- POSTED: 19 Dec 2013 19:33
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Though Singapore is planning to deport over 50 Indians for the riot in Little India, there has not been any dip in the number of Indians wanting to travel to Singapore.
NEW DELHI: Though Singapore is planning to deport over 50 Indians for the riot in Little India on December 8, there has not been any dip in the number of Indians wanting to travel to Singapore.
Tour operators have said that outbound flights from India are running at capacity in the holiday season.
Kanchan Monga is busy shopping in a New Delhi market.
With Christmas just around the corner, she has to send gifts to her sister Bhavna, who works in Singapore as an equity research analyst.
It is Bhavna's first Christmas in Singapore, and it follows the riot that erupted in Little India earlier this month.
The incident caused immediate concern among her family but after assurances from her, they are now relieved it appears to be just a one-off incident.
Kanchan said: "We were worried but then my sister assured us that things are fine. So we are relaxed now. You can imagine how unsafe Delhi is for women. Just because it is Singapore, we let her go. So we are relieved that she is okay and things are fine now."
The worst outbreak of violence in four decades in Singapore's history was prompted by the death of a 33-year-old Indian man.
Indians on home soil seem largely unaware of the incident or the decision taken by Singapore to deport some Indian perpetrators.
But they have expressed confidence in the rule of law in Singapore.
Kanchan said: "...when we called her (Bhavna), she told us that Indians are not being randomly attacked. It was a spontaneous (incident)..."
When similar incidents took place in Australia, there was outrage in India.
Many locals were convinced racial discrimination was rampant there. But in the case of the Singapore riot, most have not jumped to similar conclusions.
It means there has been little impact on the number of tourists wanting to travel to Singapore -- even if a domestic downturn in the Indian economy is stopping some from heading abroad.
K R Krishnan, assistant vice president of Tui Travels, said: "I have been regularly checking with airlines...and... all the flights are going at about 80-90 per cent occupancy."
The Little India riot might have erupted a year before the Golden Jubilee celebrations of India-Singapore diplomatic ties but it is unlikely to impact India's cultural and commercial ties with Singapore.