In the earlier day of television and movie newsreels, the few references to Indian news often depicted scenes of batten-wielding police breaking up rioting mobs. It seemed that the heat, dust and general living conditions meant that the local populace was on a short fuse and it only needed one incident to spark a full scale riot.
While you still get references from time to time to this form of constabulary crowd control, rioting Indian mobs are not as prevalent in the western media as they once were.
However this situation changed on December 8, when 400 foreign workers from the Indian subcontinent went on the rampage in Singapore 's Little India.
I am pleased to note that the Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, has used his New Year address to the nation to reiterate that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated in the Republic:
"We will continue to treat foreign workers fairly, but we expect them to obey our laws and social norms"
"The riot in Little India was inexcusable. We have taken firm action against the culprits. Several have been charged, others warned and repatriated, and still others advised to abide strictly by our laws".
To which I say "here, here!"
Whatever the provocation, this sort of senseless mob violence has no place in The Little Red Dot.
In a more positive vein it is pleasing to learn that the country's economy grew by 3.7% in 2013 according the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
At least they are not suffering from a case of rapid deflation, as is the case of a giant rubber duck in Taiwan which exploded only hours before it was meant to be a centerpiece in that country's New Year celebrations