After a more than five-year effort nominating, shortlisting, interviewing, researching, writing, and editing, the Singapore Tamil Youths’ Club (STYC) on 23 July launched the Singapore Tamils 200 Volume 2.
The book recognises the contributions to Tamil Language, Tamil welfare and to Singapore society at large by Tamilians from the 1870s to 2023.
Around 25 Tamil youths (of up to 35 years of age) were involved in the research, interviewing, and writing of the book, which was edited by Professor A Veeramani in the capacity as chief editor and Mrs Malathi Bala in the capacity as coordinating editor.
Building international awareness
The books will be distributed to libraries in Singapore, as well as internationally, to leading research institutions in India, the United Kingdom, China, the United States and elsewhere.
Noting how STYC has been in existence for 66 years, its president Ms Brinda Selvam, said: “With this volume, we have celebrated and documented the achievements of 380 personalities who have contributed to the Tamil language, development of our society and the greater glory of Singapore. Our publications stand as a testament to the high regard and respect that the Tamil language holds in Singapore.”
The launch was attended by former Senior Minister, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister of State and MP for East Coast GRC, Mr Tan Kiat How, and donors to the initiative, Chairman of the Jaleel Foundation, Mr Abdul Jaleel, and restaurant entrepreneur Mdm Bhanumathi Ramachandra.
“By any standard, to have documented the roles of 200 people and now another 180 people is a remarkable effort. And especially given that you’ve had so many writers involved… very young writers. I really commend STYC.”
– Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam
The first volume featured 200 Tamilians. The second volume features an additional 180 Tamilians. Professor Veeramani who was involved in the fundraising efforts for the book, disclosed that while the original goal was to feature as many as 1,000 Tamilians, due to budgetary constraints they had to scale back their plans.
Commending Tamil Youth
Mr Shanmugaratnam said: “I know that you have some regrets that you are not able to achieve your original ambition of documenting the contributions of 1,000 individuals.” However, he added: “By any standard, to have documented the roles of 200 people and now another 180 people is a remarkable effort. And especially given that you’ve had so many writers involved… very young writers. I really commend STYC.”
Mr Shanmugaratnam further added: “While history may be made by political leaders and leading actors, whether unionist or community leaders, culture is made by a multitude of people, and the people you have highlighted are all from generations of Tamils, who have supported the Tamil language and culture in Singapore, who have kept it going, kept it alive.”
Mr Shanmugaratnam also commended the STYC for its efforts and said: “I am very happy to see that STYC is still doing well, still strong, still gets new leadership. We have to keep it alive.”
Volume 2 of Singapore Tamils 200 can be obtained through a donation of $100. The book can be purchased by filling up the following form: https://forms.gle/QrA9eNWXUDscwJvx5
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