Singapore: As a special tribute to
India-Singapore relations, a bust of first Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru has been erected here, clubbing him with a
select group of eminent global personalities, including former
Chinese President Deng Xiaoping.
The 'Friends of our Shore' (FOS) marker of Nehru will be
unveiled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his two-day
So far, four personalities had been given this
decoration, which was started in 2004. They are Polish-English
writer Joseph Conrad (2004); Father of modern Vietnam Ho Chih
Min (2008); Filipino revolutionary leader Jose Rizal (2008)
and Deng (2010).
Nehru has been accorded the honour in recognition of his
contributions to India-Singapore relations.
The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) had
commissioned sculptor Prof Biman Bose to make the bust, which
has dimensions of 330x460x510 mm.
The marker is located at the Asian Civilisations Museum,
on a green stretch along with Singapore River. It is a
historically significant area in Singapore as it was on the
banks of this river that modern Singapore began to build its
The FOS project is part of Singaporean National Heritage
Board's efforts to deepen cultural ties and forge heritage
collaborations with its "regional and international
The project is aimed at providing better understanding to
Singaporeans and others about the "shared history with its
neighbours, as well as the various significant personalities
who have played a part in Singapore's history".
"The markers also provide a bridge for better
understanding between various people as they begin to see and
understand the ties between Singapore and their homeland and
how diplomatic, cultural and people-to-people ties have
created the exchange of ideas and friendship benefiting both
Singapore and their countries," a background document says.
Nehru was a good friend of Singapore which he visited
thrice. He first visited Singapore in May 1937 as part of a
pan-Malayan tour, then in 1946. After independence, he came to
Singapore in June 1950 on a State visit during which he laid
the foundation stones for the Singapore Indian Association
headquarters as well as the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hall.
First Published: Saturday, November 19, 2011, 20:19