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The North And South Indians Binary In Singapore History Essay

Being an enormous country with a large people, it is unsurprising that India has a rich diversity of folks scattered across the country. This heterogeneity stems from numerous factors such as historical, physical and cultural activities of the different sets of people. However, for classification, administrative and analysis purposes, the united states was seemingly categorized into two wide groups, particularly the North and South Indians. This eventually led to the formation of a binary consisting of North and South Indians.

As these Indians migrated to Singapore, they helped bring along their differences with them. Nearly all migrants to Singapore were South Indians, particularly the Tamils from Tamil Nadu (Rai, 2006), though there have been also South Indians that originated from Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. For the North Indians, there were the Sikhs from Punjab (Rai, 2004) and the Hindustanis from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar (Rai, 2006). However, the occupations that they were employed for in Singapore differed greatly and this was an important factor in developing a divide between the North and South Indians. The South Indians (mainly the Tamils) usually functioned for low pay as agreement labourers whereas nearly all North Indians were professionals, security employees and mostly didn't involve themselves in menial jobs. This led to the creation of stereotypes of North and South Indians in Singapore, where in fact the North Indians were viewed as 'respectable' whereas the South Indians were viewed as 'menials' (Rai, 2004, p. 254); this further segregated the North and South Indians since they were viewed as individual entities (Rai, 2004). Thus, it was a combination of the differences they had back home in India and extra factors in Singapore that eventually resulted in the forming of a North-South separate in Singapore that is comparable yet dissimilar to that in India. From the study of various factors in multiple sections, this paper seeks to analyse various aspects of Indian life in Singapore in which the North-South divide apparently manifests and plays a part in its own development, thus determining through this analysis whether this divide truly prevails.

The first section discusses how people from the two locations will vary in their economical conditions. In Singapore, the majority of South Indians belong to the "old diaspora" whereas the North Indians are mainly folks of the "new diaspora". Although showing the same Indian homeland and presently moving into the same variety country Singapore, both groups do not share the same economic characteristics. The section will analyze differences between your two categories and discuss the way the groups can communicate and affect each other.

Within the next section, we will look at the progression of economic status from the colonial till the contemporary times. Specifically, we will concentrate on the dialogue of the economic status and standard of living between the North and South Indians. Even though the migrants bring along with them their monetary position and caste into Singapore, the variations in the social setting and political scene compared to India have led to changes within the original binary between your North and South Indians. However, towards the contemporary times, it can be argued that the economic binary has re-emerged between your old and new professional migrants.

In the third section, we will discuss the binary between South Asian teams in Singapore that arose from terminology variations. The binary between communities speaking North Indian Indo-Aryan dialects and South Indian Dravidian dialects existed because the colonial period. After independence, one can claim that there have been varying effects on the divisions between your two groups due to several plans and situations before and after 1964. Yet, there are also explanations why the utilization of different mom tongues does not lead to the creation of binaries in Singapore.

As for the fourth section, it aims to examine how the differences between the North and South Indians in the ways they practise their religions have contributed to the North-South divide in Singapore and therefore establish as to whether this separate is identified. These dissimilarities may be seen in the designs of their temples, the gods they worship or the behaviour they have towards their religions. Specifically, the section will concentrate on Hinduism and Islam, as the majority of the Indians in Singapore practise either of these two religions.

The last section takes a historical view of the Indian Classical Music and is designed to analyse what triggered the section of the art into Hindustani and Carnatic varieties, which aligned themselves across the North-South separate and emerged as a binary. The section dwells into checking out the commonalities and dissimilarities between the two forms and goes on to analyse the drive for learning Indian Classical Music. As significant intervals in the annals of Indian Classical Music are those of middle ages times, this section centers more on the Indian than the Singaporean framework.

Economic Distinctions between Old and New Diaspora

Hoang Gia An


One facet of the gulf between the North Indians and South Indians resides in the financial difference between the "old diaspora" and the "new diaspora". (The migrant labours will be excluded since these unskilled personnel are only permitted to stay and work in Singapore up to 2 yrs). Indian Singaporeans and Long lasting Residents (PRs) comprise two main organizations: the "old diaspora" community whose ancestors were mainly from South India, migrated and settled in Singapore from late 19th century to about 1940s, and the "new diaspora" of new professionals, who are mainly from North India and have migrated from 1990s onwards (Kaur, 2009).

According to Rai (2006), Indians have immigrated to Singapore for nearly two centuries. The earliest Indian immigrants were several 120 sepoys taken to Singapore by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in 1819. They proved helpful as washer-men, milkmen, tea-makers and home servants. Next was the migrant investors led by Naraina Pillai, the most effective Indian merchant in those days in Singapore. In 19th - early on 20th hundred years, many Indian immigrants were in indenture/kangani system where they caused low pay on short-term contracts. When these systems were ceased in 1938, Indians immigrating to Singapore were free immigrants, mainly from Tamil Nadu, who left India to escape from poverty also to seek a much better life in Singapore. After World War II and japan Profession (1942 - 1945), some Indian immigrants came back to their homeland but the majority stayed in Singapore because of the financial constraints. The people who had resolved in Singapore up to this period and their descendants shaped a community which we call "old Indian diaspora". Immigrants from India declined in 1950s - 1960s due to Singapore stricter immigration ordinance. From 1990s onwards, realizing that the nation was getting aged and needed skills to keep the rate of development, Singapore federal government recruited and utilized foreign pros from Asia, mainly from China and India. This insurance plan led to a rise in the amount of Indians, mainly from North India, relocated to Singapore and created a new group of Indian immigrants, which is often referred to as "new Indian diaspora".

