Indian comedy of errors in the Maldives: Deccan Herald

The Maldives — with a predominantly Sunni population of 400,000, the ending of President M.A. Gayoom’s 30-year rule and the US war on terror post-9/11 — was ripe for the emergence of radical Islamists and their convergence with Gayoom loyalists, writes for K C Singh for India’s Deccan Herald.

Mr Nasheed’s election convinced New Delhi that the Mal­dives was on a path of self-correcting liberal democracy. But even wh­en warning signals began emanating that the tourism industry was being targeted on narrow principles of faith and that Mr Nasheed was alienating his alliance partners, corrective measures were not taken.

Firstly, India erred in quickly endorsing the transfer of power from Mr Nasheed to Mr Waheed without ensuring that the latter ex­cluded sympathisers of radicals from critical Cabinet posts (the home minister went to a Pak­istani religious school), announced early elections and struck a truce with the outgoing Pre­sident.

The unseemly haste in India’s Prime Minister writing to the new Pre­sident lost that opportunity. The next mistake was in neither anticipating the attack on the Indian company GMR, to whom the awarding of the contract to run the Male airport was a showpiece decision of the Nasheed government, nor defending it when a clear motivating factor was the business interests of Mr Waheed’s coalition partner.

Finally, the Nasheed affair has been handled without political fine­s­se. Resting Indian interests on the fate of one ob­viously flawed personality, exposing his Indian links by having him sit cowering in India’s mission and thus letting anti-Indian and pro-Islamic sentiments swirl is foolhardy. Gayoom has positioned himself cleverly. He has neither supported India nor criticised it. His daughter, who is in the run for presidency, benefits fr­om the division between Mr Nasheed and Mr Waheed. We should not have abandoned Mr Na­sheed in 2012, and having done so not got stuck with him.

Disraeli, as Prime Minister in 1877, frustrated by his maladroit diplomats wrote, “They seem quite useless. It is difficult to control eve­nts, but none of them try to.” His ambassador in Berlin he felt was “… rep­o­rting all Bismarck’s bravado… in an ecstasy of sycophantic wo­nder”. Perhaps our Pri­me Minister needs to ask the same question to his diplomats and his nati­onal security adviser.

Read more


2 thoughts on “Indian comedy of errors in the Maldives: Deccan Herald”

  1. Indian comedy of errors?

    They already have claimed part of Maldives, the Maliku islands, as their own.

    It is not a comedy. They want to rule the Indian ocean. Maldives, is part of India, as their strategists presented to their Politicians!

  2. By welcoming and providing Nasheed protection against political persecution, India has got the opportunity to reverse the situation India accepted a year ago in the Maldives. Nasheed isn't a ex-president. He is the ousted president of the Maldives, and he is the political heavyweight at home. Nasheed is the most likely candidate of the upcoming elections. India must use her influence on the illegitimate regime of Dr Waheed to secure Nasheed's candidacy that the regime is hell-bent to cancel by having an illegitimate court with a biased panel to convict and disqualify from the election.


Comments are closed.