Singapore: The Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society has inaugurated a refurbished Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hall in the country’s Little India precinct, aiming to profoundly spread the spirit of Gandhi’s principles of love for humanity, non-violence and harmony.
Built with Indian community fundings after first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru laid its foundation during his Singapore visit in June 1950, the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hall (MGMH) has served as a beacon for the Indian community to commemorate the memory and teachings of Gandhi through celebrations, festivities and community events.
It was first opened to the public on April 25, 1953, by the then British High Commissioner Malcom MacDonald. ”In Singapore, that has a highly multi ethnic and multi religious society, MGMH helps to bring the community together, and promotes the values of non-violence, peace, harmony, serving the cause of human unity,” K V Rao, the President of Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS), said.
Rao said the principles of Mahatma Gandhi are more relevant in the current times of troubled world.
“In today’s troubled world, the spirit of Gandhian values, is ever more needed, and SIFAS’s mission of promoting classical Indian arts was synergistic – providing greater aesthetic appreciation and promoting higher values of life, through the pursuit of arts,” Rao said, adding that SIFAS took 5 months to complete renovation and refurbishment of the MGMH.
”Hopefully we will make a silent difference in bringing some peace, tranquillity and joy into peoples’ lives! SIFAS took upon itself to beautifully refurbish the premises and create a modern auditorium, performing spaces and cutting-edge facilities, something we and our community can be proud of,” said Rao, who is also Resident Director – ASEAN of TATA Group.
He said the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hall is open to all in the community to come forward and take part in the activities.
Speaking on the new look to the hall, SIFAS Executive Director Menaka Gopalan said: ”SIFAS Annexe at MGMH will create a vibrant centre of arts, for use of all communities, to pursue the arts and also to host events or simply visit and refresh oneself of the values that Mahatma Gandhi stood for.
SIFAS is a 73-year old pioneer Indian Arts institution in Singapore that houses 18 disciplines with a pan-Indian curriculum and are in partnership with reputed institutions like Kalakshetra, Kathak Kendra and most recently, Delhi University.