The Gurkhas in Singapore : a study of the implications of Singapore’s construction of the ‘Martial’ Gurkha and restrictive control over information, 1949-1980
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
While the popularity of the topic of the Gurkhas in Singapore seem to be growing in recent years, the bulk of the literature on the Singapore Gurkha Contingent can largely be classified as sociological studies aimed at exploring the lives of the Gurkhas in Singapore as well as their sentiments towards the state. However, little else is known about the inner dynamics of the relationship between the Singapore state and the Gurkha Contingent. Thus I seek to fill this gap by presenting a historical analysis of this relationship. I argue that while the Gurkha in Singapore is a product of colonial legacy, Singapore has in subsequent years appropriated British representations of the ‘martial’ Gurkha while at the same time extending a tight control over state knowledge about the Gurkhas so as to avoid challenging the perception that the Gurkhas are indeed a martial race. In line with Streets’ argument that the construction of martial races by states has always been highly politicized, I then examine the sort of political purposes that the state has attempted to accomplish and seek to explain the rationale behind it.
DRNTU::Humanities::History::Asia::Singapore::Politics and government
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University