singapore’s Emeritus Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong at the Asian Civilisations Museum Green (ACM Green).  The event reaffirmed  the historic ties between India and Singapore.

Jawaharlal Nehru, a visionary, who has made a difference in millions of life had visited Singapore thrice between 1937 and 1950.  The Marker apart from bearing the information of the three visits of Jawaharlal Nehru to Singapore between 1937 and 1950, also talks about his achievements and his praise for Singapore ‘as great cosmopolitan city where various people of Asia are all represented’.

The marker is a joint effort of the Indian High Commission of India and National Heritage Board (NHB).

The National Heritage Board’ s Chairman Mr Ong Hew Yuat said in his address as, “It gives the National Heritage Board the pleasure to name Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as a ‘friend to our shores’, with this commemorative marker.  The marker consists of a bronze bust of Nehru, created by noted sculptor and painter Professor Biman Bihari Das from India, and a panel that tells us about Nehru’s acheivements and links to Singapore.  At this juncture, we would like to thank the High Commissioner of India His Excellency Dr T.C.A.Ragavan and his dedicated collegues at the high commission of India for their support in this highly significant project and in many other areas of  National Heritage Board’s works.  We hope that this Marker will herald a deepening of the longstanding friendship  between our two nations and our heritage institutions”.

Mr Goh Chok Tong in his speech said that, seven years ago India had honoured him with the Jawaharlal Nehru award for International Understanding and in his acceptance speech, he had paid tribute to Panditji’s contributions to the birth of an independent and modern Asia.  Mr Goh also lauded Nehrujis contribution for the freedom of India along with Mahathma Gandhi.  Mr Goh also said that in addition to his contribution to make India a modern success as a great nation, he also played a vital role on the international stage by promoting the ideals of equality, peace and respect among nations and that legacy till date continues to inspire world leaders.

Dr Singh in his speech said “Singapore today is an embodiment of human progress and the spirit of internationalism.

Jawaharlal Nehru was prescient when he said in 1946 that Singapore will become the city where Asian unity is forged. We are witnessing such unity being forged. Singapore’s great cultural and intellectual institutions are playing a vital role in this process.  I therefore must warmly congratulate the National Heritage Board on this initiative and wish it all success in its future activities”.

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