SINGAPORE: A book that traces the cultural heritage of the Indian community in Singapore and casting a spotlight on its plight during the Japanese occupation has been launched here.
The 556-page book "Singapore Indian Heritage" brought out by the Indian Heritage Centre (IHC) combines academic research with catalogue entries of the centre's collection of over 300 artefacts, photographs and documents.
The hardcover tome comprises a series of essays and photos and tells the journey of Singapore's Indian community from pre-colonial times, its contributions to nation-building and its current-day dynamics. The book was edited by Associate Professor Rajesh Rai of the National University of Singapore and Professor A Mani of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan. Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran launched the IHC's first book yesterday. Prof Rai said the Japanese occupation is not often thought of in terms of the Indian experience. While the Indian National Army (INA), formed by Indian nationalists in South-east Asia, forged an alliance with the Japanese in their fight against British rule, Indians also suffered at the hands of the Japanese, he said.
Speaking at the event, Singapore's Ambassador-at-large Gopinath Pillai, said the book was a collaboration between "respected members of the academia and the centre's museum professionals". "The IHC is invested in the long-term study of Indian history and heritage in Singapore and the wider South-east Asia region," The Straits Times quoted Pillai who is chairman of IHC's advisory board, as saying.