Integration-A Naturalized Citizen’s Perspective, written by Dr. Shruti Sinha discloses the journey of Mr. Prakash Kumar Hetamsaria from immigrant to naturalized citizen of Singapore. The book was launched by Mr. S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) in Singapoe. Prakash, who originally comes from Ramgarh, Jharkhand embarked on his Singapore journey in 1995 and started his quest just as any other migrant coming with the intention of returning to his birthplace.
Prime Minister Narandra Modi, during his recent visit to Singapore mentioned that the reason behind the trust that the world is showing towards India today is because of the numerous Indians who have settled in different parts of the world and have made that foreign land their own. He also said that Indians living abroad amalgamate with the locals of the country just like sugar in milk and fill in all the sweetness into the county through their behavior and attitude. This is what Mr. Prakash did as an Indian migrant in Singapore.
The book outlines the challenges that Prakash had to face as a foreigner as well as what steps he took to overcome them for integrating in Singapore’s society. To attain a fulfilling life, integrating with the local setting and the local people is imperative and is well illustrated via Prakash’s life. From liking the country for its physical beauty to developing an emotional attachment towards it, the book provides an insight into the various dimensions of integration that a common man should undertake.
The Indian philosophy of Vasudeva Kutumbkam- “the world is one big family” has been the mantra of every Indian living in Singapore or any other part of the world. Mr. Narandra Modi mentioned that Singapore is an example of a country that transformed itself from a third world to a first world only in just a period of 50 years with the confidence and determination of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. Pm Narandra Modis speech in November 2015, strengthened the relationship between India and Singapore and so does this book.
Singapore is a country whose pillars are based on four main ideologies: meritocracy, pragmatism, multiracialism, and Asian values. The first prerequisite of becoming a part of the host country is to be proactive, curious, and to know as much as you can. The initiative has to come from the immigrant and then reciprocation from a Singaporean is expected. The ups and downs of forming a community (Bijhar) a decade back with just 30 families with the drive of inspiring immigrants towards a close-knit and a cohesive Singapore has been vividly depicted. The understanding of the
GRO and the NC as a member to becoming the Chairman of the Ayer Rajah West Coast Park NC, Chairman of West Coast Park NC, Chairman of Blue Horizon MCST and West Coast INC Leader, has candidly been discussed by Prakash.
An SG50 initiative, this book is about sharing his 20 years’ journey to help Indian immigrants integrate into society, wholeheartedly intermingle with Singaporeans, and work towards a much more united Singapore.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Shruti Sinha originally hails from Ranchi, capital city of the Indian state Jharkhand. She has a PhD in English Literature from Ranchi University. Ranking at the third position in her +2 level exams, she enrolled into Bachelors of Arts in English and was the gold medalist for the academic year 2001-2004. Her ranking at the university helped her bag the post graduate merit scholarship granted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) India by the then Human Resource Development minister Mr. Arjun Singh. Apart from her academic interest shruti spends time in helping immigrants of Bijhar to integrate with the local setting. She is also in the editorial board of Bijhar and contributes to the editorial sections of the magazine.