There has been no exodus of Indians from Bahrain, said Khalid Al Khalifa, foreign minister of the troubled Persian Gulf state. The 350,000 Indians who live there represent "30% of our society," he said on a recent visit to New Delhi, and have not left in large numbers.
"I met 400 Indian community leaders just before I came to India and assured them Bahrain was another home for them."
Al Khalifa did admit that his island state was confronting a divide between its Sunni minority and Shia majority.
He noted that Indians were a very old community in Bahrain. Some families had lived there for over a 100 years and had become full citizens. There was a time when every Bahraini family visited India, he noted. "Mumbai was our New York City."
Western and Indian diplomatic sources privately said that a handful of Indian shops and individuals had been attacked, but there had been no known deaths.
They added that some Indians were beginning to move their families out of Bahrain.