The first difference between your old and the new diaspora is their job. Partially because of the low-caste origin of their ancestors, the majority of the old diaspora currently are small-shop owners, money lenders and blue-collar employees. Only the minority are professional workers, managers or admin staffs. On the other hand, from the 1990s onwards, the new diaspora includes the new immigrants who arrived in respond to the government's ability recruitment policies. The brand new diaspora are skilled workers who work in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Education, Business and Finance, etc. This group increases the percentage of professional jobs among Indian Singaporeans/ PRs. Currently professionals, technicians and professionals take into account more than 57% of total Indian Singaporeans and PRs working people (Singapore Cencus, 2010).

The second difference is based on the household income level, which is principally because of the job. Before 1990s, Indian Singaporeans average household income was below land average. If the new professionals come, their high profits make the average household income of Indians increase greatly and even surpass the nationwide average (In 2010 2010, Indian average was $7, 664 in comparison to nationwide average at $7, 214 (Team of Figures Singapore, 2010)). Furthermore, they often send back money to India to support their relatives, which is also another type of pattern from the old diaspora. The old diaspora do not usually contact to India as almost their whole family members are in Singapore, so they also need not send money abroad.

The third difference is the educational level. A big percentage of the old diaspora community will not obtain high-education level. The younger decades also didn't perform well at school compared to the other ethnic categories in certain things. This underperformance resulted in the establishment of Singapore Indian Development Connection (SINDA) in 1991 (SINDA, 2012). The relationship has conducted an array of measure and does enhance the results of Indian students. On the other hand, most of the new professional immigrants are tertiary level holders and above. Additional variations between the two diasporas include words (the old group are mainly Tamil-speakers as the majority of the new group aren't), arrangement (the old group consider Singapore as their homeland; the new group plan to return to India after retirement life) and other habits.

It is clear that those dissimilarities create the boundary between the old and the new

diaspora. Because of government's favourable treatment for foreign skills, the new professional immigrants generally live in better conditions set alongside the old-diaspora local Indian Singaporeans. This makes the old diaspora considers that the new immigrants reduces their opportunities to develop (Temasek Review, 2010). They also claim that the new diaspora people are arrogant, greedy rather than loyal to Singapore. On the other hand, the new diaspora thinks that the old group is jealous with their success and unfriendly (Rai, 2006). Thus, there were limited connections between your two groups before and also up to now. Nevertheless, we assume that the gulf of the two diasporas might be settled by initiatives from both categories. For example, by working together and inviting other for dinners, the two organizations will understand each other better, resulting in a cut down gulf.

Despite their recent immigration, the new diaspora does contribute to the Indian community in Singapore as a whole and for that reason, the old diaspora also looks forward to the huge benefits. In term of education, with the prevailing of non-Tamil professional immigrants, more non-Tamil dialects such as Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu and Gujarati have been added to the curriculum as supplementary dialects for students. This will also focus on the needs of the non-Tamil customers of the old diaspora (Rai, 2006). In term of awareness and knowledge, the new diaspora people are the founders of India Se, a journal for highly educated reader, which talks about global Indian business, education, and culture (India Se eMagazine From Singapore, 2012). The newspaper creates a common Indian space as well as perhaps helps connect the old diaspora high-caste group with the new professional Indians. Finally, in term of entertainment, the new diaspora also brings the Bollywood radio train station to the MediaCorp, one of both main entertainment programs of Singapore (Anjum, 2009). This radio train station caters not and then the fast-growing Hindi expatriate community in Singapore but also to other Bollywood lovers, such as certain groups of the old diaspora community.

In summary, both Indian diasporas are quite economically different: The new diaspora are experiencing a better life than the old diaspora generally. In fact, it has been the main source of issues between the two groups since the immigration of the new diaspora in 1990s. Nevertheless, the new diaspora contributes significantly to the Indian community in Singapore and more importantly, helps increase the belief of other ethnicities about Indian Singaporeans all together. It is necessary to reduce the conflicts between the two groupings so that multiracial country becomes more included and harmonized.

Evolution of the typical of Living and Monetary Status relished by the North and South Indians

Yeo Xin Yi


Situated within the Southern Asian continent is one of the world's financial powerhouse - India (Rautava, 2005). Cover many within the continent, India has been able to tap on its consumer needs to drive the growth of the current economic climate (Iyengar, 1960). In addition, with the review of its economic regulations, India is opening up its economy to welcome opportunities which supports and strengthens the progress of its economy (Basu, 2007). However, if we look specifically at the Northern expresses of India, the benefits associated with a growing market have never benefited their local market fully compared to the South (FP Current economic climate, 2012). Because of the under-development of infrastructure and situated within an unfavorable geographic location, the North States are not able to fully utilise technology and alternative monetary routes to fortify the growth of their market (Limao, 2001). These factors have resulted in a lower monetary achievement and quality lifestyle experienced among the North compared to the South Indians in India (FE Overall economy, 2012), and is easily employed as the general notion of Indians by the global community.

