[Editorial Analysis] On the side of the future

Mains Paper 2: International Relations
Prelims level: Act east policy
Mains level: India and its Neighbourhood-Relations


• Recent tragic events in Myanmar where, military overturning the election results last month, portends a new cycle of political repression, humanitarian disaster and geopolitical instability.

Impact on India:

• India sooner or later will be drawn into chain of events in Myanmar due to its proximity and geopolitical role .
• India shouldn’t ignore the humanitarian crisis unfolding in its backyard and remain indifferent to the sufferings of refugees.
• Though the Rich and ASEAN nations are not responding adequately to the crisis because of the economic and political burden in helping refugees but India plans to take the risk.
• Although India hasn’t subscribed to the principle of non-refoulement (described as “Magna Carta” for the refuges as a response to a politically induced humanitarian disaster) but India always driven by “VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBAKAM” in cases of refugees. The Myanmar issue now posses real question to India’s image as well as basic fundamentals.

Why needs to take any steps?

• It is a question of future because the Myanmar’s Democracy protest is spear headed by young with active support of opposition.
• Since decades concerns of Northeast states in handling “trijunction” have been sidelined due to counterinsurgency fears and suspicion of north-eastern political forces. But at this historical juncture, to ignore reasonable and accommodative sentiments of Northeast would further marginal their role in India’s policies.
• India being a long-term player in region should not only rely on Myanmar militarily as well as politically by helping and gaining local population support in order to counter insurgency and safeguard its borders.
• With ambiguity in the future of Myanmar political developments, choices for India is simmering.
• With increasing spectators from Russia to Chain, India’s stakes in the geopolitical arena are going to be high.

Why does India support Democratic protest?

• Because historically, Myanmar military is united and oppressive that hangs for long time through brutal repression.
• Though country seems to be ready for democracy but its repressive military and elites including Suu Kyi are more conservative in harnessing democratic and progressive reforms.
• Since with Russia entry, India’s options towards Myanmar military diminishing.
• On economic front, Myanmar’s economic and connectivity ties provide momentum to India’s ACT EAST policy with engaging Northeast states as growth engine harbours.

What India Wants?

• India wants to be a key interlocutor in two contexts:
1. Key player role in shaping a global response to the crisis.
2. Possible role in helping with a settlement towards a less repressive transition within Myanmar.
• But to have both roles, India needs widespread credibility with different groups within Myanmar and at same time India should loss its position as strategic cynicism that is willing to trade for long-term gains.


• It is high time that India needs to have confidence in handling any risks politically and militarily, not by closing down its borders but by accommodating even the most basic humanitarian impulses India to realize its ideals and its strategic objectives should sideline the myopically realistic or xenophobic impulses.


Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), consider the following statements:
1. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is an Apex-Export Trade Promotion Active government body set up by the Ministry of Finance.
2. It was formed in 1986 under the Agriculture and Processed Food products Export Development Authority Act, 1985.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: B

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