Friday, December 11, 2009

If you are Indian, why you should visit the War Cemetery in Singapore

In Singapore, the Kranji War Memorial and cemetery is a very unlikely place that you may visit but while living there in the late 90's I went there anyway. Not many people, particularly tourists visit this place but if you are Indian and have moved from India to Singapore or from another country to Singapore do pay a visit to this place.

It was both a moment of both pride and of sadness to read the names of so many Indians, (I am quite sure I read Tamil and Malayalee names too) on the stones of their graves. These brave Indians died fighting the Japanese during World War II. According to Wikipedia, there are a list of another 800 Indian names at a cremation memorial where the bodies were cremated according to religious beliefs. I missed this one. It is sure an honourable thing to know how many of our countrymen had laid down their lives for the freedom of man in another country. This could be another reason why so many older resident Indians in Singapore consider Singapore to be more Indian than any of the other races living in Singapore though I am not implying that the Chinese or the Malays do not contribute to the welfare and economy of Singapore. But I am sure that I don't recall reading any Chinese names on the cemetery. Early money lenders, teachers, labour union leaders, politicians of Singapore were predominately Indian. Singapore even had a Malayalee president, Devan Nair. The story of how Devan Nair was ousted from office and stripped off his powers are legend among resident first generation Malayalees in Singapore.

Like other attractions in Singapore the War Cemetery may not be on your itinerary list but going there can be a moving experience. Chances are that you many not find even one tourist there. The loneliness of the place and being there in the evening, when the sun was going down was an experience I will never forget.

Myself, in 1997 at the War Cemetery.


Anonymous said...

Hi Subash, im Joby, the band organiser for Evergreen.

is it possible to talk to you over email? you can contact me at

thanks and regards

Subash S L said...

Hello Joby,

Will write to you. I did check out the music and it is commendable.