As we bring our attention back to the Indians, in modern day Singapore, it is not hard to note that the gulf in the standard of living and financial status between the North and South Indians does not can be found, at least on the surface. Comparatively, the real division between your North and South Indians here has been diluted as it progressed along with talk about insurance policies and local culture, that have been also responsible for shaping the Indian experience in Singapore.

During the colonial times, the colonial forces have turned to the Indians to fulfill their great demand for laborers in private and colonial assignments (Rai, 2006), due to too little trust they have got for the Chinese community (Turnbull, 1958). It has resulted in a massive influx of Indian laborers, mediated by the indenture and Kangany system (Rai, 2006), which is subsequently promoted by the colonial power. Though it is currently known these systems are highly oppressive and manipulative of the privileges of the laborers (Satyanarayana, 2001), it is undeniably the major source of real human labor, from the overdue 1890s up till the 1940s (Rai, 2006). Thus, the Indian policies, combined with the Singapore context have effectively created a pool of poor South Indian, which make up the majority of colonial Indian labor inhabitants (Periasamy, 2007).

The shortage in heterogeneity of the Indian inhabitants in Singapore can be discussed by the legislation, which restricts hiring of laborers from the Madras claims (Arasaratnam, 1979), exceeded by the Indian authorities. At exactly the same time, it is dominant that the South Indians have endured, as much as the North Indians could have in their indigenous land, given the tough conditions these were forced to face under the "slavery" system. Because they constitute a significant portion of the colonial Indian human population (Rai, 2006), they have portrayed an opposing case of the initial gulf that people see in India, refuting the perceptions the global society have about the Indian community.

As we progress with time, to the age of Japanese occupation (1942-1945), battling, oppression and the lack of job opportunities will be the general experience of Singaporeans. Even though there are numerous arguments that the Indians have remained relatively unaffected throughout this era of the time, this holds true only to a tiny amount and especially so during the formation of the next INA. The abundant were greatly damaged by this set up, as many of these are pressured to surrender their fortunes (Rai, 2012), while the poor, being economically disadvantage to begin with, are not as affected compared to the rich. Furthermore, the Indian those who have refused to become listed on the INA, are confronted with a constant threat of their safeness from the colonial powers (Rai, 2012). Thus, this period can be considered a turning point in the financial position of the Indians and the other areas alike, because they are forced to restore the economic status they have before the war. Furthermore, there is no difference in the standard of living relished by anyone under the rule of the Japanese. JAPAN have essentially created a group of homogenous (monetary) individuals before any further stratification can develop to separate the Indian community, completely.

Towards the immediate post-independence period, authorities policies have performed a significant role in creating equal opportunities for the various ethnic groups to go up up the economical ranks. This is carried out by enhancing education standards, introducing meritocracy, and strengthening the monetary infrastructure within the country (Lim, 1983). Gradually, these changes have brought about the rise in the educational position of the general population, that have in turn lead to a growth in competitiveness of Singaporeans in comparison to people in the other countries (Chian, 2004). Moreover, the presence of top notch economic infrastructure enticed purchases of potential business lovers from worldwide (Yeung, 2010), increasing job opportunities available to Singaporeans. These changes are specially important in resolving the class stratification between the high and low income group, into a large middle class group, as poverty and a minimal standard of living is now able to be resolved through effort and determination to achieve success. Poverty and low quality lifestyle are no more factors that will accompany one throughout his life. In the long run, we see a similar quality lifestyle liked by the Indians (and Singaporeans) created by a high quality of education, combined with the climb of income among the low income groups and upsurge in job opportunities, within only 50 years.

Going in to the modern day times, it is undeniable that the standard of living among the overall populace has increased greatly. However, the difference in emphasis, have led to the disparity in growth, of the various different economic sectors (MTI, 2012). The effect is the come back of monetary stratification within the Indian community, who are actually widely employed in the various monetary industries and are immediately affected by the fluctuations of the various sectors they are really residing in. As a reply, the government has generated the Singapore Indian Development Relationship (SINDA) to handle the socio-economic issues the Indian community confronted (SINDA, 2012). Through the entire years, SINDA is relatively successful in elevating the income and standard of living within the Indian community (OECD, 2010). Disparity among the standard of living and financial status of the Indian community have returned in today's world, but is capped and suppressed through the government's effort in resolving the growing binary within the community.

While the Indian people struggles to meet up with the introduction of the economy, there is a surge in income on the list of Indian population, along with the influx of the new professional migrants, as depicted by the census. It could be argued, however that the growth is only reflective of the recent professional migrants while the standard income of the old people has continued to be relatively the same (or worse).

