Why Thaipusam ban musical instrument? Read the excerpt from the book : VR Nathan : Community Servant Extraordinary to find out more
Excerpt 2: Why Thaipusam ban musical instrument?
Excerpt 3: Why Thaipusam ban musical instrument?
FORMER Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) chairman V.R. Nathan died yesterday, at age 78.
01/02/2009 10:56:34 http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_332149.html
He had been unwell for more than a month with complications from a lung infection and died at Singapore General Hospital in the afternoon, said his son-in-law Ramadas Naidu, 53.
President S R Nathan, who was an old friend, joined leaders of the Hindu community and other religious groups here in paying tribute yesterday to Mr Nathan’s contributions to the HEB and to fostering inter-religious harmony.
In a condolence letter to the family, President Nathan said he was ‘deeply saddened’ to learn of Mr Nathan’s passing and noted his many accomplishments.
The late Mr Nathan retired from a career in banking in the 1980s and devoted his retirement years to volunteer work.
This included being an active member of the HEB for more than 20 years. He chaired it from 1991 to 2005 and stayed on as an adviser after that.
President Nathan noted that Mr Nathan, through his hands-on supervision, ‘put in place a system of budgetary monitoring of the earnings of each of the board’s four Hindu temples – two of which are national monuments’.
These are the Sri Mariamman Temple in South Bridge Road and the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road.
‘He built up the finances of the board and it was able to acquire assets and a financial reserve,’ added the President.
He noted that together with community leaders Sat Pal Khattar, Chandra Das and Gopinath Pillai, the late Mr Nathan spearheaded the redevelopment of the board’s properties in the Serangoon Road, Campbell Road and Hastings Road quadrangle into today’s Little India.
During the late Mr Nathan’s tenure, the Sri Sivan Temple in Geylang was also built and the other three temples rebuilt and refurbished.
‘The present state of the board’s temples is the legacy he leaves behind,’ said President Nathan.
Noted Mr Chandra Das, a former MP: ‘The HEB benefited greatly from his leadership. I have worked very closely with him over the years and benefited greatly from his advice.’
Lawyer and board member Mohan Das Naidu, 58, said the late Mr Nathan was ‘primarily responsible for uplifting the image of the board’ and that his death was a big loss.
Son-in-law Ramadas Naidu described him as ‘a very forthright person who devoted his life to the community. The community came first’.
President Nathan said in his condolence letter that Mr Nathan, an active advocate of inter-racial harmony, helped revitalise the Inter-Religious Organisation.
He also worked closely with Muslim welfare group Jamiyah, the Singapore Buddhist Lodge and church bodies to promote multi-religious charitable causes and community projects, and served on the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony from 1992 to 2004.
Singapore Buddhist Lodge president Lee Bock Guan – who was in talks with Mr Nathan recently on ways to help needy dialysis patients during the downturn – described him as ‘a very, very kind man’.
Inter-Religious Organisation president Rustom Ghadiali, who is president of the Parsi Zoroastrian Association of Singapore, said representatives of 10 religions here plan to hold inter-faith prayers for Mr Nathan in the coming days.
As President Nathan noted in his letter: ‘There were many accomplishments of Mr Nathan. But his signal contribution has been to the HEB and the Hindu community and later on inter-racial affairs.
‘Under his hands-on leadership, orderly conduct of the Thaipusam festival and the fire-walking event was also achieved. He also took the lead to involve the HEB in projects like the Ashram ‘halfway house’ and the Deepavali light-up, which is now an annual event.’
He added: ‘He was a simple man, whose needs were simple as was his manners. He was strong and devoted in his faith. By example, he inspired many to volunteer their services to various temple and welfare causes. It is indeed difficult to sum up what Indian Singaporeans and Hindus in particular owe him.’
Mr Nathan leaves behind his wife, four daughters and nine grandchildren.
His body will be cremated at the Mandai Crematorium on Sunday afternoon.
Prime Minister’s condolence letter on the demise of MR V R Nathan
Fri, Jan 30, 2009, AsiaOne
Dear Mrs Nathan
Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the passing away of your husband, Mr V R Nathan.
