I write this message with a heavy heart.
I am one of the many disappointed Hindus and would sincerely hope for my words to reach you.
1959 and 1965, two very important years for Singapore. The two years where Singapore gained its partial and full independence.
We Singaporeans have important years to remember and these two years are some examples. They are so important to us that we relive it every 9th August.
Likewise, Thaipusam and Deepavali along with other festivals are just as important to us Hindus to remember and relive yearly.
Devotees taking part in Thaipusam begin their journey by going through a fast prior(staying vegetarian, abstaining from bodily pleasures, staying at their composed state of mind at all times) to ensure their mind and body is focused and cleansed while trying to get closer to our Gods.
Essentially all we do is we hope, that by abstaining ourselves from the normal comforts of life, we get closer to our Gods. We do all these on believing that our vows get accepted by our Gods.
We are encouraged to never forget our roots, here in Singapore. This is why we get our respective holidays like Deepavali to celebrate.
Today, I make a humble request in allowing me to remind all of our culture. Music is in-built for some, but even more so in the hearts of us Hindus where we start each day listening to hymms and devotional songs, since birth. The music that we listen to in our religious happenings is called the tavil. It was found in Thanjavur, India. The drum and its influence carried itself to many countries, and I am proud to include the countries in the west. I’m proud of my roots and the contribution my forefathers and their forefathers in India have made. So today, I would like to highlight the effects this tradtional instruments bring us.
Yes Sir, Peace.
It is used in temples, in private prayer held at home and you must have noticed the use of it during Hindu weddings.
So my disappointment when it was banned during the biggest festival of ours(thaipusam)cannot be any more obvious.
Surely there is a reason why each race or culture has its specific instruments. There must be a reason why not many can play these instruments unless they are trained to.
These aren’t noise producers, Sir, they are a part of our lives. Music therapy has been introduced not too long ago but our traditional music has been living for years now.
I seek your kind understanding as to why the uproar of our unhappiness.
For the music does not only allow the kavadi bearers to concentrate while forgetting the pain they might feel, but also what keeps us united.
Yes Sir, it unites one man to another across the globe. That’s what music generally does. What more, our traditional devotional music?
All I hope is realised is how an intangible source should never be restricted. It does not belong to any single entity.
These instruments(that were banned) aren’t easy instruments to be played. However the music produced by them easily reaches out to every Hindu.
Let Music live.
For we only hope it accompanies us devotees and participants as we complete our journey and fulfil our vows.
Thank you Sir.
This letter was written by Shahlocks Elangovan.
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