In bottom line, the binary in economic terms have changed along with the Singapore landscape. Despite the fact that the binary have been diluted and is close to resolution throughout the years, it includes currently came back in an application that involves the old and new migrants, which is as a result of your competition in monetary opportunities within Singapore. As far as we are concern, it is evident that the new economic binary has been built onto the dilemma of the need of experiencing enough professionals to aid the overall economy, as Singapore finds itself embedded in a aging populace with a decreasing labor and birth rate. That is vaguely similar to the situation confronted by the British during the colonial age. Nonetheless, the ultimate outcome is debatable. Is Singapore heading to develop into another India, divided among ourselves predicated on economic grounds, even as the binary in India is slowly but surely resolved.

Language : Tamil versus minority languages

Wu Si Hui Fiona


India has many different neighborhoods, with many distinctive languages. Indo-Aryan organizations consist of the most dialects and accounts for around 74% of the populace, accompanied by the Dravidian group, accounting for 24% of India's populace. In North India, over the Uttar Pradesh belt, the Indo-Aryan dialects are the most regularly used languages, within the South, along Tamil Nadu region, Dravidian dialects tend to be used (Das Gupta, 1970). Both of these linguistic categories are dissimilar, leading to difficulties to allow them to understand the other vocabulary. In addition, vocabulary commitment can also lead to discrimination and conflicts particularly when politics are participating. The majority of the Indian population speaks Hindi, an Indo-Aryan terminology and is the official languages of federal government. (Otterheimer, 2008)

In Singapore, despite a smaller community, there are still six recognized Indian languages here (Lewis, 2009). While with so many particular dialects in India, the South and North Indians were known to be divided over linguistic turmoil. We must explore if that is truly the situation in Singapore. We are looking at two groups, the Southern Tamil speaking community and North non-Tamil speaking community. This section will discuss several possible issues which could be the cause or exacerbate the forming of divisions amongst South Asian groups because the colonial period to present day. We will touch on if these binaries are true or identified in the Singapore framework during contemporize period.

During colonial period, Tamil labourers made a majority of Indian migrants who came to Singapore consequently of British isles colonial growth. The administrative words is the colonial words, English. However, Malay can be used to talk between different Southern Asian teams and other races while their individual mother tongues were only used within their own community (Kuo, 1980). Institutions offered education in a variety of medium, where more radiant technology learn in their own mom tongue. Though there exists a common language of different origins and a certain degree of bilingualism existed in the culture then, Southern Asian communities are basically divided according to their language groups. Individuals in those days still deemed India as their homeland and could have remained near to those who speak the same dialect as they are doing or their kinsmen, building binaries within the 'Indian' communities.

During the 1950s, the Dravidian Motion in India pass on to Singapore through the Tamil college masters, moving for a Tamil-speaking populace. The Activity was successful in Singapore due to reputation in the politically-dominant Tamil population. It resulted in your choice of using Tamil instead of Hindi as standard dialect (Rai, 2004).

After self-reliance, the Singapore government's management insurance plan of "disciplining variances" (PuruShotam, 2000) led to four competition categories, namely Chinese language, Malay, Indian and Eurasians. This categorisation was criticised for sweepingly classifying the heterogeneous mixture of differing people from various record into one of the 'races'. Anyone who originated from a South Asian backdrop became area of the 'Indian competition'. Tamil was adopted as one of the official dialects, representing the Indian contest, despite its minority status back India. It was supposed to provide as common and unifying language between the 'Indians' in Singapore, but disregarded the fact there were also non-Tamil Indians in the population.

After such decision was made, the 4 recognized languages were widely used in all press. Tamil was heavily emphasised and recognized to be the state vocabulary of Indian contest in Singapore while little attention is given to the other southern Asian languages. They are really thus regarded as less important and little socio-economic value by younger generation who aren't interested to learn their 'mother tongue'. Furthermore, maintenance and learning of the languages depended greatly on individual community initiatives (Rai, 2004). Though the intention of any common language was to united the local 'Indian' community, recognized use of Tamil instead divided the city into Tamil-speaking and non-Tamil speaking, especially for the monolinguals.

Bilingual education plan of Singapore federal requires all students in local institutions to learn British as first terminology and a second language which is socially determined with a particular 'racial group' (PuruShotam, 2000). Thus, children from non-Tamil speaking groups of Indian 'competition' were required to learn either Tamil or Malay as second vocabulary. This policy offers an unfair drawback for the coffee lover as they have to learn two overseas dialects (Rai, 2004). These students usually do worse than their peers from Tamil-speaking individuals. The Singapore Action Committee on Indian Education (1991) concluded of their investigations that non-Tamil students are especially poor in their second vocabulary, negatively impacting their overall results.

This starting downside costed non-Tamils in education and triggering binary due to language amidst South Asian students.

Also, since some third technology 'Indians' would prefer to take Malay, due to its perceived economic benefits, it could even cause section within own young families. For example, within an Indian family, the parents and child would have different second languages (The Straits Times, 1997). They usually turn to English for communication, alternatively their original mother tongue (Rai, 2004). This further weaken their connect to their community. The points above will result in "language death" (Atchison, 1981) of the other minority South Asian dialects in Singapore.