Mr Nathan served the Indian community with distinction and unwavering commitment. As Chairman of the Hindu Endowments Board for almost two decades, he did much to preserve Hindu and Indian culture. He improved the management of Hindu temples, and expanded their range of social and cultural programmes. Under his watch, the new Sri Sivan Temple was built and the other three Hindu temples renovated.
He also led the Hindu Endowments Board to help the less fortunate. The Board operated a halfway house, The Ashram, to rehabilitate Indian and Sikh substance abusers. He ensured that children from low income families were not deprived of preschool education, getting HEB to provide subsidies to deserving children.
Mr Nathan did much for inter-religious harmony in Singapore. He was President of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO), and an active champion of inter-faith activities. He also served on the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony from 1992 to 2004. Singaporeans have been able to enjoy social harmony and unity between our different races and religious because men like Mr Nathan took it upon themselves to build bridges across communities.
Just over a year ago, I had lunch with Mr Nathan and several other Hindu leaders, and we discussed various community issues. We met again six weeks later, at an inter-faith and racial harmony dinner. That was the last time I saw him. I am deeply saddened to learn of his passing.
With deepest sympathies
Street procession rules, including music ban, help keep events safe and peaceful: S. Iswaran
Published on Feb 5, 2015
Rules for street processions, including the use of musical instruments, have been put in place to manage events for the greater public good, Second Home Affairs Minister S. Iswaran said on Thursday in comments on reports of a scuffle during the Thaipusam procession.
He said there had to be a balance between allowing important religious events to take place, and preserving order.
A long-standing ban on playing musical instruments during such processions has been in place as a result of past instances of fights between competing groups of musicians, and disruption to the procession and to devotees.
Regulations are made known to participants clearly, he said, adding that the vast majority over the years have had no problems complying with the requirements.
He was speaking in Madrid to Singapore journalists after online videos showing the scuffle sparked debate about the incident and the rules on playing of musical instruments.
On Tuesday, organisers asked a group to stop playing drums at the junction of Serangoon and Desker roads. Police were called. A scuffle ensued and three Singaporean men were arrested.
Mr Iswaran is accompanying Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on an official visit to Germany and Spain.
In addressing the ban on playing instruments during such processions, a rule which came into force in 1974, he noted that the Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) allowed musical instruments to be used within the temple premises.
He also said that there is a provision that religious hymns could be sung, “which is in keeping with the sanctity and the spiritual nature of the event”.
Setting the context for these rules, he said Thaipusam is a very important religious occasion for Hindus. Between 9,000 and 10,000 devotees carry kavadis and milk pots during the annual procession.
The Government recognises the event’s significance and sanctity for the Hindu community. This is why, even though religious foot processions had been banned since the 1964 racial riots, special concessions and provisions were made for Thaipusam and two other Hindu festivals, he said.
But the scale of participation at Thaipusam and the fact that the 4.5km procession goes through major roads meant that the HEB had to work with authorities to ensure the event’s peace and safety.
As a result, rules on musical instruments were needed, he said.
Tuesday’s incident, which police are investigating, involved “a small group who behaved in an unruly manner and without heeding police advice and warnings. We should let the investigations take their course and then we see what the outcomes are”.
The larger point of note, he said, was that in Singapore’s multi-religious society, everyone had to make accommodations and concessions:
“There must be mutual understanding and respect for each other’s practices whilst we celebrate our respective festivals or events. We also need to take into account the need to maintain an overall balance in society in order to preserve safety and law and order. That’s the context in which we should look at this.
“We shouldn’t allow the actions of a few individuals to disrupt the kind of harmony we have worked very hard to preserve over the years.”
He was also concerned about misrepresentations and rumours about the incident and called for people to exercise calm and restraint:
“If there are any concerns or issues, let’s take them up. We have the due process and we have channels to deliberate on those, and we can see what outcomes can be achieved.”
Overheard from Hong
For those unaware of the reasons for the music instrument ban during Thaipusam, I think this ancient newspaper clipping will explain quite clearly.
And to whoever saying that Singaporean Indians are being discriminated against and using the “noisy” lion dance as a comparison, please read the highlighted k.
This ban is only for religious foot procession which only our Hindu bros and sis have this privilege to walk on the streets for religious purposes. Other races are banned from doing religious walking leh.