Myanmar: India’s Middle Way

It is a matter of happiness that the Government of India is now adopting the right and clear attitude about Myanmar (Burma). The day Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to four years in prison, I wrote that the silence of the Indian government was not right. Whenever democracy has been violated in neighboring countries, India has never remained silent. Be it East Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan or Maldives. But now our Foreign Secretary Harshvardhan Shringla himself has gone to Myanmar and has open dialogue with its military rulers, Suu Kyi’s party leaders and ambassadors of many countries.

Shringla took a bold initiative and told the military rulers that they wanted to go to jail and meet Suu Kyi. The soldiers did not give them permission, but it did show that India was not neutral or indifferent to the developments in Myanmar. Shringla has made it clear to the military rulers that India is deeply concerned about the democracy of its neighboring country. Myanmar is a member of ‘ASEAN’ organization but it has boycotted Myanmar nowadays but India cannot adopt such a strict attitude towards it. There are two reasons for that.

The first is that the Burmese army actively helps India in controlling the rebels of Naga and Manipur, and secondly, China is intent on increasing its supremacy there at all costs. There is a lot of humiliation for Myanmar soldiers in the United Nations, but India has taken a middle path on Myanmar. He is not speaking openly against the army, but is exerting his diplomatic pressure on it so that democracy can return to Burma. India had played the role of mediator between Suu Kyi and the army in the past. The ambassadors of the superpowers based in Myanmar also thought it appropriate to alert Shringla. It is true that only passing a resolution against Myanmar in ASEAN and the United Nations is not going to do much. India’s middle path is practical and appropriate at this time.

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