Education plans towards amount of offered second terminology became more opened. By 1994, five non-Tamil dialects are recognized at PSLE to 'AO' levels. The changes were manufactured in order to ensure that non-Tamil students won't continue to have problems with drawback in education credited to constraints in policies. Also, this helped in the revival of minority South Asian dialects and preserving variances.

In the 1980s, when the government was taking into consideration the addition of several North Indian dialects into curriculum, there were oppositions from the Tamil-speaking community, who have concerns that status of Tamil terminology as the official language might diminish. The acceptance of five other Indian languages in education has added to the revival of minority languages in Singapore. However, we can also interpret it as a sign of further division amongst Southern Asian teams as each group will be more culturally distinct with the own terminology. Binary in Indian community might deepen as people became more aware of the distinctions present between different categories when they use different languages.

As the number of South Asian dialects offered is bound, some students will need up other dialects as their second terms. For instance, especially before 1989, many students from non-Tamil used Malay as second words rather than Tamil. In 1990s, when the five non-Tamil Indian dialects were offered, some took up Hindi despite it not being their actual mother tongue. This may be a cause of division of their own community, as they could be unable to speak well with the monolingual elder generation.

From 1980 onwards, migration policies were relaxed, attracting many migrants from India. This new group of migrants are termed "diaspora lately capitalism" by Vijay Mishra (2001). These are of more diverse qualifications, different from the more mature diaspora, who had been mainly Tamil labourers; they are simply educated techno-professionals and also have less attachment to Singapore. These new diaspora will prefer their children to learn either English or Hindi, which are much more useful if they're heading back to India or other countries (Rai, 2004). This point offers us another example of binary scheduled to language difference.

While the idea of binary in Southern Asian groups aren't perceived based on the above details, I really believe the amount of department in Singapore due to languages is minimal. Relating to Singapore Census 2010, 94. 7% of literate Indian inhabitants in Singapore talks English. In our current society, language barriers are quickly eroded by using a common dialect English. Moreover, 'Singlish' can be an alternative common id amongst communities. The binary caused by one's mother tongue has a restricted impact in the Southern Asian community.

In bottom line, while in a community, common mom tongue can be considered a unifying individuality, making one feel close to home, additionally, it may cause divisions in contemporary society when various specific linguistic groups can be found. The management guidelines need to improve during the period of time to support changes in the various groups. In addition, somewhat than forcefully homogenising a community, I feel that the idea of 'Unity in Diversity" could be more effective in developing a harmonious culture. Thus, certain level of binaries in South Asian communities should be urged to preserved cultural and cultural diversity.

See Xiaowei



In Singapore, there is a variety of religions practised by the Indians. Since religious beliefs is a substantial facet of their lives, it is unsurprising that has contributed to the construction of the North-South separate. This may be in an evident way, when a certain faith is exclusive to either North or South Indians. An example of this would be Sikhism, which is mainly practised by Punjabis (North Indians) (Dusenbery, 1996). Nevertheless, Sikhism is a minority faith and the majority religions are usually practised by both North and South Indians. Despite them practising the same faith, rifts can still be formed between your North and South Indians; in this section, we will be examining the two religions most commonly practised by Indians in Singapore - Hinduism and Islam.


There is present a strict differentiation between the North and South Indians in the ways they practise Hinduism (Babb, 1976).

First and most important, their religious institutions, the Hindu temples, are segregated along regional lines, in a way that they are simply labelled as North or South Indian. The temple architecture of the North or South Indian temple is very distinctive from one another which can clearly be seen from the pictures below:

Figure 1: Shree Lakshminarayan Temple (North Indian temple on the departed) and Sri Mariamman Temple (South Indian temple on the right)

Due to the local character of every temple, the North Indian temples will most likely be visited specifically by the North Indians whereas the South Indians will visit the South Indian temples (Babb, 1976). This is seen from how few South Indians visit the Shree Lakshminarayan temple, a North Indian Hindu temple that sometimes appears as "Bangali" (Sinha, 1987); in other words, the temple is frequented by Hindus from Punjab and Uttar Pradesh as well as other states regarded as in North India.

This segregation could be due to the differences in North and South Indian rituals conducted in the respected temples, as well as the skills of their priests, who would only know about the South or North Indian languages and specialised in certain Hindu sects that either North or South Indians usually participate in. Since the languages used in worship also to conduct ceremonies will vary (Tamil is usually found in South Indian temples whereas Hindi Urdu can be used in North Indian ones), it is difficult for North and South Indians to do their prayers along (Babb, 1976). This could be why the citizen priest from Lakshminarayan temple understands Sanskrit and talks Hindi as well (Sinha, 1987).

Furthermore, many South Indians from lower castes whose ancestors were labourers abide by the folk religions of smaller villages typically led by non-Brahmin priests. This is not common for the North Indians in Singapore, who typically practise 'Sanskritized' Hinduism that include ceremonies performed by Brahmin priests. Although South Indians from higher castes practise 'Sanskritized' Hinduism as well (Rai, 2004), the proper execution of Hinduism they practise is only similar compared to that practised by the North Indians on the top. This is because the significant details involved in each form of Hinduism as well as the literary resources and folklore that they derive from are significantly different and unique to each region (Babb, 1976). Thus, it is challenging for North and South Indians to attempt to practise 'Sanskritized' Hinduism collectively, since there would be aspects they do not acknowledge.

