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The Singapore Indian Association was established in 1923 with the objective of promoting the social, physical, intellectual, cultural and the general welfare of its members. When it was formed, the association projected itself as a pan-Indian, rather than narrowly ethnic, language, religion, caste or region-based organization. This marked it as significantly different from most other Indian organisations in Singapore.

The association led by the Indian mercantile and professional elite, expanding its membership to include the emerging white collar middle classes as well. Initially, the leaders of the association were seized with the political spirit of the time in both India and Singapore. Many were supporters of the Indian independence movement, and many were also concerned about the social welfare and political rights of the wider Indian community in Singapore and British Malaya, which the city-state was then a part of.

While the association was founded in 1923, its clubhouse was only completed in the 1950s. It is located at the historic Balestier Plain in Singapore, which has acquired formal heritage status for its concentration of a cluster of community associations and sports clubs, such as the Indian Association. In keeping with its early political leanings, the foundation stone of the clubhouse was laid by Jawaharlal Nehru on 18 June 1950.

Since its beginning, the association has been extremely active in Singapore’s sports scene. Sports in which the association is active in include cricket, tennis, hockey and football. Many of its members and sportspeople also went on to represent Singapore in regional and international tournaments.