Reading South Asia's tea leaves

Dr Iqbal Singh Sevea, director of the Institute of South Asian Studies, shares his perspectives on religion, politics and strategic issues facing the region

Dr Iqbal Singh Sevea was fascinated by South Asia from an early age, through stories, movies and books. PHOTO: INSTITUTE FOR SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

From the start of this year, the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) - Singapore's think-tank focusing on South Asia - has had its fifth director. Dr Iqbal Singh Sevea has had a storied career that has taken him from humble origins to academic stardom.

Born in Singapore into a Sikh family that had immigrated from Punjab in India, the 47-year-old grew up in a factory in Genting Lane where his father worked as a "jaga" or security guard. From an early age, through stories, movies and books, he was fascinated by South Asia.

Already a subscriber? 

Dive deeper at $0.99/month

Want more exclusives, sharp insights into what's happening at home and abroad? Subscribe to stay informed.

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • 2-week e-paper archive so you never miss out on any topic that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.