Riots!

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Murali

Murali did his undergraduate degree in molecular biology with a minor in biophysics from the National University of Singapore (NUS). He then changed direction and did his Masters in Philosophy also at NUS. Now, he is currently pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Warwick.

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Chris says:

    Is there some underlying tension there that had the area primed for riots? Because I can’t imagine that a traffic fatality by itself would cause a riot.Report

    • Avatar Murali in reply to Chris says:

      That’s the thing, I don’t know of any underlying tension. This strikes me as completely out of the blue. Little India is where a lot of migrant workers from south asia gather. While it Is true that immigration restrictions have tightened recently, our guest worker policy is still more open than most places in the world. Moreover, the ministry of manpower has been more active in cracking down on abusive employers.Report

    • Avatar Murali in reply to Chris says:

      If I were to speculate, and this is pure speculation mind you, about the most likely cause was the driver getting angry and mouthing off about Indians perpetually jaywalking* right after he killed an Indian who probably was jaywalking.

      In little india, like in actual india, pedestrians do not respect traffic rules and jaywalk everywhere. Driving through the area is hellish and to be avoided as far as possible.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Murali says:

        My mother was in Mumbai in the Spring, and when they got out of their shuttle from the airport, they crossed the street at an intersection, and one of their group-members was struck by a car (she was OK, but was pretty shaken up, as you can imagine).

        In other words, in India, it may not matter where and when you cross.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Murali says:

        It could be a Singaporean version of the Crown Heights riot, where a traffic accident, a tragic but seemingly minor incident, brings out a lot of underlying ethnic tensions in the community.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Murali says:

        @leeesq

        I’m curious… I know exactly to what you refer when you mention the Crown Heights riots. I wonder how universal an understanding of what they were and why they happened is. To us “New Yorkers” of a certain age, it seems like a huge deal that everyone knew about. I wonder if that is true.

        Similarly, the name Phillip Pannell is a name anyone from my immediate area would know. Having been 7 when he was shot, it seemed like the entire world knew about it. I have since learned that that is not the case.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Murali says:

        Kazzy,

        I think Lee described it well enough for people to get the gist.

        But most people probably don’t know about it unless they were in the NYC-Metro area at the time.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Murali says:

        That is my hunch as well, ND. Though I do believe Law & Order did an episode dealing with the case more or less.

        And in case it was unclear, I did not mean my comment as any sort of criticism of Lee’s reference. Rather, I knew *exactly* what he meant when he said it but then thought, “I wonder if Murali knows what those were. Hell, I wonder if Chris does.”

        And perhaps more to the point, I wonder if every city has its own “Crown Heights riot” incident.Report

      • To address your question @kazzy , I seem to recall hearing about the Crown Heights Riots, but didn’t really know anything about it. I just looked it up now, and the only reason it seems familiar is that it seems to have been the basis of a Law & Order episode.

        Also, I didn’t know the name “Phillip Pannell”. Going to wikipedia, it didn’t ring a bell. Even there, it refers to it as getting “international attention”, but the support for that seems to be that Sharpton and Jesse Jackson got involved, so I’m not sure this case is as well-known as some might think.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Murali says:

        I remember when Sharpton came to town (though obviously didn’t really appreciate what that meant). And I’ll confess that I have heard radio reports (where I tend to get my news) of other young black men and boys gunned down by the police but cannot recall their names.

        Really, what I remember is not being allowed to go out and play for a while and then everyone wearing these weird shirts that were supposed to help unite the community. Because lord knows most of the worlds problems can be solved with t-shirts.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Murali says:

        Kazzy, your probably right. To New Yorkers, the Crown Heights riots were a big and important event but thats probably a bit of myopia on our part.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali says:

        I remember it being on the news, and I wasn’t anywhere near NYC at the time.
        That said, I’m pretty sure it’s because People Was BORED, and not because it was all that significant.

        Philly was having an epidemic of Flash Mobs a while back, but I don’t think that got national attention. (Again, there was a white girl kidnapped somewhere).Report

  2. Avatar Damon says:

    I thought they caned folks in Singapore for minor infractions. Why don’t the cops go into little india and start caning indian jaywalkers? Won’t that fix the problem? 🙂Report

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