IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 28th Oct 2020
“I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.” – Benjamin Franklin
EDITORIAL HUNT #212 :“India Myanmar Relations 2020 | UPSC”
K. Yhome | Harsh V. Pant
India Myanmar Relations 2020 | UPSC
Harsh V. Pant is Director, Studies at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and Professor of International Relations, King’s College London; K. Yhome is a Senior Fellow with ORF’s Neigbhourhood Regional Studies Initiative
India’s outreach to Myanmar
The recent announcement of initiatives establishes India’s presence in sectors where it ought to be more pronounced
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR
India’s multidimensional interests in Myanmar and the deepening of ties between Delhi and Naypyidaw have grown exponentially in the past decade. Discuss -(GS 2)
- India-Myanmar Co-operation
- Recent Changes in Myanmar
- Way Forward
- PIOUS LAND OF BUDDHA : As the land of Lord Buddha, India is a country of pilgrimage for the people of Myanmar.
- GEOGRAPHICAL PROXIMITY : The two countries have developed and sustain cordial relations and facilitated people-to people contact.
- BOUNDARIES : India and Myanmar share a long land border of over 1600 km and a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal.
- DIASPORA : A large population of Indian origin (according to some estimates about 2.5 million) lives in Myanmar.
- FRIENDSHIP TREATY : India and Myanmar signed a Treaty of Friendship in 1951.
- FOUNDATION STONE : The visit of the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1987 laid the foundations for a stronger relationship between India and Myanmar
- ELECTIONS UPNEXT : Two lines of thinking that will drive India’s Myanmar policy: engagement with key political actors and balancing neighbours.
- EXPECTATIONS : Myanmar expects India’s support for its efforts in strengthening democratisation amidst criticisms by various groups over the credibility of its upcoming election.
NON-INTERFERENCE IN INTERNAL POLITICS
- IDEOLOGICAL BASE : The political logic that has shaped India’s Myanmar policy since the 1990s has been to support democratisation driven from within the country.
- POLITICAL TRANSITIONS : This has allowed Delhi to engage with the military that played a key role in Myanmar’s political transition and is still an important political actor.
- FOREIGN POLICY OF MYANMAR : Myanmar’s political transition created challenges for Naypyidaw and limited its ties with the West.
- REINTEGRATION EFFORTS : India and a few Asian countries have engaged Myanmar keeping in mind the need to reintegrate it with the region and world.
- DIVERSIFIED ENGAGEMENTS : This has been a strategic imperative for Naypyidaw as part of its policy of diversifying its foreign engagements.
- A COMMON AGENDA : A key factor behind the military regime’s decision to open the country when it initiated reforms was, in part, to reduce dependence on China.
- CHANGING GEO-POLITICA : This driver in India’s Myanmar policy has perhaps gained greater salience in the rapidly changing regional geopolitics.
- REAL TIME EFFORTS : Like in other neighbouring countries, India suffers from an image of being unable get its act together in making its presence felt on the ground.
- INAUGURATION OF EMBASSY : The inauguration of the liaison office of the Embassy of India in Naypyidaw may seem a routine diplomatic activity.
- PROPOSED PROJECT : India has also proposed to build a petroleum refinery in Myanmar that would involve an investment of $6 billion.
- STRATEGIC CALCULUS : This is another indication of Myanmar’s growing significance in India’s strategic calculus, particularly in energy security.
- BORDER CO-OPERATION : The joint military visit reiterated the “mutual commitment not to allow respective territories to be used for activities inimical to each other.”
- SECURING BORDERS : Both Delhi and Naypyidaw have been collaborating in the development of border areas with the understanding that it is the best guarantee to secure their borders.
- ROHINGYA ISSUE : The balancing act between Bangladesh and Myanmar gives relief to Delhi and remains one of the keys to its overall approach to the Rohingya issue.
- PRACTICAL APPROACH : For Delhi, engaging rather than criticising is the most practical approach to finding a solution.
- BALANCING ACT : Delhi’s political engagement and diplomatic balancing seems to have worked so far in its ties with Myanmar.
For India, Myanmar is key in linking South Asia to Southeast Asia and the eastern periphery becomes the focal point for New Delhi’s regional outreach.
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | India Myanmar Relations 2020 | UPSC