I was serving my National Service in the Navy back in 2011. During my BMT days, out of hundred over recruits, there were eight Indians.
1. The Indians were not allowed to sit together during mealtimes or even file in around each other in numbers more than more. According to my CSM, “This is the SAF. Not the Tamil Tigers”.
2. Although there was widespread use of Mandarin and other Chinese dialects, Tamil could not be used amongst ourselves “during office hours”. The penalty for using Tamil was fifty push-ups (I have personally been punished). Again, because “This is the SAF. Not the Tamil Tigers”.
3. Before each and every book out, all the ‘Annehs’ were singled out to be reminded not to drink and create havoc during the weekends.
I recall laughing off all these comments and experiences. Even today, I do not hold anything against my CSM (He was an awesome man). However, in retrospect it does reveal underlying prejudices entrenched in our psyche.”