Singapore-India relations: Country honours Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar as one among world's top 10 people of wisdom

Singapore and India relation
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The Southeast Asian country, Singapore's majority of the population were Chinese as per the data collected till the end of June 2017, the Malays and Indians are also grabbed second and third place respectively in the resident population list. Singapore has always shown a friendly gesture to India and always honoured well known Indian leaders, artists and politicians over the years.

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Singapore, he along with the 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 who is called the father of India. Later the government honoured PM Modi by naming an orchid after him to mark his visit to the National Orchid Garden.

Recently, in Singapore, where Tamil is considered the most widely spoken language, 'Thiruvalluvar', a Tamil poet and philosopher has been honoured by the Southeast Asian country as one among the world's top 10 people of wisdom along with a statue that featured Louis Pasteur, Albert Einstein, Ibn Khaldun, Samuel Johnson, Aristotle, Plato, Confucius, Socrates and Maria Montessori.

India based a Tamil actor, Vivek shared the photo of the statue on Twitter, where he stated that "Dear students parents n fans! Singapore has honoured world top 10 people of wisdom! Our Thiruvalluvar is there sitting majestically. Thank u S'pore @MDIS_SG."

The travellers, who visited India's Kanyakumari district, must have seen the huge statue of the Tamil poet-saint known as the author of the Tirukkural, which is considered as a masterpiece of human thought and many have compared this "Sacred Couplets" with John Milton's Paradise Lost even with Bible.

As historians claimed that Thiruvalluvar used to live in Tamil Nadu's Chennai with his wife, Vasuki. In that state, there was a bus transport corporation, which was registered as the name of Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation on January 14, 1980.

But, Singapore and the Tamil people have a long history that started with the Chola empire of Tamil Nadu and some people believe that the name Singapore has come from Sanskrit or Tamil. However, in the 19th century, first Tamil language schools were established, which initially faced negligence from the government. During 1959 these schools started to receive government-sponsored aids.

As per the recent G.B. Srithar, the Regional Director of Singapore Tourism Board for South Asia Middle East Africa, 1.27 million Indians visited Singapore in 2017.

This article was first published on July 20, 2018