Additionally, you have the mental factor to consider as well. In this case, the North and South Indians understand that there is a split between them, thereby constructing a separate that might not even have been there to begin with. Specifically, North Indians often view the more prominent Hindu temples in Singapore as owned by the Tamils, who are South Indians that are a majority of the Indians in Singapore (Sinha, 1987).

However, the proliferation of recent religious movements has taken the North and South Indians collectively. Admittedly, several activities, where devotees follow a certain master as their spiritual leader, originated from North India and appeal mainly to the North Indians, in particular the Sindhis and the Punjabis; yet there are numerous exceptions which appeal south Indians as well, like the Sai Baba movements and Sri Aurobindo Contemporary society (Sinha, 1987). These new actions, which only emerged recently, own an "umbrella-like quality" (Rai, 2008, p. 13) that allow them to add all individuals regardless of regional background and in some cases, even contest (Rai, 2008). Furthermore, they charm mainly to a specific class, somewhat than region, specifically the center to upper-class pros in Singapore that are English-educated. This is because of their choice of British as the dialect of discourse; not only does indeed English become a neutral dialect that includes both North and South Indians (Babb, 1976), it reveals today's image of the faith that is particularly attractive to the professionals. Additionally, these spiritual actions usually emphasise on known reasons for traditions and values, making them seem to be more intellectual and therefore appealing to these educated professionals (Rai, 2008); these pros are, generally, both North and South Indians. Another aspect of Hinduism where some semblance of concord is seen between North and South Indians will be that of mediumship (Babb, 1976).


When the Indian Muslims are pointed out, one will likely immediately think of the Tamil Muslims, who form a large most the Indian Muslims in Singapore (Mani, 1992). These Indians Muslims actually form a heterogeneous group as well, consisting of Bengali, Malayalee, Pakistani, Tamil and Uttar Pradesh Muslims, merely to name a few (Ibrahim, 1977). Thus, it could be seen from above that Indian Muslims are from both North and South India.

The main difference between the North and South Indian Muslims will be their degree of 'Malayisation'. As the Muslim community in Singapore is dominated by Malays, 'Malayisation' refers to how some Indian Muslims may wrap up adopting the cultural procedures of the Malays, as opposed to that of their own competition. In particular, South Indian Muslims, especially Tamil Muslims, are seen to be more Malayised than the North Indian Muslims. Haz, a Punjabi Muslim (North Indian Muslim) is disapproving of her Tamil Muslim friends who wear the baju kurung as traditional wear which to her is "Malay clothes". Alternatively, she considers traditional wear to be "Punjabi suit" since it is Indian (Ibrahim, 2002, p. 32). The greater magnitude of Malayisation in South Indians could be due to the general development of North Indian men arriving to Singapore with their families whereas the South Indian men arrived alone (Ibrahim, 1977). It is because inter-marrying with Malay women has a substantial effect on the Malayisation of these South Indian Muslims, especially regarding their children. After matrimony with Malay Muslims, these South Indian Muslim men are often assimilated in to the Malay community whereas the North Indian Muslim men (with their families) stay more aloof from the Malay community (Ibrahim, 1977). With this sense, a rift can be seen to be created between the North and South Indian Muslims, who've different customs to check out and who belong to different neighborhoods.

Furthermore, as with Hinduism, there is a language hurdle between North and South Indian Muslims. This helps prevent them from practising Islam alongside one another, since mosques usually visited by North Indian Muslims will conduct their services in Urdu, whereas mosques frequented by South Indian Muslims will maintain their religious lessons in Tamil or Malayalam (Rai, 2004).


Despite the difference in Malayisation of the South Indian Muslims and the North Indian Muslims, the North-South divide is much less pronounced in the Indian Muslims when compared with the Indian Hindus (Rai, 2004), possibly because Islam "is a general religion which strains the brotherhood and equality of most its followers no matter competition or culture" (Ibrahim, 1977, p. 121), whereas Hinduism is not really a single faith and instead includes a "shared spiritual identity predicated on the loose family resemblance on the list of variegated beliefs and routines of Hindus" (Lorenzen, 2005, p. 77). However, it can't be rejected that the North-South split in Hinduism reaches least partially made by the North and South Indians themselves, who understand certain temples to be either North or South Indian and therefore avoid them. This may be present in Islam or other religions as well. Furthermore, the introduction of recent spiritual movements may be revolutionising the face of Hinduism which is possible that the formation of a bridge between your North and South Indians may be underway.

Indian Classical Music: Hindustani and Carnatic

Shubham Kaushal


A Short History

The Indian Classical Music known today is an extended, rich and constant tradition which has been passed on through centuries, having enrichments and adjustments along the way. Its origin appears to be rooted in Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, which describes music in detail and introduces it as a platform for ritualistic hymns to be chanted (Bharatiya Sangeet Vadya, 1973). This art work remained a single entity until the arrival of Islamic guideline in North India when Indian Classical Music began bifurcating.

