Please Protect the Rights of Indians in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee

Dear Sir,

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.
Send us your letters at mail@redwiretimes.com



  1. Antany Peter

    February 7, 2015 at 1:19 am

    I am not against music, but against people who disturb others by music. You shouldn’t take Kavadi and play loyd music from one temple to the other temple. It is not fair to other communities. Hello, we are living in the 21st century. Some political and religious leaders refuse to evolve as better human beings. If people can’t behave sensibly then the law has to force them to become sensible people.

    During the last Olympics the Indian Subcontinent couldn’t even get one gold medal; but China took 38 gold medals. The Indian Subcontinent has more population than China; it has almost two billion people; but couldn’t get a gold medal. The Hindu temples have astronomical gold and silver, still people are pouring billions of dollars on those temples. Those gold, silver and money could have been used for the betterment of our future generations. On top of that millions of liters of milk has been poured on the stone in the name of God; while millions of children do not have enough milk to drink. Yesterday I was at the Batu Caves Temple in KL, Malaysia. What I have seen is just unbelievable. The amount of milk has been poured on the stone is silly and shocking. For a moment I questioned myself am I in the 21st century? I questioned many devotees about this wastage. They told me that they are following the tradition. The cricket rules have changed to reflect the 21st century. Tamil language has changed to accommodate the IT world. However, some foolishness haven’t changed at all; because some political and religious leaders refuse to evolve as better human beings.

  2. Patrick Low

    February 10, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I used to live in Jalan Besar which runs parallel to Serangoon Road. I have friends who live near the Tank Road Temple.During my growing up years I have never felt that the “noise” created by the kavadi bearers and their supporters was disturbing to my ears at all.

    For me it was a treat to see other Singaporeans celebrating their religious festivals and sharing it in full view with others. This is how we learn share and bond with each other. This is what marking the Jubilee is all about.

    There are things which should be kept intact and sacrosanct and not change with the times. We are already into an era where we forget who we are and where we spring from and if by retaining some of these preciosu artifacts from our dying cultures can arrest the decline of our collective destiny then let it be.

    In Singapore where Law and Order takes precedeence over everything it takes the joy out of living when even a bit of music and a mug of beer after 10.30 pm in a worker’s dorm or a void deck is deemed illegal.

    The anger of the people whether it be over the Columbarium affair or the Thaipusam drumming, COE or CPF or obscene ministerial pay are all intertwined together. Most of the time is about greed but in this instance where it concerns religious practices it has got to do with EQ something which our government is sadly lacking.

    Just my 2 cents worth



    February 12, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    To Antany Peter

    You seem to be a very racist person as per your comments.

    1. Music that makes people disturbed is your liner? We indians never complained about the ‘NOISE’ made by our chinese friends during their NEW YEAR thats starts banging as early at 9am and goes on till night. We do understand n adhere with the joyous occasion.We play our music for a religious purposes and for 1 DAY. Got so much to say then what were u even doing at batu caves?

    2. What has gold medals got to do with this? Are you a damn physcho? Out of context. Our temples can be silver / gold decorated but do we ask you for your money? Its donations made by generous public of all races unasked. Milk are offerings, I’m sure we are all aware about poverty in certain parts of this world but a religious practice is a religious practice and you wanna compare poverty to a religious practice, what can or are u doing about it? And mind you, we don’t pray or pour milk on ‘STONES’, to us thats a ‘DEITY’. Its ok if your are not respectful but do not disrespect.

    3. You can be in whatever century 20th 21st etc but religious practice do not upgrade according century. Its a practice we are all brought up with passed down.

    4. Solution to your problem with:
    – Indian Music on thaipusam – Leave the country or sound proof your head
    – Poverty – Go do your part and strike out poverty
    – ‘STONES’ – As mentioned is called ‘DEITY’ and if u cannot respect do not disrespect.

    Peace Out

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