The speed of India’s abandonment of Nasheed is bewildering: The Hindu

The speed with which India abandoned Mohammed Nasheed and declared support for the successor government is bewildering, writes Jyoti Malhotra for The Hindu.

The speed with which the largest democracy in the world abandoned, by all accounts, the youngest democracy in the world has left several people terribly bewildered. Was this the result of an accumulated pragmatism that runs freely in the heart of New Delhi’s foreign policy establishment these days, especially as Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna is widely considered to be an absentee figure in this part of South Block?

Certainly, pragmatism has its benefits, and the art of foreign policy-making cannot be mixed with something as ephemeral as friendships, including with democrats. Certainly, too, the Prime Minister’s special envoy to the Maldives, M. Ganapathi, a top diplomat in the Foreign Office, has told Nasheed when he met him on Friday in Male, that Nasheed and his family will be safe under the new dispensation.

But as Nasheed pointed out to this reporter, on the phone from Male, this assurance is hardly enough. Meanwhile, in India and abroad, people are watching to see if India, the most powerful country in the region, can ensure that Waheed stops the savage crackdown that the Maldivian security forces are continuing to heap upon Nasheed’s hapless MDP supporters.

If all foreign policy is a function of national interest, then India must ask itself if the Waheed government is really an ideal partner in the Maldives, or if he is really a mukhauta or a mask of Gayoom. If Waheed is really Gayoom’s puppet — certainly, the new President has not one party member in Parliament, nor any councillors; he has been unable to form his own Cabinet, leave alone a government of national unity — then India should be more than worried.

But New Delhi has already decided that Waheed’s government is a legitimate one and that Nasheed’s crisis is largely one of his own making. Government sources say that Nasheed was repeatedly asked by High Commissioner Mulay, even a few hours before he resigned, whether he needed any assistance from India, and Nasheed said no.

On his part, Nasheed — on whom the realisation is beginning to dawn that his friend and partner, India, has dumped him — points out that he “resigned” because he wanted to avoid bloodshed, which would have been inevitable if he had decided to resist. Surrounded by security forces, Nasheed said, he could hardly have asked Mulay for protection.

As delegations from the U.S., the Commonwealth and the European Union set up camp in Male to figure a way out of the crisis, the world is looking to India to lead. It has all the credentials to do so — in fact, some parts of Lakshadweep even speak Dhivehi, the national language of the Maldives — especially if it believes that the Maldives is a part of its South Asian sphere of influence.

Whether or not Nasheed returns to a jail, this time under Waheed, the simple question remains: will India grasp the immensely fragile moment at hand, ensure that peace and stability return to the Maldives and that fresh elections are held, sooner than later?

If it does, it will be setting an example to the regime not only in Male or elsewhere in South Asia, but across the Asian arc littered with authoritarian rulers of all colours. If not, it could be making its second, strategic mistake in this Indian Ocean island. This time around, though, the error could take much longer to heal.

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4 thoughts on “The speed of India’s abandonment of Nasheed is bewildering: The Hindu”

  1. You should try to understand the facts before publishing such rubbish what is propagated by Minivannews which is 100% pro MDP journalism if anyone call that too journalism..
    India or the whole world must accept the constitution developed by any country which is in force. In case of Maldives it clearly states that the vice president should take over once the president leaves office before maturity. The Vice president is the one who has been nominated by the President as his Buddy during the election and people accepted by votes. How can India or any other country intervene in to keep up the president when he himself resigned of fear of whatever reason it is.. Does the country need a president who just resign to save his own life and then make the life of public on rampage.. it is time to think and try to get news from eligible sources not from minivannews.

  2. India in haste said there was no coup even before any independent investigations done. It even went to the extent to be the first country to accept the present rule as legitimate. Not that this is India’s mistake but decisions made for their interest. Maldives will become like India’s playgrounds and they will decide, play and win. Maldivians will have to watch, grin and sigh.

  3. It is only an Indian game. India will support whoever they feel strongest in Maldives. Money that s the most important for India Now. For India, truth and non violence are only Gandhi's words. It s not the nbecause of the interest for 30000 indains in maldives but the love for 30 Indian businesses.

  4. One of the biggest mistake committed by the Manmohan Government is Maldives issue. India might have taken this issue seriously when Pro-pakistani elements are active in Maldives. Jehadi elements in Maldives are threat to India. Indians did not learnt lesson from History too. Very recently "Mumbai attack" jehadi elements belongs to Pakistan had a connection in Maldives. Indians could have intervene on the ground of their own security. Whoever is in power in Maldives that is does not matter but because of anarchy in the Maldives jehadi elements in Maldives can create problems for India. Just as Indian intervene Bangladesh. India should waite for international community to solve problems and than should come out with the action plan. Still not late to solve Maldives political crisis.


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