The period of Delhi Sultanate and later the Mughal Empire triggered considerable cultural interchange in Northern India. Persian and Mughal Rulers started gaining fascination with Indian types of music, specifically the Classical and Folk forms, and spurred the fusion of Hindu and Muslim suggestions to bring about lots of new styles like, Qawwali and Khyal, which later came to be recognized as a part of the Hindustani Classical Music Culture (Music in Middle ages period, JagranJosh. com)

On the other side, Classical Music in Southern India managed to continue to be significantly unaffected by Islamic affects, owing to the lack of Islamic guideline in the place. It developed independent of North Indian practices, into the Carnatic Music Form. From the 16th and 17th generations, there was a notable demarcation between your Hindustani and Carnatic styles of Traditional Music (Subramaniam L. , 1999).

Similarities and Differences

Having acquired a common source, both styles feature a lot of similar characteristics. Several principles such as those of Shruti (microtones), Raaga (visually constructed group of musical notes) and Tala (rhythmic mix) hold on to their meanings and importance in both Hindustani and Carnatic varieties (FAQ, ITC Sangeet Research Academy). Even the 7 basic Swara (tones) remain almost the same, "sa-ri-ga-ma-pa-da-ni" in Carnatic (Barbara Benary, 1972) and "sa-re-ga-ma-pa-dha-ni" in Hindustani notation. Besides a similar ideology and notation system, the two styles also have commonalities when it comes to a musical performance. For instance, a performance or even a practice session includes a drone device (Ethel Rosenthal, 1931), called a Tanpura in Hindustani and a Tambura in the Carnatic form, to assist in the vocalist in keeping his/her pitch.

The Semantic Split between the two systems was initially documented in the 13th century musical treatise of Sangita Ratnakara by Sharangadeva, which provided a formal explanation of both Hindustani and Carnatic Music (Moorthy, 2001, p18). The written text lists titles such as Turushka Todi which means Turkish Todi (Todi being a 'Thaat', a family of Raagas). Evidently, the written text managed to take some of the key Persian and Arabic influences that Indian traditional music was going through in medieval North India. The structural differences documented in such treatises forms the basis of differentiation between Hindustani and Carnatic Music. For instance, one way of classifying Raagas in the Hindustani system is into "melodic methods" or "parent scales" known as Thaats (Benward and Saker, 2003). The Carnatic contemporary is called Melakarta (Subramaniam L. , 1999) and even though the term carries the same meaning as Thaats, the Hindustani system features 10 different Thaats as the Carnatic system has 72 different father or mother scales in its Melakarta structure. As such, both systems include a variety of different Raagas with different titles and often different visual characteristics. One can see certain overlaps in Hindustani and Carnatic Raagas such as two Raagas having the same properties but different titles or two Raagas having similar brands but different properties. Typically however, both forms stay quite differentiated.

The Drive to Learn

Indian Traditional Music in ancient times served as a spiritual or spiritual practice, providing a platform for chanting ritualistic hymns. Through the middle ages times though, apart from serving its religious purpose, classical music also advanced to provide as a source of entertainment in the courts of various kingdoms. Especially Hindustani Music witnessed a plethora of artists who received royal patronage by the kings and rulers of their own time. Composers like Amir Khusrao during Delhi Sultanate and renowned performers like Tansen through the Mughal emperor Jalal-ud-din Akbar's reign flourished and gained tremendous acceptance. Akbar, for example, gave Tansen the honorific name of 'Miyan' and made him an integral part of the Navaratnas (nine jewels) of his court (Classical Performers, Indobase. com). In princely kingdoms as well, such as the royal house of Gwalior, music artists gained special reputation. Even after the dissolution of Mughal Empire, kingdoms like those of Lucknow, Patiala and Banaras held providing royal patronage to music artists, glorifying their individual Gharana and making Hindustani Music what it is today (Gharana, ITC Sangeet Research Academy). A similar trend was seen in the medieval history of Carnatic Music, with the Kingdoms of Vijayanangar, Mysore and Travancore giving patronage to Carnatic musicians (Pranesh, 2003).

It seems that learning Indian Classical Music and excelling in it came to be perceived as a road to prosperity and fame. The guru-shishya (teacher-disciple) custom likely began experiencing a surge of shishyas, spending most of their times using their gurus, hoping that the gurus might teach them a cheez (a musical part) or two. However, the religious purpose of Indian Classical Music once again surfaced with the pass on of the 'Bhakti' movement, which popularized compositions in reward of Hindu deities (The Development Setters in Carnatic Music by Ashok Madhav). As a result, apart from riches and fame, dispersing religious consciousness in expectation of religious enlightenment may possibly also have been a drive for folks to go after Indian Classical Music. Notably however, the Bhakti movement started in Southern India and then pass on to the north, indicating that the spiritual element is most likely more deep in Carnatic than the Hindustani form. That is also obvious from the wording of Carnatic compositions which remained predominantly religious (Sophie Grimmer, 2012), in contrast to Hindustani music which highlighted a larger variety in the content of its compositions.

