Discrimination Against Indians In Singapore Cultural Studies Essay

Singapore may be extremely advanced in footings of instruction and engineering nevertheless at that place remain societal mistake lines that need to be addressed. This paper aims to sketch a common signifier of racism against Singaporean Indians and how this affects the peculiar person and the society. The paper will besides cross-reference to the USA and discourse the state of affairs of American-Indians life at that place. Recommendations to work out this job will besides be farther discussed.

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The population in Singapore is about 4.9 million people, 3.7 million people are Singaporeans and Permanent Residents while the remainder are aliens. The cultural distribution of Singaporeans is as follows, 9.2 % of Singapore ‘s population is Indians, 13.4 % of Singapore ‘s population is Malays, 74.2 % of Singapore ‘s population are Chinese, while the staying 3.2 % of Singapore ‘s population are Eurasians. ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www.singstat.gov.sg/pubn/reference/sif2010.pdf )

From the above mentioned statistics Indians are one the minority groups in Singapore while the Singapore population is dominated by the Chinese race.

The undermentioned paper will foreground the racism against Indians in Singapore from the bulk race which is the Chinese population. This subject has been chosen because the writer has experienced racism in many signifiers from the Chinese population in Singapore, therefore the writer is able to associate to this subject better and give better suggestions to work out the job on manus.

Harmonizing to Nadra Kareem, “ one of the major causes of racism is because of the tegument coloring material, where the minorities are rejected by the society and suffer verbal maltreatment because of their cultural background. ” ( hypertext transfer protocol: //racerelations.about.com/od/understandingrac1/a/internalizedracism.htm )

The following are two quotation marks taken from interviews ( conducted by me ) to strengthened Nadra Kareem ‘s statement.

Vinodini, 25

I was about 13 old ages old when this incident happened, I went to the swimming school with my female group of friends. I and my friends did non truly cognize how to swim, we merely went for the interest to seek out something new. My group of friends were have oning our swimming costume and we were approximately to come in the pool when a Chinese adult male said to his married woman “ Charcoal coming inside the pool lets go. ” At that point I felt so insulted. I did non cognize whether to call on the carpet him or merely merely run off to get away the humiliation. From that twenty-four hours onwards I lost the involvement in swimming and I have ne’er worn a swimming costume.

The undermentioned statement illustrates the point that coloring material is a cause of racism, of course swimming costumes tends to demo more of the organic structure and the Chinese adult male had to notice on her coloring material as “ wood coal ” . The respondent ‘s organic structure is shamed by being referred to as wood coal ( in relation to its black coloring material ) and on a worse note the Chinese adult male felt that by the respondent come ining the pool it meant that the adult male and his married woman should go forth the pool and that they can non be in the same pool together. On a whole this incident is highly detrimental to Indians ‘ assurance in their organic structure.

Thevandran, 16

During primary school there was an incident whereby a Chinese male child from my category would cover his nose and promote other pupils to cover their olfactory organs because he thought I was smelly and dirty. When I confronted him he told me that it was his parents who told him that Indians do n’t bathe at all. That twenty-four hours I convinced myself that I did non desire to socialise with the Chinese.

In both cases it can be noted that there are really racially-motivated racism by the Chinese against the Indians in Singapore based on their coloring material. The multiple scandalous footings such “ wood coal ” and “ dirty ” is chiefly to mock the Indian organic structure as inferior to theirs. Ardis C. Martin, M.D. provinces that ” if 1s civilization continues to be devalued it consequences in low self-pride. ” ( hypertext transfer protocol: //ap.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/32/4/338 ) In both instances above, the respondents felt insulted by the comments that they received. Vinodini did non of all time want to swim once more while Thevandran did non desire to socialize with Chinese to ease his hurting.


The racism of Chinese against Indians in Singapore should non be treated lightly and must be treated earnestly. One merely has to look back into Singapore ‘s history and remember of the two racial events that about tore isolated Singapore – The Maria-Hertogh Riots and 1964 Race Riots.

On 11 of December 1950 the tribunal decided to present detention of Maria Hertogh ( who was raised by Muslims ) her biological Catholic parents. Outraged Muslims protested the determination which finally led to rioting when images demoing Maria Hertogh kneeling before a statue of Mother Mary were published. Rioting in Singapore lasted 3days. Many belongingss were destroyed but more significantly 173 people were injured and 18 were killed. ( hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Hertogh_riots )

The 1964 Race Riots was a series of public violences that took topographic point in Singapore in July and September between Chinese and Malay racial groups. The racial force killed 36 people and a farther 556 people were injured. ( hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_race_riots_in_Singapore )

The undermentioned two events exemplify how racial struggles can destruct Singapore.

To cover with this state of affairs the authorities has continuously and actively promoted racial harmoniousness as the cardinal pillar of the state through assorted policies and steps stressing tolerance, understanding and regard among the different races and faiths in Singapore. ( http: //www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20100429-213067.html )

Singaporeans are besides invariably on a regular basis reminded in official addresss of the racial in events in Singapore ‘s history and how it threatened to steep the state in convulsion. ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www.straitstimes.com/STI/STIMEDIA/sp/nationaldayrally2009/090817_hard_work_on_harmony.html )

The state of affairs in Britain/United Kingdom will now be discussed, whereby Indians there are one of the minority race groups and they are discriminated violently and brutally by the bulk groups.

Even though the state of affairs in Singapore sing the racism against Indians by the Chinese may be seem every bit tame as compared to the state of affairs in Britain/United Kingdom, lessons has to be learnt from those states to forestall our state ‘s hereafter from going bleak as Britain and United Kingdom.


Racism of Indians by the Chinese in Singapore consequences in marginalization between the two groups and therefore creates divide within the multi-racial society within Singapore. ( http: //www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20100429-213067.html )

There are many steps put in topographic point by the authorities to undertake the issue of racism between the different racial groups. During Mr Lee Hsien Loong National Day Rally address in 2009 he mentioned about Singapore ‘s attempts at furthering harmoniousness among the different races and faiths. ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www.straitstimes.com/STI/STIMEDIA/sp/nationaldayrally2009/090817_hard_work_on_harmony.html ) .

The ground for making so is to make societal interaction between different races and therefore advance cultural diverseness among them. Examples to advance national integrating between the different races include through publicity of public lodging, national service, educational policies, the mass media and grassroots organisations.

One such step I suggest to undertake the issue of racism against the Indians by the Chinese is to implement a system in primary schools whereby for one twenty-four hours a Indian pupil will hold to populate a Chinese pupil ‘s house. The following twenty-four hours the Chinese pupil will hold to populate in the Indian pupil ‘s house. This therefore creates the societal interaction required to further harmoniousness between the different racial groups. The ground for implementing this system during primary school is because immature kids are waxy and through interaction at this age it will go on a tendency to interact with other races as they grow up.

Martin Luther King one time said “ I look to a twenty-four hours when people will non be judged by the colour of their tegument, but by the content of their character. ” I wholly agree with him, through the execution of my thought it will assist Chinese in Singapore to judge Indians based on their character and nil else, therefore making a harmonious and multi-racial Singapore for all to see.


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