After visiting Malaysia and Indonesia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Singapore on Thursday, May 31. On Saturday, the prime minister along with Singapore's former premier Goh Chok Tong jointly unveiled a plaque as a part of paying tribute at the immersion site of Mahatma Gandhi's ashes.
During the plaque unveiling event, over 250 members in the Indian diaspora, led by Singapore's Emeritus Minister Goh Chok Tong, paid tribute to the legendary Indian leader. After Gandhi's death in 1948, his ashes were sent to various parts of the world including Singapore for immersion. The plaque unveiling ceremony was conducted at the Clifford Pier where Gandhi's ashes were immersed.
"Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and I unveiled a plaque marking the site where Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were immersed at the Clifford Pier in Singapore. Bapu's message reverberates globally. His thoughts and ideas motivate us to work for the greater good of humanity," tweeted Narendra Modi after the ceremony.
Beautiful renditions of 'Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye' and 'Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram', two favourite Bhajans of Mahatma were also sung during the event.
Ameerali Jumabhoy, a 93-year old Singaporean businessman, who leads the Gandhi Jayanti celebration every year, later stated that the unveiling of plaque of the Mahatma is remembrance again of Gandhi as a global figure.
"The unveiling of plaque of the Mahatma is remembrance again of Gandhi as a global figure and his relationship with all his Indian diaspora globally. That is the significance of this event," said Jumabhoy, First Port reports.
During the visit, Narendra Modi also visited Hindu and Buddhist temples and a mosque in China Town. After visiting the Sri Mariamman temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, Modi said that the holy place illustrates the vibrant culture that connects India and Singapore.
Singapore's Culture Minister Grace Yien also accompanied Modi during his visit to the Mariamman temple and the Chulia Mosque.
Prior to the temple visit, Modi also visited the US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis who is now in Singapore.
Later, Modi visited the Changi naval base and talked about the healthy cooperation between India and Singapore in the seas.
The Singapore government also honoured Modi by naming an orchid after him to mark his visit to the National Orchid Garden. The orchid in the Singapore Botanical Garden has been named Dendrobium Narendra Modi. It should be noted that the Singapore Botanical Garden is the only tropical garden in the country to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.