A Modern Take

Hindustani and Carnatic Music today are very different from their medieval forms. For example, hundreds of Raagas have been lost ever sold and new ones have emerged (K. G. Vijayakrishnan, 2007). Within the last century, prominent information in Traditional Music have made significant initiatives revive and popularize the art work to greater people by opening up schools and managing combined teachings. For instance, Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar founded the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya for Hindustani Music in 1901, as an effort to move away from royal patronage and towards mass engagement (B. Chaitanya Deva, 1981). Furthermore, the go up of the Indian Film Industry and Indian Radio opened up encouraging professional opportunities for aspiring traditional music artists. Present-day Indian Classical music is pursued as a profession or a pass-time hobby. Even in Singapore, Indian Classical Music is a recognized co-curricular activity and there are organizations such as the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Academy or the NUS Indian Instrumental Outfit which offer trained in the art form and organize performances on a regular basis.

In a nutshell, Indian Classical Music originated as a tool for religious practice and bifurcated into the Hindustani and Carnatic varieties applied in North and South India respectively. Both forms evolved largely self-employed of one another and prevailed as a favorite talent in modern day Indian community.

Methods of Data Collection and Limitations


Our approach to data collection varies for each and every section as different kinds of information and resources are required for different regions of discussion. For instance, conversation on the monetary section relied intensely on census since with the ability to provide empirical data. The census also demarcated territories plainly into specific regions which are well examined.

Comparatively, in the social and social parts, boundaries are often blurred, especially at the border regions. Culture, traditions, ideas and folks are strong and capable of moving across boundaries. Because of time constraints, we could only rely on written files such as paperwork and articles while striving to write our paper.

Furthermore, it is difficult to define just what constitutes North or South India as the united states is just too big heterogeneous and there are no absolutes in virtually any one region. Therefore, we concentrated on several specific cities or regions which were able to provide the most relevant good examples for each and every of the average person sections; they were mostly more dominant Indian neighborhoods in Singapore and therefore more data was available on them.

Additionally, there is some difficulty in acquiring research that was specific to the areas we were wanting to focus on in our paper as the North-South separate was often described in papers researching on the Indian community in Singapore, but more often than not, they didn't go into aspect about the different aspects that led to its building.



In addition to being diverse with regards to its cultural routines and employed dialects, the Indian community has also been divided in all ways possible, even within their own country. Even as we look at the Indians in Singapore, the North-South binary in Indian community has manifested in economical, social, cultural and entertainment areas. However, even as we relate back again to India, it can be seen that the dissimilarities are shown to a lesser extent in Singapore. Furthermore, it is undeniable that at times, the North-South binary is created by the brains of the North-South Indians. Their distinctions are often exacerbated because of their avoidance of things and conditions that they perceive to participate in the other side of the binary, which finished up placing them in a disadvantageous position.

At the same time, the perceptions performed by the other racial areas of Indians may have worsened the section further, by perpetuating a bogus image of the genuine situation between themselves. This does not mean that the divide will not exist, but rather that besides existing the truth is, the North-South binary is also partially produced by the North and South Indians who may avoid each other at times and build-up perceptions over time of their variations. The binary is further emphasized by the minority neighborhoods who are often concerned about the extinction of these identity as Indian culture is dominated by the Tamils (South Indians) who form a lot of the Indian populace in Singapore. This can be thought to have pushed the North and South Indian areas further apart. To reduce the concerns of the minority communities which would reduce divisions one of the Indian community, the government could consider creating standard awareness among the populace of the ethnicities of the different Indian neighborhoods in Singapore. An officially sanctioned occasion, the Racial Tranquility Day, would be a perfect platform to permit the students to know more about these minority neighborhoods. The introduction of additional Indian languages into the school curriculum, as stated in the terms section, is a commendable strategy that will loosen tensions between your Tamils and the minority communities.

Furthermore, there can be an urgent need to solve, or at least minimize the binaries using sectors, particularly the economic sector, specifically the income gap. To prevent disparity and resentment within the population that could possibly deepen divisions within our society, identical opportunities must be provided to both North and South Indian communities. As numerous point out policies have positioned focus on resolving the issues that arise anticipated to the different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds of the heterogenous Indian community, these differences have not been able to progress to divide the community in Singapore. However, even as we are obligated to tackle the problems brought about by the enlarging income difference, the economical binary has replaced the linguistic and cultural divisions just as one department factor within the Indian community in modern-day times.

Additionally, it is worth considering if regulations targeted at homogenising the Indian community are actually essential for our modern culture. Although this might make management of the nation significantly simpler, it is doubtful concerning whether we really want to develop a homogeneous community. After all, 'unity in variety' is often marketed in Singapore because of the multiracial and multicultural nature of its world. It will be desirable to maintain the uniqueness within both the North and South Indian areas instead of striving to make a 'melting container' in which all Indians belong to. That is especially so when the binaries which are present in various areas largely do not have an effect on the daily life in this multiracial and multicultural contemporary society, where people are attuned to distinctions between one another. Instead, more attention should get to lessen the issues that arise due to binary so that 1 day, the North and South Indians can embrace their variations and reside in harmony.

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